Book review

The Wrong Hands by Nigel Richardson (2005)

Have you ever thought about how you would cope with sudden fame? Perhaps you would think it was great, for a while. But the thing about being famous is that the newspapers like to keep talking about you, whatever you do, whether it's good or bad.

That is Graham Sinclair's problem. He does a wonderful thing. There is a terrible plane crash in London and Graham rescues a baby from the wreckage of a block of flats. What a hero! He's in all the papers.

I was quite proud but I was also scared. I felt like a million pairs of eyes were looking at me, which they probably were. At that very second, over their teas and bacon sarnies or Egg McMuffins.

That's the good news.

The bad news is that there's a skeleton in Graham's cupboard, and eventually one of those smart reporters is going to make the connection.

What's the skeleton? Graham has weird hands. It's not his fault, of course, but it means he's misunderstood. It puts people on their guard.

I wore this trackie top all the time, even in summer when it was hot. It had these big pockets in the front that were more like holes where I could bury my hands.

Graham's Dad thinks Graham's hands are creepy and he doesn't like to think about them. Graham's friends call him Spakky because of his hands. And once, Graham tried to show his hands to Kylie Blounce, in his den, down by the railway line. That's when the police became interested in Graham's hands. And they started to make a file all about Graham.

It's lucky, then, that Graham meets Jennifer, just when he needs a friend the most. Now he's a BOY HERO he really needs someone to help him handle the press, and the police who are on to him again,and who have misunderstood him badly. Yes. It's really lucky he meets Jennifer. Isn't it?

A strange and memorable read. I think you'll find yourself musing on this one for quite a while after you've finished reading it. See what you think.

What can I read next?

If you enjoy delving into Graham Sinclair's mind while he copes with thepeople around him you might like to look at this extraordinary story by Mark Haddon about a boy with Asperger's Syndrome:

If you are interested in following up the theme of loyalty and trust and betrayal, you might like to look at this interesting story by Terence Blacker:

And here's a strange story by Jenny Nimmo which captures all the loneliness of not belonging:

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