A tale of magic and friendship, Caitlin Fuldseth
April 01, 2021
The Queen and the Nobody Boy, a book by Barbara Else, is about a boy around the age of 12 called Hodie. Hodie is a servant who has never been paid a day in his life; he hardly ever gets any food and when he does it’s ice-cold and days old. He wants to run away to the neighbouring kingdom of Um’Binnia.
The other main character in the story is a little girl, also 12, named Queen Sibilla. She is the ruler of a magical kingdom called Fontania, but she has not yet come into her own powers.
This is a problem as they usually appear at the age of 10, and because of this, the neighbouring Kingdom Um’Binnia (who does not believe the magic exists) wants to declare war on Fontania, kidnap the little Queen and experiment on her to see if the reason she has no magic is because it is fake.
I chose this book because of its description and the beautiful illustrations on the front cover. The blurb describes that the book is about a boy with nothing, wanting to run away because he is sick of being a servant who doesn’t get paid at all and hardly gets any food. He is joined by a girl who is a queen who wants to run away as she is sick of gossip about why she has no magical powers despite being the correct age.
I found that this book was very interesting; it has 44 chapters and five different parts. The book is set up like a guide on how to escape the castle and get into the neighbouring kingdom of Um’Binnia. I love the way that this book is set up because it brings me back to when you’d go to the library as a child and pick the brightest and the funniest looking book to take home.
As the chapters go on, the book just keeps getting funnier and funnier. It’s about friendship, trust and adventure. Hodie and Queen Sibilla learn to trust each other as they go through the challenging path to get to Um’Binnia.
Despite Hodie’s thoughts of Queen Sibilla at the start of the book, (of a spoiled girl, who threw tantrums when she didn’t get her own way), he learns that she is a strong and intelligent young lady who he begins to love as if they had been lifelong friends.
I would love to recommend this book for children around the age of 10 to 13 because this is a book about friendship, magic, adventure and trust. These are all things that I loved to read around that age.
This book shows values that are important for people to learn in life in a very comedic and creative way that engages the reader. Lifelong values, such as perseverance shown by Hodie, who never gave up on Queen Sibilla. It also shows us not to judge a book by its cover through characters like Queen Sibilla, who on the outside seems spoiled and annoying, but on the inside is a sweet, bubbly and intelligent girl.
- Caitlin is 16 and lives in Palmerston North