My book review of 'The Final Year' by Matt Goodfellow and illustrated by Joe Todd-Stanton

by Matt Goodfellow and illustrated by Joe Todd-Stanton
Recommended age: 8+
The Final Year
by Matt Goodfellow and illustrated by Joe Todd-Stanton

This was recommended to me recently and I was immediately drawn to the cover and illustrations and also the fact that the story is told, by a former teacher, in blank verse.

And it's such a beautiful book. It's easy to read but has a powerful and moving story which is full of hope. It's aimed at readers aged nine upwards. 

Nate is in his last year of primary school. He knows it could be a challenging time with tests and getting ready for the move to secondary school. Things aren't easy at home either. But he has a good friend in PS whom he's known since nursery.

The two boys are put in different classes, though, and PS gets into a new group of friends which include Turner who starts to bully Nate. And then Nate's little brother Dylan falls seriously ill and is taken to hospital.

This is so sensitively told. The difficulties Nate faces are real and troubling, but he has wonderful people in his life to help him through. His mum and grandmother have their own challenges in life, but the warmth and love they show Nate is beautifully presented. And Nate has a great teacher in Mr Joshua who gets alongside him and encourages his love of reading and writing with humour and kindness.

This is a wonderful book!

Date of this review: September 2023
Book publication date: 7th September 2023