Friday, 1 August 2014
Blog Tour - Noggin by John Corey Whaley
Today I am pleased to be part of the blog tour for John Corey Whaley's new release Noggin. Below is a trailer released by Simon and Schuster Children's books to celebrate this exciting read:
Noggin is a word that I remember my lovely dad using 'Use your noggin Sarah!', Did you bump your noggin Sarah?' and as my dad is no longer with us I immediately smiled when I saw this book advertised. When I read the synopsis for the book though I was intrigued and also confused about how I feel about the procedure which occurred at the start of this book:
Listen - Travis Coates was alive once and then he wasn't. Now he's alive again. Simple as that. The in between part is still a little fuzzy, but Travis can tell you that, at some point or another, his head got chopped off and shoved into a freezer in Denver, Colorado. Five years later, it was reattached to some other guy's body, and well, here he is. Despite all logic, he's still sixteen, but everything and everyone around him has changed. That includes his bedroom, his parents, his best friend, and his girlfriend. Or maybe she's not his girlfriend anymore? That's a bit fuzzy too. If the new Travis and the old Travis are ever going to find a way to exist together, it looks like there's going to be a few more scars.
Now blog readers how do you feel about this: Travis had leukemia and had weeks to live, he was offered the oppurtunity to have his head removed it to be cryogenically stored until such a time in the future where medical advances meant that he could have somebody else's body attached to his head and for Travis to be woken up and continue life as Travis Coates. Travis was 'asleep' for five years, five years in which his family and friends, having said their goodbyes before that final operation, continued with their lives. Now five years on, Travis is back, with a new body, but having had his life on hold for five years. Now I agree that it is only a very clever team of surgeons who could carry out this surgery but I am not sure I could let my child be a guinea pig for such a procedure. When Travis was rewoken there was only one other person who had survived such an operation.
Anyway, this blog is not to question the ethics of such surgery but to praise the fantastic writing of the author, John Corey Whaley. Noggin is a great book, aimed at young adults and a book that can give rise to questions regarding ethics and right to life which I think would make it a great book to have added to secondary school's recommended reading lists. It is a cleverly thought out concept, one which he has addressed from many viewpoints - Travis' friends, family, school network and also the local community who all have mourned his passing and now need to welcome him back to that same community.
This is a fantastic read and is one which will take the reader through a whole circle of emotion - there are times of humour throughout but also Travis really struggles and I shed a fair few tears when he struggled with the knowledge that his girlfriend had moved on into a new relationship and that his best mate was off at university. I am sure that teenagers of today all have to deal with these sort of emotions when mixing with friends of differing ages.
The author, Whaley, has approached this subject with a fantastic idea for a storyline and I think that he has succeeded with Noggin. It is a book that could be read by a group of friends or a class and everyone to have difffering opinions, which would make for a great discussion. After reading this book I was left with the same feeling as when I read Anabel Pitcher's My sister lives on the mantlepiece, I must promote this book and get teachers to read this book, get it on the curriculum reading lists in secondary schools.
A fantastic read which I say children should read - but parents should also read it and be prepared for questions.
Thank you to the publishers, Simon and Schuster Children's Books, for sending me this book in return for a honest review.