Ollie and the Golden Stripe (Ollie and His Superpowers) ISBN: 9781785920813
Published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2016
This second in the series about Ollie and his superpowers, introduces the idea of 'empathy'. Ollie has already learned about the superpowers that live within himself and which can help him in times of trouble or fear, but now he must step up to a super superpower and learn something more difficult - how to help other people use their superpowers too. His friend at the old people's home where his mum works, Mr Wilcox, has already told him about the little people who live in his brain that can help him change sadness into happiness and fear into bravery, and now he must help Adam learn as well, and he must do this by standing in Adam's shoes. As this is an allegory, he literally stands in Adam's shoes. Adam is large, fat and clumsy and is often bullied in school, and when Ollie sees the other children laughing and teasing, he wants to laugh too. Something makes him feel sad instead, and because Adam's shoes have transferred to Ollie, he can be told by Adam's superpowers just why Adam feels so bad. He needs glasses, and because his gran has bought him a pair that everyone laughs at, he can't wear them. Hence, his clumsiness. What to do? Ollie's new superpower, empathy, helps him see the answer, which takes some doing, but finally happens. There's lots of football in this story and some great fantasy adventures, which boys particularly will love but it is also an attractive tale that teaches lessons without being at all 'preachy'. Used with a therapist or teacher, this could be very useful in helping to understand other people's feelings. At the end there is obvious promise of another book in the pipeline. The pictures are fun too. Available from Amazon, from good bookshops, or from the publisher: www.jkp.com.