Reader Reviewed Fish Boy by Chloe Daykin

Fish Boy

Written by Chloe Daykin
Illustrated by Richard Jones

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Longlisted for the UKLA 2018 Book Award

March 2017 Debut of the Month In a sparely written but richly imaginative story, Chloe Daykin sensitively explores what it feels like to see the world just a bit differently. Billy loves the sea and uses swimming as a way of escaping the difficulties of his unwell mother. But his love of the sea also makes him the butt of his class mates’ jokes as it marks him out as different. Billy increasingly creates an alternative world for himself inspired in part by the lessons about animals that he has learnt from David Attenborough’s programmes. But when a new boy arrives in the class Billy finds someone who understands him. Fish Boy is a debut novel to savour. ~ Julia Eccleshare

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to the review by one of the Lovereading4kids editorial experts some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel members were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Isaac East, age 10 - '5 stars for Chloe Daykin and her amazing book, Fish Boy. Full of adventure, friendship and love. Fish Boy has you hooked from the first page.'
  • Cally Evans, age 10 - 'An astonishing tale, truly special!.. From this book I learnt a lot about the importance of best friends and being kind to each other... 5 out of 5 stars!'
  • Humaira, age 18 - 'It's definitely is a book for younger readers, so they might like it.'
  • Katie Bavister, age 12 - 'This book is one that should be read by everyone. Funny, sad, poignant, quirky and unique are just a few of the words that spring to mind.'
  • Amina, age 10 - 'I loved this interesting and very different book, it was very imaginative. It was a funny book and had lots of problems that most people know someone that has to deal with.'
  • Josh Parcell, age 9 - 'Billy is a young boy who loves the sea but one day it might be a bit too much. He finds himself seeing and hearing a mackerel say ‘kesz’ but it was out of the water flying!!' 
  • Beatrice Whithear, age 9 - 'when Billy meets the mackerel I started to worry that I would not like this book. A boy meeting a fish and talking to him did seem a bit odd. However the book was brilliant.'
  • Hector Watch - 'What an unusual and unique book. As a story I did not find it gripping, as the plot, like the waves, kept coming and going.'
  • Richie Upchurch, age 10 - 'It's sad, magic, funny and exciting. I think my friends will like it too. I really like ‘Fish Boy’ and I think it is a very good book.'


Fish Boy by Chloe Daykin

People call me Fish Boy. My skin goes up and down like the waves. My mind goes in and out like the sea. They say I've always got my mouth open, that I ask too many questions. But what's wrong with that?

Billy is a lonely boy. He's obsessed with swimming in the sea, which is where he goes to wash his problems far, far away. Thanks to his mum's mystery illness, his dad has been forced to work extra hours to make ends meet, so Billy locks himself away with David Attenborough films, and ponders the magic of nature. Meanwhile at school, bullies mercilessly seize on Billy's 'otherness' and make his life as miserable as possible - but then new boy Patrick Green, with fingers like steel, strength of a bear joins Billy's class. And when a mackerel swims up to Billy's face, blows bubbles into his Vista Clear Mask goggles and says: Fish Boy - Billy's whole world changes.

Accompanied by gorgeous illustrations by Richard Jones.

About the Author

Fish Boy is Chloe Daykin's first novel, which she wrote while studying for her MA in Creative Writing at Newcastle University. It won the Northern Writers Award in June 2014, and has already garnered huge critical acclaim. An artist, designer, playwright and teacher, Chloe lives in Northumberland with her husband and two boys.

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Book Info


304 pages


Chloe Daykin
More books by Chloe Daykin


Faber & Faber

Publication date

2nd March 2017




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