Reader Reviewed Boonie by Richard Masson


Written by Richard Masson

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

One of our Books of the Year 2013 A touching story of one small boy’s powerful spirit of survival in a evocatively described, desperate dystopian world. Orphaned JD has watched the degradation of his mother and the death of his father at the hands of the wicked Silver Men. Now he must survive alone in a world where water is the most precious commodity. With nothing to guide him but his own best instincts and scraps of wisdom he gathers along the way, JD learns about friendship, truth, trust and, above all, his own bravery. Despite the bleakness of his world, JD finds enough examples of human kindness to make this both a thoughtful and a heart warming story.

A Piece of Passion from the Editor Sara O’Connor

“Richard's incredible opening gripped me from the moment I read it as part of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) British Isles Undiscovered Voices 2012 competition. And the more I learned about his characters, JD and Aqua, the more I fell in love. The story is hard hitting but absolutely compelling. The children are suffering in a ruined world due to the wars and neglect of past societies and, for me, that is so relevant and thought-provoking these days. But the icing on the cake was Richard's personal story: he had been writing for 40 years with so many near-misses to publication, but still hadn't been discovered. His years in the Merchant Navy have given him so many incredible stories, and his imagination knows no bounds.”


In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Boonie a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title. Scroll down to read them.

Here’s a taster from one of the reviews. “Richard Masson has successfully given us a world and characters that the reader is able to love and hate, fear and laugh at" Scroll down to read the rest of this review and all the reader reviews.


Boonie by Richard Masson

JD's father has been burnt alive by the Silver Men. His mother has run away. Lost in the desert without water, JD meets a strange old man whose mouth has been sewn shut. That man's secret will save his life. The search for his mother leads JD to the City, where he must face the true horrors of life under the Silver Men. Trapped inside the Pits of enslaved children scraping for water, he must risk everything and everyone he has ever loved in order to survive. Boonie is a story of bravery, friendship, loss and hope that will stay with you long after the final page is turned.


Darcy Elliman Richard Masson has successfully given us a world and characters that the reader is able to love and hate, fear and laugh at - click here to read the full review.

Rachel Bourn (14) This is a brilliantly written story, and a terrific debut. Richard Masson is an amazing storyteller - click here to read the full review.

Chloe Sheehan I loved the whole concept of the book it reminded me of the hunger games a little bit because of all the things they had to go through - click here to read the full review.

Shriya Samani An adventurous book that made me want to read more. Would definitely recommend this book to 12-14 year old's.- click here to read the full review.

Isobel Read It was a brilliant and unforgettable read and I greatly hope there will be a sequel- click here to read the full review.

Molly Hudson This was a really thought provoking story that drew me in and made me want to read more.- click here to read the full review.

Rebecca Tyrrell Unlike any other book I have ever read Boonie has no faults, it continuously changed direction, surprising me at where it went.- click here to read the full review.

Christie Heaven Leaving the reader thirsting for more Boonie is a brilliant success.- click here to read the full review.

Fabbiha Choudhury The unique plot and imaginative characters and concepts makes this novel a must-read for any teenager- click here to read the full review.

About the Author

Richard Masson

Richard Masson, 11 March 1943 - 19 Nov 2013.

After a long career in the Merchant Navy, Masson pursued his passion to do an MA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. In 2012, 40 years after he started writing the story, Boonie was shortlisted for Undiscovered Voices and then picked up by Hot Key Books for publication in January 2013. It achieved great critical success, described by the Observer as an "excellent debut, [that] has a harrowing opening with echoes of Cormac McCarthy's The Road".

His editor Sara O'Connor said: "Richard had such a strong voice and such a big vision, and I feel privileged to have worked with him and to have published his ambitious book."

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Book Info


336 pages
Interest Age: From 13 to 15 years


Richard Masson
More books by Richard Masson

Author's Website


Hot Key Books

Publication date

1st August 2013




Publisher Profile

Hot Key Books is an imprint of Hot Key

logo Hot Key Books, a division of Bonnier Publishing, publish stand out, quality fiction, for 9 – 19 year olds, print and digital that people like to talk about. If you are looking for something a little bit different from your books, something a little bit special then Hot Key Books may well have just what you want.

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