Book Review, Middle Grade Fiction

How to be a Human by Karen McCombie

How to be a Human is a story about discovering who you are and figuring out how to fit in with a charming sci-fi twist. Kiki and Wes are in Year 7. Bullies, humiliation and falling out with friends make every day hurt. They are alone and don’t know how to fix it.

When strange electrical storms and flooding hit their town, something isn’t right. Kiki’s little brother is sure he’s seen aliens in the sky and nature isn’t to blame for the damage around them. This sounds like nonsense to Kiki until she discovers a strange metallic pod hidden on the school grounds. Could there actually be aliens in their ordinary little town?

Ironically, it’s only when Kiki and Wes meet Star Boy that life suddenly starts to make sense. His observations of his “subjects” and life on Earth reveals truths about happiness, friendship and the importance of being in a group with those you can trust. Together they learn that sadness can be healed, that honest, caring relationships are so important and sometimes what you really need is right in front of you.

This is an insightful book about learning to stand up for yourself. So many readers will identify with Kiki, Wes and the challenges they face. Starting high school isn’t always easy and other children are not always kind. The honesty of this story shows children that they aren’t alone and there is a way through the difficulties they face. I love the empowering friendships that develop and the realisation that Kiki’s mum really cares about her even if they don’t always know how to communicate with each other.

Thank you to Little Tiger for this wonderful book!

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

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