MG Book Review: The Astounding Broccoli Boy by Frank Cottrell-Boyce

The Astounding Broccoli Boy by Frank Cottrell Boyce

When Rory’s skin turns full-out broccoli green, he’s terrified until he realizes it can only mean one thing: he’s turning into a superhero! Meet a definitely fun, sort of super… hero.

I love stories that are based on true unexplained mysteries. It turns out there really were some green children in England. According to legend they turned up in the twelfth century and claimed to be from a mysterious place called Martin’s Land. No one could explain the green skin. Scientists today think it may have had something to do with anemia.

The hero in The Astounding Broccoli Boy does not come from a mysterious place and is not an alien, but sometimes feels like one. Rory is the kid that the biggest boy at his school Grim Komissky likes to bully. When Rory turns green on a class trip he ends up in the hospital isolation ward with none other than Grim! The doctors do lots of tests on them but can find nothing wrong. They suspect the green color is a reaction to a “killer-kittens” virus that is spreading thru London. Things between the boys go as expected until Grim walks in his sleep and is able to unlock coded doors. Rory follows and things happen to make him believe he has 200% brain function and can “slightly teleport.” So begin their wild adventures where there are among other things: gorillas, penguins, a robbery, car chase, a royal hostage situation, and a green girl!

This is a fun spin on the superhero theme with a great message: just looking like a superhero doesn’t make you one. What makes a hero super is courage and that comes from within. Imagination and charming characters make this a  must read.

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