The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh – Helen Rutter

Stars: ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh tells the story of Billy Plimpton who is desperate to be a stand-up comedian when he grows up. He loves telling jokes and making other people laugh. The only problem is, he doesn’t actually like telling jokes in front of people. Billy has a stammer, which means he often finds it hard to find his voice.

When he starts a new school, he hopes his stammer will improve and he will still manage to achieve his lifelong goal of comedic glory on a stage, in front of a real audience. But when he starts secondary and his stammer is still as obvious as ever, he resigns himself to the fact he needs to change his dream.

With the help of a kind teacher, thoughtful friends and Granny Bread, Billy has a journey of finding out who he really is without being defined by his stammer. Everyone around him loves him, but can Billy learn to love himself?

If I could give this another star, I absolutely would.

This book is full of emotion from start to finish. We see Billy’s anger, acceptance, upset and happiness within the pages which, in turn, helps use feel as though we might have some insight into what life might be like with a stammer. I know for me, it really made me consider how someone might like you to react. Billy tells us about the different types of people there are when talking to someone with a stammer – I’d hope I would have been a ‘waiter’ anyway, but it did make you question your own impact.

His relationships with family, friends, school staff and even a bully were really crucial to the story. Billy is a compassionate character; despite the difficulties he faces himself, he shows empathy for others when he can and learns from his mistakes when he maybe hasn’t acted as he wished he had. As a main character, Billy was completely likeable and I felt so involved in his story. At the end of the book, I will admit to shedding a few tears!

As Billy loves comedy, each chapter started with a joke (FYI, my favourite was at the start of Chapter 20!) which added to the humour which was naturally interwoven through the pages. Funny books are so important in children’s literature and this is one I think should be on every classroom shelf. Not just because of the important topics, but also because it is laugh out loud hilarious!

Like the sound of this book? Buy it here:

Emily x

📚 Book gifted from Just Imagine

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