Thanks to this year’s Our Read book giveaway, tens of thousands of people in the UK and beyond have read and enjoyed Frank Cottrell Boyce’s The Unforgotten Coat, and now it seems that our stateside cousins are also relishing the adventures of Chingis and Nergui.
Frank’s story about the two Mongolian brothers who arrive in Bootle and enlist a local schoolgirl as their ‘good guide’ to the area has been warmly reviewed by Betsy Bird of the Fuse #8 blog, who suggests that it might be his best novel and describes the book as:
the kind of book you get when an author gets an original idea and works it into something memorable. This is one story kids will read and then find difficult to forget.
Bird also praises the distinctive layout of the book, with its notebook-style page design and inventive use of Polaroid photographs, combined with Frank’s deft storytelling abilities:
Few authors have a way of turning you over on your head in the course of reading a children’s title. Boyce can. Can and does. This is, without a doubt, one of the best little books I’ve ever read. A brilliant melding of text and image, it’s a wonderful example of what can happen when an author goes for something entirely new.
The story has also caught the eye of Meghan Cox Gurdon in the Wall Street Journal, who praised the book’s positive approach to foreign cultures and described it as:
a funny and affecting book for children ages 10 to 14
So if you haven’t read The Unforgotten Coat yet then we can only encourage you to do so, whatever age you are!