The Boy Named Rock
by Ugochukwu Ikwuakor
Litprime Solutions

"'Do you want to kill yourself?' his brother asked him. “You can’t go to the mountain.'"

This is the story of a young boy who refuses to believe he is not able to do all of the things that other children do, despite being discouraged at every turn by his family and others. Eleven-year-old Rock has been a sickly child and has spent a lot of time in the hospital. Due to his health problems, he is small for his age, and his stature gives others the impression that physical activities are beyond his ability. He is about to prove them wrong. When his school’s mascot, a golden eagle, goes missing, the school’s principal offers a reward for its recovery. Rock is eager to climb the mountain, where the bird’s calling has been heard, with others to help search for it. His family tries to dissuade him, but he persists, and eventually, they allow him to go with his older brother.

The author chooses not to reveal that Rock is the boy’s nickname until late in the story, and readers never learn his given name. This is an intriguing omission, particularly since the names of each of his family members are included. Young readers tend to be inquisitive, and perhaps the lack of a proper name is meant to create a sense of mystery. Overall, this entertaining tale is an easy read and imparts a valuable lesson for youngsters about not doubting oneself, even if others do. It is a brief story, but it is enhanced by colorful illustrations by Shannen Marie Paradero throughout. The book would be a good choice for anyone looking for a new bedtime story to read to a child.

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