MG Takes on Thursday

This is my weekly meme celebrating amazing middle-grade books. This week I’ve decided to revamp the banner to include the book I’m celebrating.

How to take part:

  • Post a picture of the front cover of a middle-grade book which you have read and would recommend to others with details of the author, illustrator and publisher.
  • Open the book to page 11 and share your favourite sentence. 
  • Write three words to describe the book.
  • Either share why you would recommend this book, or link to your review.

This week, I’m celebrating …

Written by Karen McCombie
Cover design and illustration by Thy Bui
Published by Little Tiger

Favourite Sentence from Page 11:

And far, far away – streaming through space – someone felt VERY guilty about what had just happened.

This book in three words:


How to be a Human is a heart-warming, humorous and joyous adventure that celebrates genuine friendships, finding the courage to be true to yourself and the wonder of the small things that are often taken for granted. 

Kiki has been ditched by the Popular Crew at Fairfield Academy and is feeling hurt and humiliated by their meanness.  Wes, who has been home-schooled, has moved to Fairfield during the summer and finds himself on his own, and a target for bullies.  The Star Boy has crash-landed during an unexpected storm outside their school, and is hiding out in the boiler room until he is rescued …

The Star Boy is curious and is amazed by the natural environment, but what he really wants to do is study humans, so when he sees a Human Girl, he makes a decision to observe more closely, and it is not long before he enters into the lives of Kiki and Wes who are beginning to form a tentative connection.  Can these three navigate the bonds of new friendships through shared and new experiences, trust and honesty?

This is a gorgeously touching and humorous story of navigating friendship, sprinkled with mayhem, hilarity and pertinent observations, that kept me utterly captivated throughout. 

I adored the Star Boy – a.k.a. Stan Boyd – who has a real innocent quality and a refreshing honesty, as he explores what it is to be a human, taking joy in his rather unusual wish list, like travelling on a bus and visiting the Discount Carpet Warehouse.  His obvious delight in his new experiences and friendships is infectious and brought a ready smile. Despite not being human, his perceptive observations on human relationships and his own understanding of what genuine friendship entails were spot on! I can’t wait to follow his next adventure!

Both Kiki and Wes are incredibly sympathetic characters, both having found the transition to secondary school difficult.  Wes finds himself the target of bullies and is finding it hard to make friends, trying to deal with the bullying on his own.  Kiki has turned her back on her old friends from primary school in order to be part of the popular group, but finds herself on the receiving end of their nastiness when she makes a mistake.  They are brought together through shared connections, through their need to help the Star Boy and their search for real friendship. 

This is a wonderfully heartfelt and laugh-out-loud adventure that is perfect for readers of 9+.

Thank you to Little Tiger for a copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

I’d love if anyone who wants to give this meme a go would comment in the comments box and include a link to your post so I can visit, comment and find some great middle-grade recommendations. If you do create a post and are on Twitter, and would like to share your post, please use the hashtag  #MGTakesOnThursday so I can find it, read it and share it!

5 thoughts on “MG Takes on Thursday

  1. This sounds wonderful Mary, I’m going to recommend it to my old school based on your review. I also love your new graphic. Is it OK to use it with a credit to you if I ever find time to write another #MGTakesOnThursday post?

    Liked by 1 person

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