"Can Reggie’s hypnotic talents help him make friends at secondary school?"
Having twice had stories selected for Empathy Day collections, Helen Rutter is becoming known for her capacity to make the reader see the world through another pair of eyes and to walk in the shoes of individuals in challenging circumstances.
She is renowned also for her capacity to do this in narratives that are as funny as they are touching - an extraordinary talent that is amply demonstrated in this her latest novel.
Reggie has ADHD and is coming to the end of primary school where he has constantly struggled to make friends, to fit in and to ‘be good.’ He desperately wants secondary school to be different and when he sees a hypnotist perform on stage, Reggie becomes obsessed with learning the skills of mind control and discovers that he has an incredible talent for it! Could this be the answer to gaining friends and popularity?
But his talents are noticed by a gang who want to use his skills for their own advantage and things quickly get out of hand. Reggie needs to learn what real friendship is and to trust and believe in himself.
This is a really perceptive and moving exploration of what ADHD is like, what it feels like to not fit in and the dangerous power of peer pressure. Readers will find much to relate to and enjoy in this heartwarming and hilarious story. Sharing as a class or at bedtime will promote some really valuable discussion about acceptance and tolerance. Highly recommended.