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Summary

Selected as Waterstones Book of the Month.

Shortlisted for The Carnegie Award.

Boy Underwater is a heartbreaking story about family, friends and secrets. And it’s very, very funny.

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....

©2018 Adam Baron (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"An absolute corker of a tale, whose delicate themes – mental health, missing loved ones – are handled with fluid grace." (Observer)

"This poignant novel is about love and loss, but, told from the viewpoint of a child too young to grasp all that grown-ups do, it is also funny. With evocative monochrome illustrations, it bears you up as soon as you plunge in." (Sunday Times Children’s Book of the Week)

"Involving and wryly funny, full of tenderness, eccentricity and intriguing meditations on the function of art, this story of grief, depression and the different facets of identity is well-served by Benji Davies’s thoughtful illustrations." (Guardian)

What listeners say about Boy Underwater

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excellent

this audiobook is very witty, the performance is excellent and the story is touching. Would not recommend to below 11 year olds as it has mentions of puberty, penises and vaginas

11 people found this helpful

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A really moving, thoughtful story

Aimed at more mature upper key stage 2 readers, it deals cleverly with difficult issues such mental health and (spoiler alert) death. I really enjoyed this well-woven tale.

3 people found this helpful

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Boy under water

Most depressing story we as a family have ever listened to! It was promised to be full of humour in the blurb but instead it was full of doom and gloom. The title Boy under water made us think it would be a bit mysterious and imaginative but it has a very dark, miserable connection to the story. The thing is it starts off quite nice so you get drawn in however it goes down hill, especially from a child’s point of view, but you need to keep trudging through it cos you are desperate to find out if it has a happy ending to make up for the total waste of time that you will never get back! It has a rubbish ending by the way so we do not recommend it! Sorry!

2 people found this helpful

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Great book

This book was great,

it keeps me thinking and guessing,

I definitely recommend this book

1 person found this helpful

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AMAZING LOVE 💓 IT SO Much IT WAS GREAT BEST BOOK Ever 🥰😍

You can ad more stuff sim does over all it is AMAZING 😉🤩🤩🤩🤩🤩👍👌✌🏼so so good yay

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing

This book was so moving at was a heart pounding book I would definitely recommend this book

1 person found this helpful

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Loved it

Long and entertaining

I loved it nothing bad about it

I recommend this book to everyone

1 person found this helpful

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Fantastic story

Fantastic story and well read. I really enjoyed it. I hope there's another one.. Cameron age 10

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Fabulous read! One of the best children's books!

I was a bit dubious about reading this after some of the reviews, but decided to give it a go after one of my Y4 pupils brought it into school. I have to say this book is one of the best books I have read for Y4 and up. It addressed friendship issues, school embarrassment, feeling excluded and also the importance of good friends. It also includes mystery, mental illness and wraps it up in humour so it never gets too dark. The characters in the book are believable and likeable and probably personalities that most children would be able match to someone in their school. I loved it and can't wait to read the next in the series. A great read for reluctant readers too!

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"Jacqueline Wilson" for boys

Beautiful story and great narration. You'll be both moved and entertained. My daughter and my son (10 and 12) loved it and so did I.