Thursday, 4 January 2018

Poop by A J Cosmo (Children's, 9 years +, 8/10E)

September 2016, Thought Bubble Publishing, 122 pages, Ebook, Review copy 

Book summary
Cosmo. Liam Anderson-Jones is a fourth-grader who's a transferee to a new school. Elmwood is not in as good a neighborhood as his last school, but his mom is insistent that their relocation is just a temporary thing. Liam is not so sure about that. What he is sure about is that food and he just doesn't get along -- and in the worst, most embarrassing ways. His stomach gives him no warning when it's about to erupt, and he's destroyed untold bathrooms. On his first day at Elmwood, his stomach went crazy while he was introducing himself to Mr. Almond's class. He tried to hold it off as long as possible but soon ended up dashing madly to the nearest bathroom. Liam didn't realize until he heard a girl's devastatingly loud shriek that it was the girls' bathroom, and her exclamation about the pungency of his bowel movements made for laughs throughout the school. One girl in class, Madeleine, seemed to be befriending him, though he didn't really understand why, and Mr. Almond also appeared to be somewhat approachable. But life for Liam is anything but easy, and he just can't figure out the why of it.

Nayu's thoughts
A few of you may have accidentally seen an empty post with this title on 31st December - I'd hoped to have written the review by then, the post was a space filler until the review was written. So here it is! I'm quite sure you're curious about the story - the story partially didn't get full marks is because I think with a different title even more people would be inclined to read it: I admit before I knew the synopsis if it hadn't been a review request I probably wouldn't have glanced at it because of the title. Also there was a part at the end involving his family which was a bit too idealistic and removed me a little from being caught up in the story.
That thought aside this was a brilliant read, exploring just how bathroom issues can impact someone, especially if they are at school. Almost everyone has an incident once in their life relating to needing the loo, making this a book for everyone. I felt sorry for Liam because he got teased for his issues, but thankfully he was able to make a friend who wasn't Poop who still wanted to get to know him and from time to time stood up for him. Stress does funny things to people, and can play havoc with our bodies, as Liam discovers. 

Liam has a few major issues in his life, aside from an unidentifiable health issue, and Poop appears during the journey to finding out the truth and learning how to cope with life (on top of starting a new school with an embarrassing incident). Poop is an unwanted character, but one Liam really needs in his life despite not wanting Poop around. There were moments where I wished Liam could be a bit braver, and I cheered for him at the end when he discovered his true friend. I liked how much Liam's mother worked hard to find the cause of the issue, not stopping until it got resolved, even though that journey was far from pleasant for the both of them.

Find out more on A J's website.

Suggested read
If you like books where characters deal with some big life issues then check out the Young Adult read Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella (Young Adult, 10/10E, short 'n' sweet review)

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