HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The Bouncing Boy
Author and Illustrator: Ilia (aka Leigh-Ann Lemire)
Publisher: CreateSpace, 2008
Language level: 1 (nothing objectionable)
Reading level: grades 5 and 6
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Lemire, Leigh-Ann (aka Ilia). The Bouncing Boy (published in 2008 by CreateSpace). What would you think if you saw a boy who was so big that he would actually bounce if he fell? Jack is a big bouncing boy. That’s what his mother called him when he was born, and that’s what he has become. He was a big baby, a big toddler, a big child, and now a big pre-teen. As a result, the other children, and even many of the adults, in the small town where he lives have teased him unmercifully. Unfortunately, Jack’s resentment only leads to behavior that continues to make him more unpopular. Then his old, frail parents pass on, and his life goes from bad to worse until Jack is finally chased out of town to live in the nearby woods.
Then one day, a "Sad Situation" arises in the town. The people’s heads start growing flowers instead of hair, and the flowers smell very, very bad. The townsfolk begin ridiculing each other rather than trying to work out a solution. Only one old rickety frail man realizes that something needs to be done, and he needs Jack’s aid to cross the land and the desert so that they can get help from the healer in the next village. At first Jack doesn’t want to help the very people who have been so mean to him, but "the elder" appeals to the memory of Jack’s parents, and Jack agrees to go with him. Will they make it? Will they find a cure? Will Jack and the townspeople learn any important lessons?
The Bouncing Boy is the third in a series of modern day fairy tales written by Leigh-Ann Lemire, who goes by the penname of Ilia. It is designed to appeal to both adults and children from one to a hundred years old. Any child, or adult for that matter, who has ever been teased or ridiculed should be able to identify with Jack. Some of the important values depicted in the story include respecting parents and elders, being persistent in achieving one’s goals in spite of seemingly insurmountable odds, and the necessity of forgiveness. Youngsters will have fun reading about some of the "gross" and "yucky" things that Jack does, but they will be learning some vital life lessons at the same time.