#MG #Mystery #BookReview -- The Boy Who Swallow Flies by Michael F. Stewart (@MichealFStewart)



The Boy Who Swallows Flies
Michael F. Stewart
Publisher: The Publishing House
Publication date: February 15, 2018
Number of Pages: 134 pages
ASIN: B078YZNHYX
Genres: Middle-Grade, Mystery, Superhero
For more information: Amazon   | Goodreads

Winner of the Claymore Award!

Warning – Rated Kids-Only for Bug Violence

Jarrod can view the memories of any bug. He just has to eat it. It’s not the tastiest of superpowers and, let’s face it, fly memories aren’t all unicorns and rainbows. Eating insects also doesn’t net him many friends, and Bug-boy is an unavoidable nickname. But Jarrod’s ready to prove that he and his bugs are worth more than ridicule.

When he swallows a fly while biking, he’s in for a shock. The bug saw a room stacked full of sick dogs and puppies in crates. It’s a puppy mill, and Jarrod needs to save the animals.

But the flight range of the common housefly is five miles. Even if the police believed him, with no evidence, they can’t help. It’s up to Jarrod.

Trained cockroaches survey neighborhood basements. A fly taped to a window makes an excellent sentry. Every beetle, mosquito, caterpillar—don’t eat the fuzzy yellow ones—spider and centipede is his edible sidekick.

Will Jarrod save the dogs? Or is it all too much to swallow?

Book Review

The Metamorphosis for kids, sprinkled with kid-size sleuthing and preteen angst

With an amazing, albeit bizarre and surprisingly comical premise, Stewart has written another tale filled with lessons our young folk need.

When Jarrod unintentionally swallows a fly, he finds himself able to view the fly's memories. Suddenly he has a mystery to solve and new “superpower” to harness.

Jarrod is an engaging character, ruefully aware of his entomophilic ways thwart his successful navigation of the rocky middle school terrain. His peculiar ability allows him to make tentative steps toward fitting in, even as he would desperately love to hide in his room.

Jarrod feels most himself when he is with his bugs, perched along various surfaces in his room, conducting training exercises. He eventually learns to leverage his superpower, while also learning to deal with those who tease him and yanking courage by the collar and speaking to those he has long-since admired. Ultimately, he learned to be his authentic self while being a part of this wonderful world, now brimming with excitement and new adventures.

Stewart, who is quite familiar with the age group for which he writes, gets his characters just right, and his ongoing focus on the issues surrounding familial relationships and peer acceptance keeps the narrative centered, even as the gooey and crunchy premise goes to the bugs. He makes a compelling case in this funny, engaging, and thought-provoking story.

Stewart's natural storytelling talent allows Jarrod's character to emerge like one of the very bugs he admires and break out of his cocoon. Stewart's smartly crafted prose imbues this tightly plotted, engrossing (and gross at times) tale with weighty themes that never feels forced or "parent-y". Boasting heartfelt truths about a young boy’s journey to self-actualization and acceptance, this book will resonate with all the lucky boys and girls who just happen to love bugs.

This five-star, suspense-ridden tale is a bug-infested meditation for young minds on the human feelings of alienation, guilt, isolation, and triumph.



Author Bio:
Michael F. Stewart is winner of both the 2015 Claymore Award and the 2014 inaugural Creation of Stories Award for best YA novel at the Toronto International Book Fair.

He likes to combine storytelling with technology and pioneered interactive storytelling with Scholastic Canada, Australia, and New Zealand’s, anti-cyberbullying program Bully For You. In addition to his award winning Assured Destruction series, he has authored four graphic novels with Oxford University Press Canada’s Boldprint series. Publications of nonfiction titles on Corruption and Children’s Rights are published by Scholastic and early readers are out with Pearson Education.

For adults, Michael has written THE SAND DRAGON a horror about a revenant prehistoric vampire set in the tar sands, HURAKAN a Mayan themed thriller which pits the Maya against the MS-13 with a New York family stuck in the middle, 24 BONES an urban fantasy which draws from Egyptian myth, and THE TERMINALS–a covert government unit which solves crimes in this realm by investigating them in the next.

Herder of four daughters, Michael lives to write in Ottawa where he was the Ottawa Public Library’s first Writer in Residence. To learn more about Michael and his next projects visit his website at www.michaelfstewart.com or connect via Twitter @MichaelFStewart.

Michael is represented by Talcott Notch.
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