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The Bubble Boy

Written by Stewart Foster

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The Bubble Boy Review

Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers General Fiction Recommended Children's eBooks

Shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2017  |  One of our Books of the Year 2016 | Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Month, May/June 2016 Deeply moving and utterly gripping, Bubble Boy is a stunning novel that makes you laugh and cry. And think. Joe lives in a sterile world. Wired up to monitors and drips, he can’t remember ever having left his hospital room. Even his visitors are a potential risk in case they bring in infections. Everyone cares for Joe by keeping him as enclosed as it is possible to be. But then he has a visitor who has a quite different view of what Joe’s life should be like. Suddenly Joe’s world is full of information about the world outside and his dreams of going out grow bigger and bigger. Can Joe ever fulfil his dream? Debut author Stewart Foster carries off an astonishing feat of storytelling in this exceptional book.  ~ Julia Eccleshare

The Branford Boase Award Judges' Comments - ‘deeply moving and completely gripping’; ‘simple, clear writing, effortlessly believable characters’; ‘a true original’.

Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for May 2016

The Bubble Boy by Stewart Foster

There is a Tribe of Kids by Lane Smith

Captain Pug by Laura James

The First Hippo on the Moon by David Walliams

Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for June 2016

The World's Worst Children by David Walliams

Seacrow Island by Astrid Lindgren

The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne

A Stitch in Time by Penelope Lively

Street Child by Berlie Doherty

Fenn Halflin and the Fearzero by Francesca Armour-Chelu

The Bubble Boy by Stewart Foster


The Bubble Boy Synopsis

They call it a crash when the blood goes from my head to my feet, pours out into the room and drains through a hole in the middle of the floor. They call it a crash when the walls start spinning and the pictures blur. Then the ceiling turns black and the floor turns black and I don't know which way I'm facing any more.

Eleven-year-old Joe can't remember a life outside of his hospital room, with its beeping machines and view of London's rooftops. His condition means he's not allowed outside, not even for a moment, and his few visitors risk bringing life-threatening germs inside his 'bubble'. But then someone new enters his world and changes it for ever.

The Bubble Boy is the story of how Joe spends his days, copes with his loneliness and frustrations, and looks - with superhero-syle bravery, curiosity and hope - to a future without limits. Expect superheroes, super nurses and a few tears from this truly unique story.

The Bubble Boy has also been reviewed by The Krib. See the video below and click on the video for more information.

The Bubble Boy Reader Reviews

Kids 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.

  • Tomasz Hawryszczuk, age 11 - 'A truly inspirational and unique story. Joe is an eleven year old who has an immune disorder and has spent all his life in hospital. Amir arrives and this is where the story comes to life. Fabulous!'
  • Emily Yates, age 9 - 'The Bubble Boy is the best book I have reviewed so far and by far the most realistic...A surprising, thought provoking book which makes me realise how blessed I am. I really enjoyed it!'
  • Sam Harper, age 11 - 'A heart-wrenching, emotional character study of a boy in a bubble who lives life through his screens and his dreams.'
  • Rose Roberts, age 12 - 'I loved this book. I could happily just read about Joe's everyday life without anything particularly exciting happening, and was hooked from the start. When I did get to the truly thrilling bit: wow!'
  • Hattie Benton, age 10 - 'This is a great book which keeps you anticipating what is to come. The characters make you laugh and cry but above all, make you happy and appreciate what you have.'
  • Charlotte Cassidy, age 11 - 'A brilliant, thoughtful book that kept me hooked all the way until the last page.  An emotional journey following Joe and his life in his bubble.'
  • Alexander Bisland, age 10 - 'Bubble Boy is an emotional debut novel about a boy called Joe...I give it 5***** and it is definitely in my top 10 books.'
  • Alexander Butler, age 12 - 'A very sad story but absolutely awesome too.'

The Bubble Boy Press Reviews

Praise for The Bubble Boy:

‘Poignant, hopeful and heartbreaking’ Fiona Noble, Children’s Editor - The Bookseller

‘I cheered and cried and hoped – for Joe, and for the amazing people in his life who care enough to be heroes right alongside him. Simply wonderful.’ Jenn Bennett, author of Night Owls

‘A gripping and deeply moving book’ Jamila Gavin, author of Coram Boy

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781471145407
Publication date: 19/05/2016
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books an imprint of Simon & Schuster Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781471145407
Publication date: 19th May 2016
Author: Stewart Foster
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books an imprint of Simon & Schuster Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 320 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: General Fiction
Recommendations: eBooks, Reviewed by Children
Other Categories: All Shortlists and Winners

About Stewart Foster

Stewart Foster was named a New Author to Watch by the Guardian and was an Amazon Rising Star for his adult novel, published in the UK. The Bubble Boy was his first book for young readers, and he has since gone on to write All the Things That Could Go Wrong and Check Mates. Totally obsessed with soccer, he lives in Bath, England, with his two daughters, Lois and Tallulah.

More About Stewart Foster

More Books By Stewart Foster

Cover for The Perfect Parent Project by Stewart Foster
Cover for Check Mates by Stewart Foster
Cover for All the Things That Could Go Wrong by Stewart Foster
View All Books By Stewart Foster

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