Becoming a member of the LoveReading4Kids community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unconditional book loving for your children with their favourites saved to their own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop plus lots lots more...

Find out more

Wink Reader Reviews


Katie Stephenson

Wink manages to combine humour, depth and a superhero Batpig. Older children will love diving into this relatable, laugh-out-loud book that doesn't shy away from the heavier aspects of life. Caution: Reading this book could also lead to excellent music taste.

Wink is a book full of heart that does not shy away from the big issues: friendship, health, family, cyber-bullying... But thanks to a joyful cast of characters, none of these topics feel insurmountable: Abby, the best friend with the dry one-liners; Frank, the music-mad tech; Jimmy, the multi-layered tough-nut you can't help but root for; and of course Ross, whose Batpig cartoons will appeal to all ages. This book is a great next-read for older readers (11+) who enjoyed Diary of a Wimpy Kid, 13 Storey Treehouse and so on; although the themes are much more mature than these reads, the humourous and relatable character of Ross makes this an accessible and hugely enjoyable read.

Teachers: This book offers fantastic links to PSHEE topics and technology safety, in a similar vein to Wonder. It could also be used to explore speech to show character within a text.

Evie Aconley

This is a great book for anyone who wants to understand Ross's world.

I really enjoyed this book because it showed what is was like from Ross's point of view and shows just how mean people can be sometimes. It was a great book that helped me understand how some people feel in this world and how they just want to blend in sometimes.


The book wink is a great read. You just do not want to put the book down as you want to discover what happens to the main character Ross-as he goes through many challenges in life but always pushes through.

I really enjoyed reading the book wink because it explored difficult subjects like going through cancer but managed to portray it was a positive twist to life. I loved the main character Ross because of his determination, courage and the way he was passionate about music.

Darya Abdian

Ross's whole life turns around in just a wink. Nothing hurts more than not being normal for Ross. Drama and more. Ross just needs music to soothe him. THANK YOU

Wink is about a boy called Ross Maloy who is diagnosed with eye cancer. 

Ross goes through a hard time and just wants to be normal. His best friend, Abby, helps him get through all the memes and comments but what really helped Ross was listening to music and trying to be himself. 

Not everything is how Ross expected as some days are full of anger or hope and pain. 

I truly thought this book was heartwarming and so touching. It really moves the way people feel about cancer and makes you understand. 

I think whatever illness you have, you should be proud of exactly who you are. 

Good friends are always there for you. 

I enjoyed reading this fascinating book. 


Barbara Band

Aimed at Middle-Grade readers, it is a funny and emotional tale about friendship and resilience – and the power of music to lift you up – that will have you both laughing and crying. A great read and a must for the school library.

Twelve-year-old Ross Maloy has a rare form of eye cancer; his life is suddenly filled with medical appointments, various treatments and he loses the sight of one eye. This results in some of his friends being unsure of what to say to him and distancing themselves, bullying at school and him feeling alienated. However, with some new friends and music, he finds a way back.

Author and cartoonist, Rob Harrell, had eye cancer himself and brings an authentic voice to this honest and accessible story, which is filled with illustrations including the comic-strip character, Batpig. Aimed at Middle-Grade readers, it is a funny and emotional tale about friendship and resilience – and the power of music to lift you up – that will have you both laughing and crying. A great read and a must for the school library.


Growing up is a challenge, growing up with cancer is a challenge, growing up to be a rock god...impossible! But, Ross is determined to survive it all.

This book begins with a very serious note from the author himself explaining how he was diagnosed with cancer and how the book explores a lot of his own experiences. However, the story itself is not difficult to read, even if it is a challenging subject. It is written in the first person, enabling you to connect very quickly with the main character, Ross, who we meet when he is having his first cancer treatment. There are comic doodles all throughout the book (in the style of Diary of a Wimpy Kid) and short comic strips at the end of quite a few chapters. I love the style of the writing, which is very much like Wonder, with the kids eye view of the world and the churning thought processes that go with that: it’s a bit like a classic coming of age movie. And the fact that music and guitar playing is so important to both the author and the character really helps me to love this story. Genuinely, I gasped at the point in the story when Ross talks to the girl he really likes in the school canteen - if anything makes you want to read this book, it’s to find out what happens at that moment! This would be perfect for children in Years 5 upwards and would really help showing them how to deal with life when it is at its most difficult, but also the beauty of friends, practise and having a goal in life.


Book Information

ISBN: 9781471409141
Publication date: 31st March 2020
Author: Rob Harrell
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 320 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: Family / Home Stories, Humorous, Personal Social Health Economic , Bullying / Violence / Abuse, Disability / Special Needs, School Stories
Other Categories: Books of the Month, Star Books