Alex has worked out a foolproof way to avoid being picked on. Don't React. It's so simple, it's brilliant! David does react and becomes an outcast, nicknamed Bogsy. He's branded a weirdo and Alex is determined to avoid the same fate. But one day, Alex gets a note in his bag that forces him out of his safe little world. Who sent the note? And is it true - will a boy really fly? A powerful story about friendship, loneliness and a strange kind of genius.
This book is a really thoughtful little read which I thoroughly enjoyed. I am always excited when a review book arrives from David Fickling Books. Aside from the fact that they are always a delight to receive because they are the most beautiful proofs you I always know that the stories inside are going to be wonderful.
For me The Icarus Show is a book about strange imperfect friends and the toll that bullying has on young people.
The friendships in this book are really interesting. The main character Alex spends much of his high school existence below the radar. He survives by not reacting to anything so that the bullies don't pick on him. This leaves him somewhat isolated and as a result one of the most important relationships he has is he friendship with his elderly former neighbour. Seeing that cross generation friendship is something special in how you see the way in which the pair relate too one another probably better that Alex does with his parents and definitely with his peers.
I also really enjoyed the uneasy friendship Alex develops with his classmate and neighbour Bogsey. In that friendship you can really see the toll bullying has on both boys both directly in terms of Bogsey but indirectly via Alex and the isolation it has forced him into. He is a perfect example of what it means to be completely alone in a crowd and that makes you feel for him the more you learn about him.
The end of the book left me with a lump in my throat as you see the impact said isolation tolls on both boys. Thoroughly recommended.