Boy Underwater

- by Adam Baron

Cymbeline Igloo has many problems, the first being his name. After all, who names their child Cymbeline Igloo? Cymbeline (or Cym for short), lives with his mother in south London. The second problem is that Cym cannot swim.

Confronted and goaded on by the class bully, the nineyear-old boy accepts a swimming challenge even though he has never set foot in a swimming pool his entire life. True enough, the challenge ends in a disaster, with Cym nearly drowning. However, this causes everyone to wonder why his mother has never sent him for swimming lessons. Cym sets out to uncover the truth behind this mystery. But what he discovers may very well turn his life upside down, with a twist that he would never see coming.

Boy Underwater contains all the elements of a good story, and balances humour with seriousnes­s. The author, Adam Baron, is a masterful storytelle­r, and readers will feel as if they are really in Cym’s shoes, experienci­ng all the frustratio­n and eagerness of a boy desperate for answers. The characters are like those you see around your school – bullies, buddies and all.

More importantl­y, the book touches on issues that are present in every child’s life. From friendship­s, bullying, adventures and family issues, these themes are made relatable in a truthful but simple way. Even though life is not all fun and games, the book is quick to show that each life is precious, no matter the circumstan­ces.

Boy Underwater is ambitious and heart-warming, and readers will quickly find themselves turning the pages, eager for more.

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