Robert Nobel, the school pariah, triumphs over his own fears and the school bully, in this extraordinary tale of self-empowerment, legend and death. Robert is a boy who can do anything -- or so old Edith Sorrel at the nursing home tells him. Robert doesn't think so, knowing as he does that he is the school geek. But something compels him to do what Edith asks -- to visit old Chance House, where a boy once fell to his death from the top floor flat, to confront his fears and find some answers. Niker the bully thinks this is a great laugh. He challenges Robert to spend the night at Chance House with him -- but there the balance of power changes, and it is Robert who proves to be the stronger. Niker feels threatened by the change -- and when he finds out Robert's secret obsession, to make the dying Edith Sorrel a coat of feathers like in the old legend of the Firebird, he knows just how to wrest his old power back. But just how important is the coat of feathers? Could it really save Edith's life?
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It is a rare author indeed who launches her first novel for young readers so conclusively into the "must-read books of the year" category. In Feather Boy, Nicky Singer traces a character-defining sequence of events in the life of a boy named Robert Nobel. He is often the butt of classroom jokes and pranks--and being called Norbert No-bottle all the time isn't much fun either. He secretly wants to be somebody. To have a voice. To have friends.
Robert's participation in the Elders Project changes his life forever. Selected members of his class are chosen to visit and interact with the elderly residents of Mayfield Rest Home--to find out about their lives and to "counter ignorant attitudes about such senior members of society." Robert's main attacker, classmate Jonathan Niker, considers the old people "vegetables," but Robert's own buried true-life personality is slowly unearthed by Edith--a prickly resident who singles him out. Edith is considered quite mad; she's haunted by the unhappy memories of her son's tragic death at her previous home, Chance House. As Edith's condition deteriorates and the Elders Project heads towards its conclusion, Robert is drawn deeper and deeper into her story. His visits to the derelict Chance House become more frequent, and one fateful trip to sleep there overnight as a dare with Niker heralds the first step on Robert's own journey in search of his real self.
Feather Boy is more than just a story about bullying. It's about finding your voice, shouting from the rooftops about something you believe in, refusing to back down, helping a friend, and never giving up. An enormously uplifting, accomplished, and satisfying novel. (Age 10 and older) --John McLay, Amazon.co.ukFrom the Inside Flap:
Catherine would say it all began in a time that is yesterday and tomorrow and eternally present. But then Catherine?s a storyteller. I?m not a storyteller. I?m just the guy it happened to.
Everyone knows a Robert. He?s the guy who?s never picked for the team, the one who sits alone in the classroom. So no one is more surprised than Robert himself when a strange old lady sends him on a quest to solve the mystery of derelict Chance House. Legend has it that a boy once fell to his death from an upper window. But what has this past to do with Robert?s future? To get to the truth, Robert must learn what it really means to fly.
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Book Description HarperCollins Children's Books, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0007120265