Fly On the Wall

Remy Lai

Fly On the Wall
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Fly On the Wall

Remy Lai

In this moving and hilarious illustrated novel from the critically-acclaimed author of Pie in the Sky, a twelve-year-old boy goes on a (forbidden) solo journey halfway around the world to prove his independence to his overprotective family.

Henry Khoo’s family treats him like a baby. He’s not allowed to go anywhere without his sister/chaperone/bodyguard. His (former) best friend knows to expect his family’s mafia-style interrogation when Henry’s actually allowed to hang out at her house. And he definitely CAN’T take a journey halfway around the world all by himself!

But that’s exactly his plan. After his family’s annual trip to visit his father in Singapore is cancelled, Henry decides he doesn’t want to be cooped up at home with his overprotective family and BFF turned NRFF (Not Really Friend Forever). Plus, he’s hiding a your-life-is-over-if-you’re-caught secret: he’s the creator of an anonymous gossip cartoon, and he’s on the verge of getting caught. Determined to prove his independence and avoid punishment for his crimes, Henry embarks on the greatest adventure everrr… hoping it won’t turn into the greatest disaster ever.

Remy Lai takes readers on an adventure filled with humour, heart, and hijinks that’s a sure bet for fans of Jerry Craft, Terri Libenson, and Shannon Hale!

Review

Henry Khoo has a plan to prove his independence. His mother, grandma and older sister are always on his case, but he’s embarking on a solo journey to visit his dad in Singapore. He has another secret, too: Henry feels excluded from his peers and has been publishing silly, unkind online comics about people at his school under the moniker ‘Fly on the Wall’.

The story is presented to us as Henry’s top-secret notebook. It’s told through oddball musings and diary-style entries, comics and diagrams. There’s a little bit of poetry, a recipe and snippets of different languages. It’s such a fun approach, and there are a lot of sweet and funny moments in this book.

Travelling gives Henry an opportunity to reflect on his behaviour, to make new friends and learn how to be honest with himself and others. Remy Lai’s first book, Pie in the Sky, was shortlisted for The Readings Children’s Book Prize earlier this year and it’s great to have a follow up so soon! For readers aged 9+.


Kim Gruschow is the children’s book buyer at Readings St Kilda.

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