Book Review: Helicopter Man by Elizabeth Fensham

Helicopter Man by Elizabeth Fensham

Title: Helicopter Man

Author: Elizabeth Fensham

Genre: Realistic Middle Grade Fiction

Number of Pages: 144

Rating: B+

Recommended?: Yes

Peter Sinclair is an Australian teenager whose dad has paranoid schizophrenia, and they are both always on the run from an imaginary threat. Peter doesn’t understand that his dad is mentally ill and he’s angry and confused when he’s taken away from his dad and put in foster care. Helicopter Man is an epistolary novel written in the form of Peter’s journal entries, and Peter is an endearing character with a strong and hopeful voice. His naivete is very believable because even though he’s fifteen, he’s even younger emotionally.

This book also did a great job of developing the character of Peter’s father and making him more than his debilitating mental illness. You get a very strong sense of Peter’s love and loyalty towards his dad. The only thing I didn’t like about this book was that the ending was a little too quick and easy. It understated the seriousness of the dad’s illness and made it seem like things were going to improve for the two main characters pretty quickly. Otherwise I really liked this book and Peter is a character who will stay with readers for a long time.

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