The Boy Who Swallows Flies
Michael F. Stewart
Publication date: February 15th 2018
Genres: Middle-Grade, Mystery, Superhero
Winner of the Claymore Award!
Warning – Rated Kids-Only for Bug Violence
Jarrod can view the memories of any bug. He just has to eat it. It’s not the tastiest of superpowers and, let’s face it, fly memories aren’t all unicorns and rainbows. Eating insects also doesn’t net him many friends, and Bug-boy is an unavoidable nickname. But Jarrod’s ready to prove that he and his bugs are worth more than ridicule.
When he swallows a fly while biking, he’s in for a shock. The bug saw a room stacked full of sick dogs and puppies in crates. It’s a puppy mill, and Jarrod needs to save the animals. But the flight range of the common housefly is five miles. Even if the police believed him, with no evidence, they can’t help. It’s up to Jarrod.
Trained cockroaches survey neighborhood basements. A fly taped to a window makes an excellent sentry. Every beetle, mosquito, caterpillar—don’t eat the fuzzy yellow ones—spider and centipede is his edible sidekick.
Will Jarrod save the dogs? Or is it all too much to swallow?
I received a copy from XPresso Tours for an honest review. Below is my honest opinion. I wasn’t compensated in any way.
Okay, first off, I requested to review this book because I thought my own son, nicknamed Bug, would love to hear me read it to him. I still think he’d love it, but he refused to hear it before this review was due. Lame, I know.
That said, even though we won’t have the opinion of a young boy on this book, I know he would love this story. It deals with what is right, superhero abilities, and a young boy trying to find where he stands in the world.
Jarrod isn’t great at school. He isn’t really great at anything. And yet, he has a special gift that no one else has: he can see the last memories of the insects he accidentally or purposely eats.
I found myself giggling and cheering Jarrod on all the while getting upset at the decisions his parents made once they learn about his abilities. This was a seriously cute book and I would love to read a sequel if one happens. The book is encouraging to children and adults alike saying that, even though you don’t know what “your thing” is yet you can still make a difference and find your “thing” in the process.
I was lucky enough to find my “thing” early on, but I can’t say that I’ve done much with it. Not as much as Jarrod. He is a good role model for children as well as a great child protagonist.
The mystery was gripping enough for me to keep reading and the writing is young enough that a child wouldn’t be too scared or confused about what is going on. I’m definitely going to see if my Bug wants to read this book later. This is a book I recommend for all kids. Young and old.
Michael F. Stewart is winner of both the 2015 Claymore Award and the 2014 inaugural Creation of Stories Award for best YA novel at the Toronto International Book Fair.
He likes to combine storytelling with technology and pioneered interactive storytelling with Scholastic Canada, Australia, and New Zealand’s, anti-cyberbullying program Bully For You. In addition to his award winning Assured Destruction series, he has authored four graphic novels with Oxford University Press Canada’s Boldprint series. Publications of nonfiction titles on Corruption and Children’s Rights are published by Scholastic and early readers are out with Pearson Education.
For adults, Michael has written THE SAND DRAGON a horror about a revenant prehistoric vampire set in the tar sands, HURAKAN a Mayan themed thriller which pits the Maya against the MS-13 with a New York family stuck in the middle, 24 BONES an urban fantasy which draws from Egyptian myth, and THE TERMINALS–a covert government unit which solves crimes in this realm by investigating them in the next.
Herder of four daughters, Michael lives to write in Ottawa where he was the Ottawa Public Library’s first Writer in Residence. To learn more about Michael and his next projects visit his website at http://www.michaelfstewart.com or connect via Twitter @MichaelFStewart.
Michael is represented by Talcott Notch.