Worrybot by Simon Packham

 

It’s not always easy to find a bedtime book that both my children (aged 7 & 10) will enjoy, but this engagingly-written, contemporary story had them both begging for one more chapter, and this mum was just as gripped.

Josh has just moved home and school – a tough change for anyone, but harder than most for a boy who is a chronic worrier. Josh is still recovering from a period at his old school where he was plagued by crippling anxiety, caused by a traumatic event. He was just finding his feet again, when his Mum’s new job pulled the rug out from under his feet.

And things don’t go smoothly at Josh’s new school. Joining late means everyone already has their own friendship groups, and then there’s Noah, a bully who just won’t leave Josh alone. Soon, the only person Josh talks to is a real-life learning robot which sits on his desk and allows a girl Charlie to join in remotely.

Josh worries being friends with a robot will just add fuel to Noah’s fire, but the more he gets to know Charlie, the closer they become. But both children have secrets they’re not willing to disclose, and the author teases us with it so beautifully that we were desperate to find out why Charlie stopped going to school in person, and what happened to Josh at his old school.

A brilliant empathy-building book that explores important themes of friendship, self-confidence and difficult transitions.

 

 

 

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