Ade Adepitan returns with his second children’s book and this time our superhero could be in a whole lot of new trouble.
What it’s about:
Someone is spraying graffiti around Parsons Road and it’s having a bad effect on Ade. Whenever he sees the Night Spider’s artwork, his legs feel weaker – has the great Cyborg Cat met an enemy who can take away his power?
Ade Adepitan has written another fast-paced, exciting and funny adventure that will delight fans of his first book. In his latest story, we watch as Ade’s polio becomes more problematic; the caliper that helps him walk is now not able to keep him as active as he is used to being and his specialist gives his family the devastating news that Ade will eventually have to use a wheelchair and possibly go to a new school. His father is furious at this fact and refuses to accept it, while Ade struggles with his own fears: what if he has to leave all his friends behind and go to a special school where he knows no one?
As well as the funny adventures of the Parsons Road Gang, this story works so well to show readers how difficult it can be to have to learn to adapt to life with a disability. Active Ade, who loves his football, becomes distressed at the thought that he will not be able to play anymore. He struggles to prove that he can keep up with his friends, but the physical toll this exerts on him is too much. Equally, as well as dealing with his own worries about using a wheelchair, he has to cope with his father’s refusal to allow him to use one when it becomes increasingly obvious that he will need one.
These books are loosely based on Ade’s life, and reflect his experience of moving on from wearing a caliper to using a wheelchair. What Ade achieves is real hope and positivism – Ade in the book is as inspiring as Ade in real life. He uses his own innate skills as well as his skills in handling a wheelchair to achieve amazing things, to the admiration and respect of his friends. What could, at first, be seen as something that defines him in a negative light becomes an essential and fantastic part of his identity and this can only inspire those children reading this to look for their own special talent, whether they use a wheelchair or not.
Ade Adepitan visited our school a year ago and talked about his life as a Paralympian, TV presenter and author. Everyone came away from his talk inspired, energised and full of admiration. Readers will come away from his second book feeling the same way. In fact, I’ve just had a child in the Library who spotted the book and gasped and said, ‘I NEED that book! I MUST read it!’
Even more impressive is the fact that Ade and the publisher are donating all profits from the sales of this book, with a guaranteed donation of at least £15,000, to BBC’s Children in Need. If reading my review isn’t enough to get you to go out and buy this fantastic book, this should give you a good reason!
Many thanks to Picadilly Press for a review copy of this book.