Game Changer by Tim Bowler


Life is difficult for Mikey. He is frightened of space, light and noise which makes everyday events like school hard to handle. Hie sister, Meggie, is two years younger but she is his rock. She helps him cope with his fears and, with her support, he tries to go out and face the world. Unfortunately his attempt to deal with his fears only ends up creating more as he sees something he shouldn’t and attracts the anger of a vicious gang. Now Mikey has more fears to handle and he needs to dig deep and find the strength and courage to protect himself and Meggie too.

The book is told from Mikey’s point of view and we are in his head all the time, struggling with his fears and worries. This enables the reader to empathise with Mikey’s issues and to understand how he struggles in open space, how he copes with school, how he feels about his school friends and teachers. It takes a while for the reader to fully understand what happened to Mikey just before the story started and why he is more scared than usual,

However, the last third of the story is more action packed with Mikey being forced to leave his fears to fight for his and his sister’s safety. Where Meggie was once Mikey’s rock, he must now be hers. Although Mikey’s struggles are sad, ultimately this is feel good story because Mikey is able to dig deep and find strength when he needs it. The story will appeal to more mature readers given its more emotional and contemplative approach. A good book on which to base a discussion about phobias.

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