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The Weight of a Thousand Feathers


The Weight of a Thousand Feathers Reviews | Toppsta

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Angry, stirring and tender, this is a bold, questioning exploration of the lengths to which we'll go for the people we love. From the Costa Children's Book Award winning author of When Mr Dog Bites and The Bombs That Brought Us Together.

Bobby Seed has questions. What's another word for `thesaurus'? How can I tell Bel I want her as my girl friend, not my girlfriend? How much pain is Mum in today? Has she taken her pills? And sometimes, secretly, Why us?

Bobby's little brother Danny has questions too. Will Bobby let him have Rice Krispies for dinner? And can he stay up late on the computer? And why won't Mum's stupid illness just GO AWAY?

But it's Mum's question for Bobby that could turn everything on its head. It's the Big One. The Unthinkable One. If Bobby agrees, he won't just be soothing her pain. He'll be helping to end it.

Would he? Could he?

Perfect for readers of Patrick Ness and Malorie Blackman.

The Weight of a Thousand Feathers Reviews | Toppsta


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11th October '18
I read it myself (an adult)
The Weight of a Thousand Feathers 9781408871539
5 stars
17 year old Bobby Seed has too much on his plate. Any time not spent at school doing A Levels is spent at home looking after his mother, who suffers from MS, and his younger brother Danny, who has his own needs. 

When Bobby's school counsellor suggests he joins a young carers' support group, he is torn between the desire to have some time away from his responsibilities and the guilt at not being there for his family. He decides to give it a go - with his best friend Bel helping out at home while he's away. 

And so he meets a group of scared and lost teens, hiding their fear behind a wall of cynicism. On top of everything else, Bobby finds himself falling for the group's American bad boy, Lou - he's never really had the luxury of time nor headspace to even think about romance before. But then his mother asks him to do something for her, and Bobby Seed is never the same again.

The Weight of a Thousand Feathers was an emotional and powerful read - not surprising given the topic. What was surprising was just how much humour there was in the book. A large part of how Bobby related to his Mum and to Bel was through humour - who would have thought that the last line of a book about teen carers and euthanasia would make me laugh out loud?! 

Early on I was struck by the realisation that I am of a similar age to Bobby's mum - same taste in music, same cultural references - which helped crank up the empathy on my part

This book could be a powerful aid in an ethics class on euthanasia, but definitely one for older students: on top of some very upsetting interactions between Bobby and his mum, there are also a few scenes of drug taking. I would definitely recommend this book to older teens who like to keep a box of tissues handy when reading!
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About Brian Conaghan

Brian Conaghan was born and raised in the Scottish town of Coatbridge but now lives in Dublin. He has a Master of Letters in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow. For many years Brian worked as a teacher and taught in Scotland, Italy and Ireland. His first YA novel, When Mr Dog Bites, was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal in 2015 and his second,...

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