The Youngest One is about Craig Martin, an eleven-year- old boy who is keen to prove himself to the world. His big brother Leigh is always teasing him, his big sister Julie nags him all the time, his mum still treats him like a baby and his dad is so tied up in his work and is never around.
Craig’s family were miserable because their dad lost his job, along with his sense of humour, and he’d recently gone missing, leaving his family to survive without any money to buy what they needed and to pay the bills.
My favourite part of the book is when Craig spots a Fairy Penguin wandering on the beach almost at their back doorstep. When his family sees the penguin it makes them forget about all their problems and their differences, and brings them closer together again.
The Youngest One is a chapter book with black and white illustrations. I don’t think the pictures added much to the book; I’d prefer that there were no pictures because I like to use my imagination to create my own view of things.
I liked Craig’s character and thought he was inspiring; he’s a boy who believed in himself, even though nobody else seemed to. He had a dream of becoming a football star, and even though his life was tough, he never gave up on his dream and his hopes for a bright future.
I didn’t like the character, Mr. Martin, Craig’s dad and how he had such a big fit about his family neglecting him, when he was the one at fault for always pouring too much time into his work, and how he went missing and put his family’s life in chaos.
Overall, I thought the book was a pretty good read, which I’d recommend to kids who are into football, and to kids aged 8 – 10 years. I think Craig’s story can inspire other kids to believe in themselves, and to follow their dreams, no matter what life throws at them.
Rating 3 out of 5
- This review by Molly Quartermaine, a member of the St Mary's Catholic Primary School Kalgoorlie Book Club.
Title: The Youngest One
Author: Thurley Fowler
Illustrator: Helen Glenn
Publisher: Martin Educational
Publication Date: 1988
For ages: 8-11
Type: Junior Fiction