My children and I have very much enjoyed Frank Cottrell Boyce's work over the years, and as a librarian I often recommend him as an author who appeals to both boys and girls, combines humorous adventure with interesting ideas to consider, and whose work reads aloud well. I read Cosmic to my primary age daughters several years ago and we all regularly laughed out loud. It tells of a young teenage boy who is extra tall and constantly mistaken for an adult, with the surprising result that he ends up travelling in space as a "father". An earlier book Millions won the 2004 Carnegie Medal as well as the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and was made into a very successful movie.
But it seems Cottrell Boyce is a versatile writer for he has just won the Guardian Chlidren's Fiction Prize for what looks like a completely different style of book altogether. The Unforgotten Coat, a shorter work which tells the tale of Mongolian refugees in Liverpool, is based on a true story. I've looked at the book often for it has an attractive and slightly unusual format, but I've not yet read it. It would be great to hear from anyone who has read it - just use the Feedback option at the side of this post! I would imagine it would go down very well in the classroom, with its cross-cultural themes alongside Cottrell Boyce's warm humour. Guess what I'll be reading in my lunch break today?