A year or so ago I recommended a book which I think provides a positive step forward in reducing mental health stigma and gives children an insight into a mental illness. I have had the pleasure of reading this book with my two children whom this book would be suited to Upper Key Stage 2. I picked it up again recently, and still think it comes close to the top of my list of recommended reads for children of this age.

It was an easy read, although the first couple of chapters are a little tough, the book develops into a real page turner with lots of cliff hangers which keep children’s interests. Both my boys loved this book and kept asking me to read more; it was definitely hard to put down.

Exploring mental health in a safe environment

The character, Matthew Corbin has OCD, (obsessive compulsive disorder) however the book is both empathetic and insightful in how it portrays the mental health condition and his journey towards recovery. The story though is really a ‘who done it’ crime mystery, as Matthew becomes part of the solution to helping find a missing toddler who has mysteriously disappeared from the house next door.

Other book review websites currently rate it 5 stars as well. I would highly recommend that this is part of a literacy text for your pupils in year 5 or 6, although I suggest this is a teacher read text.  Scholastic have devised a lesson plan with 3 activities, which could be split into 3 lessons or more.  Why not take a look? Here is the link:

https://d3ddkgxe55ca6c.cloudfront.net/assets/a/c8/5f/goldfishboy-lessonplan4-rgb-1587168.pdf

Currently £4.54 from Amazon, a bargain – I highly recommend this book for Upper Key Stage 2.

Have you read this book? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the story, and its relevance for Key Stage 2 children in helping them understand and increase their awareness of mental health. Please leave your comment here, share them with me and the community via Facebook or Twitter or contact me directly.

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