Each book written by Lisa Thompson develops emotional empathy within children and this is no different. Often, her characters have to navigate issues that children may see themselves reflected in, or will need to see can happen in order to broaden their ability to understand and empathise with others.
In TBWFTW, we see Cole dealing with school life being known as ‘Poor Kid Cole’. It’s well known his family have little money, which becomes even more obvious after visiting his best friend Mason’s house. Mason even has his own cinema room, as well as the latest trendy trainers. Cole’s toe peeks through the end of his and the boiler is on the blink.
But when Marika, a world renown artist who once went to his school, spots his talent, he has the opportunity to help his family and have the money he’s always dreamed of.
Coupled with the chance to solve the ‘Enigma in Oil’ (a painter riddle), he might turn his families fortunes right around.
As always with Lisa’s books, the plot – although with some extraordinary happenings – feels real and authentic; it feels like something that might genuinely happen to a child you know. I particularly like the background of name-calling – it’s something we all hear happening in schools and seeing it in this context might help children think about their own actions.
Your emotions are all there when reading this book. You’ll feel sad, happy, surprised, anxious….sometimes all at once!
I read this in one sitting, and it is my recommendation that you do too.