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Summary

When they first arrived, they came quietly and stealthily as if they tip-toed into the world when we were all looking the other way.

Ade loves living at the top of a tower block. From his window, he feels like he can see the whole world stretching out beneath him. His mum doesn’t really like looking outside - but it’s going outside that she hates.

She’s happier sleeping all day inside their tower, where it’s safe. But one day, other tower blocks on the estate start falling down around them, and strange, menacing plants begin to appear. Now their tower isn’t safe anymore. Ade and his mum are trapped, and there’s no way out....

©2014 Polly Ho-Yen (P)2021 W F Howes

Critic reviews

Nominated for the Carnegie Medal and shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Award and the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. 

“An unusual and very impressive debut.” (The Bookseller

What listeners say about Boy in the Tower

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Disappointing performance

The performance of this novel lacked any fluidity. As a result, I struggled to enjoy it.

1 person found this helpful

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Outstanding!

I’ve wanted to read this for a really long time and now am angry I have put it off for so long!
Brilliant MG SciFi/Adventure- think Day of the Triffids meets Word War Z (no zombies, but you get the idea!)
The story is told through the eyes of Ade a young boy trapped in a London tower block with his sick mum, while the world outside is changing in a way that is beyond control. He discovers a bravery he didn’t know he had and new friends all while trying to overcome impending disaster as buildings mysteriously begin to collapse around him.

This book 100% needs to become a film/tv series.
Fabulous

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A new take on a children’s novel

A thought provoking look at a dystopian world. Polly Ho-Yen avoids the rules of children’s writing by facing fear head on presenting a story that uncovers the strength of a child. I read this with my class and while sceptical about how they would receive a book that is so sad, they were hooked by the story helped by Ho-Yen’s ability to leave the faintest of glimmers of hope in the darkest corners of the book. My class groaned as I closed the book at the end of each session wanting to know what would happen next. Ade is so normal that the children felt great compassion for him and could fully immerse in the book. Not suitable for younger readers but mature 10+ can definitely access and engage. Also a great read for adults.