Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

The Small Things by Lisa Thompson

Lisa Thompson has created another empathy-fuelled story that will captivate and inspire readers.

Anna feels different from her friends at school. Her family doesn’t have the money for lots of extra-curricular activities and life seems boring. When a new student joins their class, Anna is thrilled to be asked to be her buddy. But Ellie is not your usual new girl. She is unwell and unable to attend school in person so a robot attends in her place. Through incredible technology, Ellie is able to listen to lessons, join in and make friends.

In an attempt to impress her new friend, Anna creates a fantasy life for herself – a fragile web of lies that soon begins to fall apart.  It turns out that Ellie isn’t bothered about impressive activities or how much money Anna has – it’s the small, simple things in life that are the most important. If we take time to appreciate what we have, it’s more than enough.

The concept of home learning is so familiar to children now. They will be able to empathise with Ellie, understanding her struggles as she is cut off from her peers. The use of a robot to help her be a part of the class is a brilliant way to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness. http://www.noisolation.com is an organisation that provides robot technology like the Ellie-bot described in this story.

The Small Things emphasises that kindness, honesty and gratitude for what we have is far more important than being the most popular or doing the most activities. Life is full with friendship and caring, not how much you can squeeze into your week. As life begins to speed up again for us all, this is an important message to keep in mind. We need to continue to value the small things.

Thank you to Barrington Stoke for this powerful book!

Click on the cover below to find out more or purchase on-line from Amazon.

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