At first, this novel seems like a strange entity: a sci-fi about killer plants and a boy stuck in a tower block. Yet, as you delve deeper into it, you realise that it is so much more. Our narrator and protagonist is ten year-old Ade who lives with and cares for his housebound mother; when the mysterious ‘bluchers’ arrive everyone else splits, and Ade is left to fend for himself.
This book is initially slow to start as it builds tension and peppers the text with clues about the incoming crisis, but the longer you stick with it the more you are invested in Ade’s story of survival. This was my story-time read aloud last term, and Year 5 loved it. They were quick to empathise with Ade, and we had thoughtful debates around the text’s key themes.
This would definitely work well as a read aloud in Years 4-6, and fluent readers would definitely enjoy getting stuck in. It is a good introduction to dystopian or science fiction, and would really fit with a topic on plants or growing.