and engaging middle grade novel packs rather a large punch. Told in the voice
of eleven-year old Oli, it’s a tale of difference, ideas and bravery.
It’s school holidays and Oli wishes he could just stay home doing boring old
familiar things, or go on a holiday with his family like some of the other kids
in his class.
Instead, he has to go to Heroes Club to learn how to read
emotions and express himself appropriately and all the stuff that he finds
really, really hard and confronting to do.
To cap it
off, his sister is going to drama club and she won’t be around for him. This
makes life hard for Oli because he’s used to her standing up for him, and speaking
when he cannot – which is quite a lot.
way to the first session of Heroes Club, there’s a major disruption to the
traffic just outside the building they will meet in, and it’s being caused by a
small stray dog on the road. Oli looks into the dog’s eyes before it runs away,
and feels a strong connection.
Oli and his newfound friends form an unlikely alliance and as well as learning
all sorts of things about himself and others, Oli finds that he is indeed an
unlikely hero when it comes to caring about dogs in soon-to-be-demolished
the children of the Heroes Club hatch a plan to rescue this dog that the adults
don’t seem to care about, and even though he’s never lied to his mother before,
Oli knows that this situation is something bigger than him, and one that he
simply has to take action upon.
Foster has done a truly wonderful job in presenting both the inner and outer
monologues of Oli, and of representing the differences and sameness of all the
other children in Heroes Club, too.
told with precision and detail – with a slug of mystery and a good dose of
humour to boot – this novel will appeal to all middle grade readers. With a
clear and authentic voice guiding us through the actions of the narrative, this
book will bring extra clarity and understanding to those kids who are in any
way wondering about what it’s like to live with autism.
Title: The Unlikely Heroes Club
Author: Kate Foster
Publisher: Walker Books Australia, $16.99
Publication Date: 5 July 2023
For ages: 8 +
Type: Middle Grade Fiction