Book reviews by Joseph, Book reviews by kids

Book review: The Simple Things

The Simple Things by Bill Condon, ill. Beth Norling, ISBN 9781743317242, Allen and Unwin

The Simple Things (cover)


Joseph reviewed his own copy of this book.

The Simple Things is about a boy named Stephen who’s never met his great aunt Lola before. His only connection with her is the birthday and Christmas cards she sends to him with $10 inside. His family goes to stay with his great aunt because they haven’t seen her in over 10 years and they’re her only relatives left. Stephen thinks there will be nothing to do and Aunty Lola seems very stubborn — she overreacts to everything.

I enjoyed this book because I liked how the characters were reacting to their situation. The illustrations at the start of every chapter are comic-like and black and white. They suit the characters and the story, and give a bit of a hint about what’s going to happen in each chapter without entirely giving everything away.

I thought the choice of cover illustration didn’t suit the book the best. I think the picture that was at the start of chapter 4 would have been better for the cover because the whole book isn’t about Stephen going fishing (and he’s alone on the cover, but he’s almost never alone in the book.)

This is a book about unusual friendships. It was an easy, quick read for me so I think ages 8 to 12 would enjoy it.

Joseph is one of our regular book reviewers. His most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of Lennie the Legend. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!