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How to be Me

Written by Cath Howe

Family / Home Stories Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers School Stories Star Books Personal Social Health Economic (PSHE)

LoveReading View on How to be Me

New friendship and music sees a boy’s grief and loneliness supplanted by love and hope

From the agonising loneliness of grief, to the wonders of new friendships and a newfound father-son bond, Cath Howe’s How to be Me will stir readers to joy as it steers through Lucas’s profound sadness. His pitch-perfect narration is sublimely child-centred, with fine details that raise smiles and tug the heart. Tender and thoughtful, what a warm beam of a book this is, with the transformative, restorative power of music (and cats) threaded throughout.


“Vanessa’s going to be your new mum, Lukie. You could at least look a bit excited about it.” Lucas’s dad’s words strike him to the core - his mum died three years ago, and Vanessa is nothing like her, while his wealthy banker dad is hardly ever around. Dad is a bluster of confidence, busyness, and quick fixes, which is why he sends Lucas to drama club - Dad thinks this will fix Lucas’s reluctance to speak up in public, but Lucas is horrified: “Why hadn’t Dad asked me? Why did he never ask me?” But that’s the thing about Dad - he always thinks he knows best, though he doesn’t know Lucas at all.


Thankfully, the horrors of drama class shrink when Lucas befriends Keely and her beautiful, bighearted family. Keely is a delight - straight-talking, observant, funny, caring. Life also looks up also when his drama teacher realises he’s an incredible pianist. With an enthralling finale that builds in beautiful waves, and an inclusive, readable style, I adored every word of this treasure.

Joanne Owen

Other Info

The Editor at Nosy Crow says:   “With every new book Cath goes from strength to strength, and How to be Me showcases the very best of her writing: it’s hugely insightful, with brilliantly wellrealised and sensitively-portrayed characters and relationships, and filled with empathy and authenticity – a sort of middle-grade answer to The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”

How to be Me Synopsis

Super rich. Super shy. Super lonely.

Lucas is all alone. Since his mum died, Lucas and his dad don't seem to understand each other at all - it's almost as if they're speaking different languages. With a long, hot summer facing him, Lucas is dreading the drama club that his dad has signed him up for - he doesn't know how to be around new people and he can't stand performing. But the people Lucas meets at the club force him to open up and start talking, and when disaster strikes, Lucas is forced to step in and help.

Can his new-found friends teach Lucas how to be himself? 

Filled with empathy and insight, and sensitively touching on issues including grief, anxiety, loneliness with great understanding and an incredible lightness of touch, How to be Me is a kind, heartwarming, and uplifting story, from the author of the high-acclaimed novels Ella on the Outside and Not My Fault - perfect for fans of Jacqueline Wilson and Lisa Thompson.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781788005975
Publication date: 01/04/2021
Publisher: Nosy Crow Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781788005975
Publication date: 1st April 2021
Author: Cath Howe
Publisher: Nosy Crow Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 272 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: Family / Home Stories, School Stories, Personal Social Health Economic
Recommendations: Star Books
Collections: 60 books to explain death to children and help them grieve,

About Cath Howe

Cath Howe is a teacher working in London, writing for, and working with, Key Stage 2 primary age children. Cath runs workshops in schools on everything to do with writing and performing.

More About Cath Howe

More Books By Cath Howe

Cover for Ella on the Outside by Cath Howe
Cover for Not My Fault by Cath Howe
Cover for Let's Perform! Monologues, duologues and poems for children to perform by Cath Howe
View All Books By Cath Howe

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