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Boy Underwater

Written by Adam Baron

Debuts of the Month Family / Home Stories Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers

LoveReading View on Boy Underwater

In a nutshell: boy untangles his family story of loss and love

Winner of the Awesome Book Award 2020

June 2018 Debut of the Month | Boy Underwater is one of those rare books that manages to be both very funny and heartbreakingly sad. Being pulled to safety from the bottom of Lewisham Pool by classmate Veronique (losing his trunks in the process) is a terrible experience for Cymbeline Igloo, as it would be for any 9 year old, but it leads his mum to have a breakdown. Cym has never understood her determination to keep him away from water, but now it’s only by uncovering the family secrets that he can give her the help she needs. Cymbeline carries the story brilliantly, confiding in readers all his confusion (the adult world really is incomprehensible), his concerns and his hopes, so that we live it as he does. What he finds out is horribly sad, but leads to a new beginning, and a kind of healing.

This beautifully told story is one to recommend to fans of Susin Nielsen, Ross Welford and Christopher Edge.

Andrea Reece

Other Info

On winning the Awesome Book Award Adam Baron said "I am delighted and honoured to have won with such an amazing shortlist. These events mean so much to authors and I am always stunned at the effort that goes in from teachers, support staff, and of course all the children who read and review."

Boy Underwater Synopsis

Cymbeline (yes, really!) has never been swimming - not ever, not once - so he's a bit nervous at the prospect of his first school swimming lesson ever. But how hard could it be? He's Googled front crawl and he's found his dad's old pair of trunks. He's totally ready for this. But he's not ready for an accident at the pool to reveal a family mystery that turns his life completely upside down. Only Cym and his friends can solve it because, as usual, the grown-ups aren't telling them anything. For the answers you really need, sometimes you have to go deep . . .

Boy Underwater Reader Reviews

Some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were lucky enough to read and review this title. Click here to read the full reviews.

  • Toby Little, Age 10 - ' This book is easy to read, but it’s about complex stuff, like about realising that your parents had a life before they were your parents, and some family stories get told again and again, until they ring true - even if they aren’t.'
  • Ethan Watkin, Age 10 - 'Great book, loads of twists. I found it really interesting for a book that initially I thought I wouldn't like.'

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780008267018
Publication date: 01/06/2018
Publisher: HarperCollins an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780008267018
Publication date: 1st June 2018
Author: Adam Baron
Publisher: HarperCollins an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 256 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: Family / Home Stories
Recommendations: Debuts of the Month

About Adam Baron

Adam Baron is the author of five successful novels and has, in his time, been an actor, comedian, journalist and press officer at Channel 4 television (as well as things he's too embarrassed to mention). He now runs the widely respected MA in Creative Writing at Kingston University London. Adam lives in Greenwich, South London, with his wife and three young children. He wrote Boy Underwater (his first novel aimed at younger readers) because they told him to. While still in the flush of youth he knows what his final words are going to be: `clear the table'. Adam Baron photo &...

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