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Henry Hoey Hobson is a hero to cheer for till your tonsils hang out on strings.

Henry Hoey Hobson is a hero to cheer for till your tonsils hang out on strings.

Twelve-and-a-half-year-old Henry Hoey Hobson is drowning in the dangerous waters of Year Seven. He arrives at his sixth school in as many years, Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, to discover that he is the only boy in the grade. The tiny school in inner-city Brisbane has lost most of its older boys to bigger Catholic colleges, leaving only a trio of male misfits a year below him, and in his year, an intimidating all-female line-up.

Fatherless, friendless and non-Catholic, Henry earns a reputation as a vampire on his first day, when ill-fitting braces make his mouth bleed. His mum, Lydia, is no help - she's running around town, in bright red platform heels and a skirt that's too short and too tight, chasing a pot of gold at the end of a real estate rainbow. Due to a recent growth spurt, Henry towers over his tiny, doll-like mum and swings between feeling protective and angry that she has abandoned him to his fate as a Perpetual Sucker.

To make matters worse, a pack of weirdos moves in next door. Manny, Vee, Caleb and Anders are creatures of the night. With their pale skin, black clothing and eerie coffin, they freak out the local kids. When they befriend Henry, they drive a stake through the heart of any chance he might have had of fitting in.

Henry's only chance to redeem himself is the school swimming carnival. But first he must deal with the withdrawn and tortured Anders' attempts to overcome his own dark past and earn a place in the light, at Henry's side.

Finally, Henry and his motley cheer squad must choose how they want to live their lives. Is living life at the margins enough for any of them?

Reviews

The narrative is well-paced – humour and heartache, trauma and triumph . . . This is truly a heart-warming story abut growing up and getting on with what life throws your way.

The Reading Stack

This book has an excellent storyline . . . Henry Hoey Hobson is a story to impress all.

Mikaylah Wall, Townsville Bulletin

Highly Recommended. A laugh out loud story of fitting in.

ReadPlus

Beautifully told by Christine Bongers using a clever mix of humour, spirit and very tight writing. It perfectly captures modern ‘tween angst and provides a cheeky commentary on the current gothic obsession in popular culture… Bongers’ voice shines through on every page and she is definitely a major new talent in Australian ‘tween and young adult writing. Henry Hoey Hobson should be on every school reading list because it’s one of those books that you just have to keep.

http://reviews.media-culture.org.au/

A funny, fast-paced story, built around a likeable protagonist. Henry is an engaging narrator, who learns the importance of having people on your side, no matter what they look like. The book tackles themes of judgement, acceptance and family, both biological and chosen. This is a recommended read.

Australian Bookseller + Publisher

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9781864719956

    July 1, 2010

    Woolshed Press

    320 pages

    RRP $16.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Paperback

    9781925324921

    March 1, 2016

    Random House Australia Children's

    320 pages

    RRP $16.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781742740102

    July 1, 2010

    Random House Australia

    316 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

Awards and Recognition

  • WA Premier's Book Awards
    2010
    Shortlisted
    Children's Books
  • CBCA Book of the Year Awards
    2011
    Shortlisted
    Younger Readers
  • Queensland Literary Awards
    2011
    Shortlisted
    Children's Book
  • The Big Read
    2012
    Winner
    Younger Readers

Also by Christine Bongers

Intruder
Dust

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