January 2012, Templar
363 pages, Paperback
Themes: school life, boys, bullies, teamwork, the unexpected, debating, cool and not so cool teachers, boy humour, mild romance and mild infrequent swear words.
Summary from Templar
Hounded by the school bully and struck dumb in the presence of girls, the year doesn't get off to a good start for Ishmael when he is asked to take misfit James Scobie under his wing. However, life takes some unexpected turns as Ishmael and his friends embark on the most embarrassingly awful...and the best year of their lives.
Although this goes in what I'd call a boy orientated book, I enjoyed it a lot. I like the sense of camaraderie which Ishmael experiences, both negative and positive. He uses an imagined disease to help justify his life, but through new friendships realises that there are worse things in the world than having to be a petrified debater on the debate team. This gets a healthy 8/10, for the last few parts of the book had slower pacing and I zoned out when Moby Dick was discussed as it didn't grab my interest (I've never read it before).
Find out more about Michael and his books on his website.
Check out the next stop of the tour tomorrow, Wednesday 5th January over at Bookbabblers
For another boy with an interesting school life, check out The Donut Diaries of Dermot Mulligan by Anthony McGowan