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Book Review of 'The Boy With Wings' by Lenny Henry

I am a homemaker, mother and a wife. I have a passion for books. I always like to know about different books and love to read them.

About the Author and the Book

The book 'The Boy With Wings' is written by a British author Lenny Henry. Apart from being a writer, Lenny Henry, whose full name is Sir Lenworth George Henry, is a British actor, comedian, singer, and TV presenter. He is a strong advocate for diversity and is the co-founder of the charity ‘Comic Relief’. As per him, he didn’t encounter any black characters in children's books when he was young. With that thought in mind, he wrote this book.

‘The boy with wings’ is his debut novel for the children of the age group 9-12 years. The book is about a black superhero. It was published for the first time in the year 2021 by the publisher Macmillan Children's Books. The illustrator of the book is Keenon Ferrel. The book also includes a comic strip created by Marvel artist, Mark Buckingham. The book has shown the versatility of Lenny Henry.



It is the story of an adopted son Tunde, who is dark-skinned and has a beaky nose. Because of his looks, he is constantly picked up at his school and is bullied by a gang of his schoolmates. However, he also has a few very benevolent and helpful friends who always stand for him whenever he needs them.

When Tunde is 12 years old, his parents prohibit him from running or taking part in school sports. Instead, his mum brings a computer game for him to play at home with his friends. The game itself is designed by his mum and the people at her workplace. Tunde, along with his friends quickly learns the game but he is still not able to resist the outdoor sports as he loves them. He has a friend called Nev who is under-13 football captain. He persuades Tunde to join football. On the day of the match, Tunde plays with his full strength and ability and then something very unexpected happens. His one big jump to do a goal gives him the wings. That changes his life and takes him to a completely different world. He comes to know that he is not what he thinks. He is not an ordinary boy. He has a secret past and his existence in this world is for an altogether different reason.

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A fun and action-packed book for children, which starts with an issue of bullying and racism but then has a sudden twist towards an exciting and unusual fantasy world. The story is very imaginative and amusing. To add the humour, the author has put some jokes here and there. The cover of the book is the jewel in the crown. The bright red cover with golden fonts and the picture of Tunde with his friends allures the reader to read the book. Random fonts have been used in the whole book to emphasize certain words/phrases which makes it interesting for the young readers to read the book. There is a comic strip at the end of the story which is a bonus.

Apart from the issues of bullying and racism, which the story has covered in a very entertaining way, the book has also highlighted the wholehearted care and support of friends and the love and regard for parents. By putting the characters of ethnic minorities along with a disabled child, the author has exhibited the diverse nature of our society.

Some adult readers may find the sudden twist in the book to be off the track for the reason it changes the subject from which the story originally started. But from the viewpoint of children, they mostly love such transitions. Moreover, the story is not terrifying and is as per their interest. Hence, I would recommend this book to children of ages 9 and over (with exceptions) to read this book and enjoy.

© 2022 SD Mistry

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