Author: Kathy Hoopmann
Publisher: Jessica Kingsley Publisher
Published:21st November 2015
Genre: Children’s, Graphic novel
Date read: 29th December 2015
I was provided a copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This graphic novel has been re-written into this format to appeal to a different audience.
Blue bottle mystery is about a young boy called Ben who suffers from Aspergers, but he is not aware of it, only that he knows he is different from the other kids at school. He has a best friend called Andy, the only one that understands him and explains things to him when he gets confused.
After and altercation with the teacher, he is given detention and made to pick litter up from the school grounds, he doesn’t mind doing this as he has a little system that he works through. Ben and Andy find this blue bottle suck in the ground, once they have dug it out and find it empty and old-looking they wonder if there could be a genie and start wishing for things.
Throughout the story these wishes start coming true, not so much a mystery as they have to remember what they wished for. Ben is diagnosed with Aspergers and how his family cope with this news.
The artwork in this graphic novel is very simplistic and colourful, easy to follow as targeted for middle grade.
I enjoyed this Graphic Novel it was very informative on a basic level, it showed family dynamics and symptoms of aspergers. I believe this should be put in all schools for children to read, to recognise that there are illnesses out there that define people the way they are. I have only really learnt about AS in my adult life, this could be that it’s more recognised and understood now.
There are several characters in this story that surround Ben and you get to see all their ways in which they communicate.
Grandma is around to look after Ben when his father is working, she is very supportive and understanding and is a go between Ben and his father.
The dad, is a stereotypical dad, wants his son to be good at sports and have a rough and tumble, he doesn’t understand why Ben is the way he is and clearly gets frustrated when Ben can’t explain himself.
Andy, Ben’s best friend, is a decent kid and is very tolerant but he himself also gets frustrated with Ben on occasions but sticks with him, its great to see that true friends will stick around and keep coming back.
The teacher (I have forgotten her name…. it’s something double-barreled) is very frustrated, she has her own problems too, but Ben can’t read her emotions, he takes things too literally and is mistaken for being rude.
The blue bottle and the genie is just added to make the story interesting for the kids to read, It doesn’t have any real relevance to AS.
This book looks at family dynamics, friendship, bullying and obviously Aspergers Syndrome.
This is such an easy read, definitely one to read with kids to make them more aware or anyone that has never heard of AS as it shows all they symptoms in Ben’s character.
Overall I rated this 3.5 stars out of 5.