The Boy Lost in the Maze (Hardback)
  • The Boy Lost in the Maze (Hardback)
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The Boy Lost in the Maze (Hardback)

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£12.99
Hardback 320 Pages
Published: 06/10/2022
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Waterstones Says

A playful and moving tale of self-discovery, this powerful verse novel from Joseph Coelho’s masterly pen explores the journey from boyhood to manhood, drawing from Greek myth to explore contemporary concerns.

Winner of the Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing 2024

In his new verse novel, Joseph Coelho brilliantly blends Greek myth with a 21st century quest. In Ancient Greece Theseus makes a dangerous and courageous journey to find his father, finally meeting the Minotaur in the Labyrinth. While Theo, a modern-day teenage boy, finds himself on a maze-like quest to find his own father. Each story tells of a boy becoming a man and discovering what true manhood really means.

The path to self-discovery takes Theo through 'those thin spaces where myth, magic and reality combine'. Doubts, difficulties and dangers must be faced as Theo discovers the man he will become.

Publisher: Otter-Barry Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781913074333
Number of pages: 320
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"Powerful, playful and poignant in equal parts, The Boy Lost in the Maze skilfully interweaves the myth of Theseus with the modern coming-of-age story of Theo. Every word is carefully wrought in these astonishing narrative poems which reward reading, re-reading and reflection." - Jake Hope

"An all-consuming tale of the quests of two boys told in verse... thanks to Coelho's mesmerising way with words and bold imagination, the two worlds are bridged effortlessly... Coelho allows each boy's life to complement the other while reminding us that the answers to the stories' central question - what is a man? - remain the same, in myth and modernity." - The Times - Children's Book of the Week

"A gritty and innovative intertwining of Theseus and the Minotaur with a modern-day quest blends 20 chapters of dual narrative poetry with illustrator Kate Milner’s abstract forms and revitalised Greek motifs. Personal, accessible and memorable, Theo’s journey of self-discovery is highly relatable and will resonate. A landmark coming-of-age verse novel, The Boy Lost in the Maze is ideal to read and discuss with students in years 9-11. Highly recommended for KS4 libraries." - Tom Tolkien, School Reading List - Fiction Book of the Month

"This is an extraordinary read… Deeply poignant, the story feels incredibly personal as these boys face a labyrinth of emotions, navigating their lives whilst feeling adrift, seeking a connection, seeking themselves... Joseph’s love of poetry shines through the work...his command of language, his power with words and his ability to speak directly to the heart of his readers combine to create a stunning work of great beauty, pathos and hope. It is unbelievably good!" - Through The Bookshelf

"The poetic nature of the text makes it a quick and accessible read which is likely to appeal to reluctant readers, particularly boys given the male-dominated storylines. Coelho’s expertise as a performance poet is clear and the book would benefit from being read aloud in order to appreciate the poems’ rhythm and pace. The Boy Lost in the Maze is a clever and original tale that makes for an impressive start to Coelho’s tenure as Children’s Laureate." - Melanie Dillon, School Reading List

"This is a spellbinding novel... addresses issues of identity, masculinity, and fatherhood. It has exciting interactive elements and includes choices for the reader to make, mirroring Theseus’ journey though the Labyrinth. This is a book like no other and I can’t wait for my son to be able to read it." - Booksb4bedtime, via Instagram

"The switching between Theo’s study for his Theseus project and his search for his father is brilliant... And alongside this – as if this story weren’t powerful enough – Theseus’s battles with his own villains, Cercyon, Procrustes and the rest, form another strand of narrative and teach him more and more what manhood and sonship mean... It could work as a class read, but it has so much to puzzle and to treasure I would see it as a library acquisition, to be savoured on one’s own... the reader will not be disappointed."   - Just Imagine

"The form of this book by Joseph Coelho threads the story into the heart of the matter, looks at who are the monsters, and who the heroes, shows how flawed adults can be and the power of myth to learn. It is a triumph. Rich with the humanity of the monsters we make. Rare. Beautiful." - Jackie Morris

"Joseph Coelho is a poet with the rare talent of being able to write equally brilliantly for all ages. Have read a dozen of his books and The Boy Lost in the Maze stands with the very best of them. An intense read with powerful illustrations... it's a masterpiece." - Jon Biddle

