Saturday, January 07, 2017

The Icarus Show

The Icarus Show, by Sally Christie
  • (David Fickling Books, January 2017), 224 pp., pb.
  • Ages 8-12

Here is another guest review from Luke Barnard, son of my friends Justin and Tracie Barnard.

Alex Meadows, an insecure elementary-schooler, has had an awful summer.  His best friend has moved to Scotland, his next-door neighbor dies and the other moves into a nursing home, his new next-door neighbor smells strange, and, worst of all, Alex has been sucked into a terrible conundrum.  Coming home from school one day, he discovers a mysterious note foretelling the flight of a boy.  Alex is faced with the question he is most afraid of answering.  React or Don’t React.  After some snooping, Alex uncovers an unbelievable secret about the “Icarus Show”.  Do you believe it?  Can you believe it?  Will you be there???

 All around, this is a good book.  The beginning gives a sample of the pace of the story.  Alex’s character is very relatable -- his insecurities are what some people face every day.  Bogsy was the best developed of all the cast, his overly independent and cynical spirit paints him in a very mysterious light, his mind might be a little out of whack, considering he plans to jump off a bridge.  Maisie, the sage of great age, Alex’s source of counsel, adds good dialogue to the book, especially in their conversations about the mystical Icarus and his unknown plans.  Alan Tydman, head honcho of Alan’s Battalion and class bully, sheds reality on the whole story, acting as the exact thing every single school seems to have: a big, hulking meanie.  His cruel techniques of extracting money from weaklings are a fact of life for many school-age students, no matter their age.

I didn’t understand some of the scenes in the school Alex attends (Probably due to my lack of experience, when it comes to British public schools), and, at the start, couldn’t tell where this book is set.  The ending lacked gusto, and was kind of confusing.  The book is humorous at times, has great character development, and an outstanding plot.  Do you believe it?  Can you believe it?  Will you be there???