Small Town Hero
Publisher: Andersen Press
Gabe’s Dad has just been killed in a terrible accident, and his world feels like it’s caving in on itself. His friend P won’t talk to him anymore, his mum’s new job means he has to go and stay with his estranged Uncle Jesse – and there’s something kind of funny about the video game he’s playing, Small Town Hero.
To make matters weirder, Gabe’s just discovered he can create stories which very literally carry him off to parallel universes and alternate realities. It’s not quite the introduction to the brain-bending world of quantum mechanics that Gabe wanted, but it does mean he gets to create a reality where he can score goals for Watford FC.
At Uncle Jesse's, things start to make sense – sort of. But the stories Gabe creates are bigger than he realised, and Gabe might not have as much power over them as he thinks.
A brilliantly rewarding and complex plot suitable for older readers, Small Town Hero is full of realistic characters (Gabe and his sister Hannah’s endless bickering will ring true to anyone with a sibling) and interesting philosophical ideas, as well as being a beautiful exploration of family, grief and acceptance.