A story about friendship, love, family, magic . . . and fish . . .
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SHORTLISTED – BRANFORD BOASE AWARD
People call me Fish Boy. My skin goes up and down like the waves. My mind goes in and out like the sea. They say I’ve always got my mouth open, that I ask too many questions. But what’s wrong with that?
Billy’s got a lot on his mind – that he’d rather not think or talk about. So he watches David Attenborough, because Sir David’s asked all the questions and got all the answers, and swims in the sea, just letting his mind drift . . .
So when new boy and nature fan Patrick Green starts at school with ‘fingers like steel, strength of a bear’ and a mackerel swims up to Billy’s face, blows bubbles into his Vista Clear mask goggles and says: ‘Fish Boy’, Billy knows he can’t keep it secret, because . . . a crazy talking mackerel changes EVERYTHING.
Shimmering with almost-magic and adventure, this is an exceptional read.
Accompanied by gorgeous illustrations by Richard Jones.
It all goes a little The Shape of Water when, out swimming in the sea, Billy comes mouth to mouth with a talking mackerel who calls him “Fish Boy”. Chloe Daykin’s voice is clear and confident and this reads like a novel from a more experienced writer. Hold your breath and dive in; it’s fish food for the soul.
Rare and remarkable
A beautifully written debut about a lonely boy who is obsessed with swimming.
Very accomplished writing - well paced with a very realized, complex voice - rooted and real, yet drifting towards sadness.
Literary fiction in the tradition of David Almond; the writing and voice are in perfect balance.
Chloe Daykin is one of the most original and surprising new writers I have encountered in the North East.
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