On his way home from parents’ evening, Kofi spots something unusual hiding on a roundabout. This turns out to be Rorty Thrutch, a prehistoric human who can do amazing things. He can make objects move, disappear and replicate with the power of his mind. Of course, such an exceptional being is in high demand and is being hunted by scientists, as is his girlfriend Pogsy Blue.
All in all, this is a proper children’s adventure story. There are bad guys, children taking on adults, bullies and friends. Throw in a large dollop of science, technology and prehistoric humans and you are onto a winner. It progresses at a speed of knots, with something happening on almost every page. Given this, it’s hard not to be swept along.
As with all good children’s books, there’s a deep layer to the story. Cohen is not afraid to tackle some some serious themes and issues. You might expect to see a bully in a children’s book, but The Starman and Me delves into the personal life of Sumo, giving the reader a poignant view on his home life. The ethics of technological advancement are also centre stage for large swathes of the book. I certainly found myself really considering these issues and would like to hope children would to.
While reading Starman and Me, I could think of at least a dozen children who would lap this up. This is what a children’s book should be: an adventure with children centre stage. It isn’t fancy but it does the trick beautifully.
Paperback: 304 pages
Age Recommendation: 8 – 12 years
Publisher: Quercus Children’s Books