Recommended age: 8+

Boy 87

by Ele Fountain
Boy 87
by Ele Fountain

Boy 87 is a beautifully written story of Shif and Bini, two fatherless boys who are studying hard at school and full of innocence and optimism.

One day soldiers knock on the door and both boys are taken away, and imprisoned in a shipping container with a number of older men.

Their mothers have saved money to be given to people smugglers. How will they make an escape, and how will they reach the safety of another country?

It's a very powerful imagined account of what could be happening to the thousands of people we read about in the news day by day.

The Year 6 Book Group at Woodbridge Primary found they couldn't stop reading this book, but decided not to look at it just before going to bed. The story was troubling but fascinating, they said, as they engaged with the characters and needed to read on to find out what happened next.

Collectively, they put together a blurb for the book which they felt better summed up the story than the description on the back jacket:

"Two schoolboys, who are best friends, are living in an unnamed troubled country far from here. They are living a normal life until suddenly their world changes leaving them feeling scared and vulnerable. They use their skills, imagination and friendships to try and get out of the difficult and frightening situation."

Review date: May 2018