Wednesday, 2 June 2010
60 page, Paperback
Interest Age: 10-14 years
Reading Age: 8 years
Nayuleska's recommended rating:♥♥♥♥♥
Summary from Barrington Stoke
Fears are horrible things. They can petrify a person in place. They can stop you from doing simple things in life. Depending on the fear, I wouldn't go as far to say all fears make your life less enjoyable. I have a lot of fears. Heights are one of them. Whether it's looking up at tall ceilings/buildings, or looking down from a height, I feel odd. I have difficulty standing on a chair in the middle of a room.
That's why I was so interested in Jack's story. The humiliation he feels when he can't dive into the pool pulled me into the story. The panic I feel in my fears is less than Jack. Possibly because of his age, he doesn't tell his peers his fear. I guess if he had, the story would have been quite different.
As I read about his decision to go skydiving, I thought he was an idiot. There are other, easier ways to settle a fear of heights. Standing on a chair or ladder might be one way. I mean, surely that's safer than hurtling through the air with a parachute? Sure, it should work. I'd rather not go splat!
I can report Jack doesn't go splat (rhyming not intended). Whether he does it or not, you'll have to read the book to find out. I think David Gatward has nailed the feelings associated with having a fear, and having it when you don't feel you can tell people about it. Even if you don't have a fear of heights, I think everyone can relate to Jack's fear on some level. Even if your fear is mild discomfort rather than full on fleeing the room when faced with that situation, give this book a go.
It includes a short interview with David at the end of the story.
David Gatward can be found lurking on his blog.
If you liked this, try Fire Mask by Franzeska G Ewart