Published by Quercus Children’s Books.
Review by Robyn Colclough.
Set in the modest village of Bradborough, The Starman and Me by Sharon Cohen is the story of a young boy, Kofi, and the journey he experiences when he finds prehistoric human – or ‘Starman’ – Rorty Hutch stuck on a supermarket roundabout. Rorty is eventually discovered by Kofi to be curled up into a tight ball, his small and dark frame cowering in the shade as he speaks his simplistic language to communicate to a, understandably, quite overwhelmed Kofi. With zero memory of how he ended up in Bradborough, and struggling to remember why he’s being hunted, The Starman and Me is a fun-filled tale of the friendship a very frightened Rorty makes with an unsuspecting boy. And with Rorty being able to do amazing and magical things with his mind (such as copy, paste and delete objects), he mesmerises Kofi and even entices scientists around the globe to hunt after him and his brilliant mind. But will Kofi be able to help his alien friend and keep him safe from danger? And will they find Rorty’s missing girlfriend, Pogsy Blue, in time to reunite the pair before Rorty is captured?
At first look, The Starman and Me was an intriguing premise. It promised science fiction, adventure, comedy and a little bit of suspense. Surprisingly, I enjoyed this book much more than I initially thought I would, knowing it was written for a younger audience. The story was very well executed, and has a knack for setting the correct tone for the target younger audience, whilst still gripping readers of all ages. The language was well thought out, blending well with a scenario that was strangely enchanting to read about. There was action, humour, tension, and even an alien romance! Thus, all in all, I found the general story enjoyable, the characters being lovable and the story moving along at a reasonable pace. This made the whole experience better than expected, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Rorty with his alien-like charms and his funny, yet enchanting, language. The fact that Rorty’s character is so lovable from the beginning was a huge motive for me to keep on reading, especially when Rorty’s ‘needin help. I’s on a roundabout at Mr Barty’s’ – I was attached from the very start!
Although I would say that there were some elements that were missing to the story – such as a more detailed description of why Kofi accepts Rorty into his home immediately, rather than having more serious doubts about the existence of an alien-like creature. But ultimately, it is a wonderful story that explores the magic of DNA and the importance of friendship. This page-turning adventure is one that captures the imagination of readers young and old, and I would highly recommend it.