"A quick and interesting read and one that I would recommend for fans of Free Verse." - @bookmadbarlow, via Instagram

"Our current Children’s Laureate has created another powerful, enthralling story in verse form. Kate Milner has supported these with beautiful black and white illustrations ranging from pieces that look as if they may be ancient Greek illustrations to wonderfully detailed modern depictions. Once you pick it up you won’t want to put it down!" - Love Reading For Kids

"A powerful verse novel with stunning illustrations." - BookTrust: Books we love in October 2022

"Monsters and mythical creatures are are given startling contemporary relevance in this affecting novel in verse by the current Children's Laureate." - The Financial Times: Best Books of 2022

"...Children’s laureate Coelho knows his way around the great legends, and is masterful at weaving them into contemporary kids’ lives. This is a tale told in verse (don’t panic, the plot is awesome), paralleling Theseus’s journey through the labyrinth with teenager Theo’s quest to find his biological dad. It’s also interactive, with a ‘choose your own adventure’ element. A lyrical, touching page-turner." - The Big Issue - Best children's books of 2022

"The Boy Lost in the Maze by Joseph Coelho and illustrated by Kate Milner is a deep and uplifting, dark and luminous verse novel. Follow Theo, Theseus and, yes, the Minotaur on their quest to find their respective father, their manhood, their identity. Expertly navigating timelines and perspectives, this polyphonic tour de force features epics, pantoums, raps, and even choose your-own-adventure moments. Very, very strong stuff." - Juliette Saumande, Sunday Independent

"The book sees Children’s Laureate Coelho adapt The Six Labours of Theseus in verse using modern vernacular, while simultaneously mapping that timeless story onto a second narrative set in the present day... The interweaving of both narratives is skillfully done, teasing out the parallels between the two via a series of poems that combine the complexities of a carefully crafted collection and the pacey immediacy of a modern detective tale." - Teach Secondary

"In this powerful and poignant verse novel, the Children’s Laureate, Joseph Coelho, deftly interweaves Greek myth with a contemporary teenage issue – the search for an identity and for a father... The deep emotions that verse novels can create through short phrases, simple language and a greater emphasis on action rather than plot should appeal to the teenage reader short of time." - Read for Good

"Surely it qualifies as a set text on the English Lit. curriculum?! It prompts discussion, illustrates writing techniques and we think the kids would particularly appreciate the contemporary plot-line, language and descriptions of an urban landscape they recognise." - Books Up North

"This is an accessible and insightful read, covering self-growth, discovery and changing one’s narrative. It is gripping and fast-paced and a definite one-sitting kind of read... Coelho’s masterful writing adds a whole new, nuanced and thought-provoking layer to the age-old myth, which will stick with you long after you have turned the last page." - Farrah (aged 16), The Book Nook

"Theo’s story, like Theseus’s, is told in poetry gives it an epic quality, while the ending, in both words and pictures, is incredibly moving. Coelho has dedicated his life to making poetry accessible to everyone, and in the book’s page-turning readability, it can be enjoyed by older children and adults alike." - June Hopper Swain, IBBY UK

"Besides being gorgeously realized, the story gets high marks for originality, which is high praise, indeed." - Michael Cart, Library Journal (US) - Starred Review

"Coehlo expertly uses poetic form here to straightforwardly connect the two heroes’ quests... with deeply felt contemplations on manhood, fathers, and what it feels like to be truly loved for who you are. An additional layer of complexity is offered by the occasional unique use of a “choose-your-own-adventure” style, in which readers can see different outcomes of turning points in Theo’s journey... A powerful, skillful poetic novel." - Bulletin for the Center of Children’s Books (US) - Starred Review

"By using complex verse that demonstrates a clear love of poetic experimentation, Coelho presents an insightful, multidimensional interpretation of a millennia-old myth. Milner's pencil figure drawings and glyphic illustrations are interspersed throughout, portraying Theseus as a contemporary superhero." - Publishers' Weekly (US) - Five Star Review

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Zuzanna Skrobacka

“Ancient Greek legend retold.”

The novel told in poems by Waterstones Children's Laureate Joseph Coelho. Its a story of ancient legend of Theseus looking for his father and finding the Minotaur in the Labyrinth. Modern time teenager Theo is... More

Hardback edition
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