Reader Reviewed Wonderboy by Nicole Burstein


Written by Nicole Burstein

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

August 2016 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: ways to change the world Joseph is not classic super-hero material: he’s asthmatic and rubbish at sports, bullied regularly and nicknamed Wilco because he always complies when someone demands he does their homework. Imagine his surprise and excitement therefore when he develops special powers including telekinesis. Could this be his chance to get his own back on the bullies, impress the gorgeous Indira and even join super-heroes unlimited the Vigils? Well, yes and no. The story that follows is a sharply-observed comedy of teen life, with a serious undertone. Amongst the comic-book action Burstein shows what heroism - the kind that calls for real courage – really is, and reminds readers that heroes and villains too are often those we least expect them to be. ~ Andrea Reece

Reader Reviews

Teens and YA's love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here. 

  • Jenna, age 13 - 'This is a gripping book by Nicole Burstein - you hardly have time to breathe!'
  • Dylan Sweet, age 13 - 'I love this book because it has a very interesting plot and it was an exciting read chapter after chapter. I would rate a full five stars and recommend it to anyone who likes adventure books with superhero. Enjoy reading.'
  • Jade - 'Burstein’s novel asks what it means to be a hero, and provides an answer that applies to us all: “Being a hero comes from somewhere else entirely. Powers are the start of it, but it’s what you do with them that counts.”'
  • Michelle Armstrong-Harris - 'Written in a very accessible style with a plot that keeps moving forward. There is some humour, minor love interest and lots to appeal to younger teenagers here.'
  • Olivia, age 13 - 'Funny, Clever and Exciting.  A good read....  I am not a fan of superhero books but I really enjoyed this one.'
  • Sophia Ufton - 'Wow, I didn't think this was for me, but it’s amazing. Loved it!'
  • Jess Anderson, age 13 - 'The book is extremely fast paced and there is never a dull moment.'
  • Grace Spear, age 14 - 'This is a great book and it was amazing how I could picture all the characters in my head, as though they'd jumped off the page.'
  • Adam Goodman, age 13 - 'A great, gripping read leaving me desperate for more...'
  • Khadijah, age 20 - 'Wonderboy is comedic without overdoing it, believable without being boring and above all; a thoroughly enjoyable read.' 
  • Sophia Ufton - 'This was a really funny story. I couldn't stop laughing, so I had to read it all. It was just too good to miss out on.'


Wonderboy by Nicole Burstein

A funny and frank superhero story set in the world of Othergirl. Joseph 'Wilco' Wilkes is one of life's losers - he's picked on, pushed around, and bullied by the rugby boys at the posh private school he attends on a scholarship. But his life is about to change: Wilco learns he can move things with his mind. Will this be his chance to play the hero, get the girl and finally stand up for himself? Or are things just going to come crashing down around his head? Becoming a proper hero will be quite the leap of faith...


Praise for Othergirl..

'Burstein explores loyalty, common sense and growing up in a smart, confidence-boosting comedy for 11-plus girls that owes much to The Incredibles' Amanda Craig, New Statesman

'Othergirl is a blast. A great concept, the superhero's less overtly super best friend, and the story is so fun you hardly have time to breathe. A great book about friendship, being in the shadows, and being proud of who you are. Kapow!' -- Matt Haig

'One of my favourite reads this month. Such a brilliant concept... long overdue. Wise and warm story of friendship and self-belief and just the thing to recommend to fans of Geek Girl.' -- Fiona Noble Ones To Watch, The Bookseller

'Smart, geeky and hugely fun, this is a superhero story from the sidekick's perspective. Great stuff!' -- Robin Stevens, author of Murder Most Unladylike

'Fantastic concept. Very funny and well paced, with an insightful tale of friendship at its heart.' Children's Buyer's Guide, Fiona Noble

About the Author

Nicole Burstein

Nicole Burstein is a writer from North London. Over the years she's had lots of different jobs, including patrolling the Natural History Museum, presenting the traffic news on the radio, and demonstrating toys in Hamleys. Finally, she decided to focus on her passion for stories, and completed a Masters in Creative Writing at Birkbeck College whilst working as a children's bookseller. Among her other interests are comic books, nineties cartoon theme tunes, and cute pictures of animals wearing funny outfits.

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Book Info


272 pages
Interest Age: From 12


Nicole Burstein
More books by Nicole Burstein

Author's Website


Andersen Press Ltd

Publication date

4th August 2016




Publisher Profile

Andersen Press Ltd is an imprint of Andersen Press

logo Andersen Press is one of the leading independent children’s publishers, publishing some of the biggest names in the world of children's books including the much-loved picture book characters the Little Princess and Elmer the patchwork elephant. Andersen Press is the home of many award-winning authors and illustrators including Melvin Burgess, Rebecca Stead, Satoshi Kitamura, Tony Ross, David McKee, Chris Judge and Jeanne Willis. Founded in 1976 by Klaus Flugge it won the Bologna Best Children’s Publisher prize in the European Category in 2016, the company’s 40th anniversary year.

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