Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Ostrich Boys

Ostrich Boys

Keith Gray
For ages 13 and up
Random House Books for Young Readers, 2011   ISBN: 978-0375858444

When their best friend Ross is killed by a car, Kenny, Sim, and Blake are devastated. Ross was the one who refused to let life get him down, he was the one who held them together as a group. It is terrible to think that Ross will never be coming back.

After Ross' memorial service and cremation, the boys decide that they have to do something special for their dead friend - something that he would have wanted. Blake comes up with the idea of taking Ross to the town of Ross in Scotland. He manages to steal the urn containing Ross' ashes, and the three boys head north.

Unfortunately, their trip does not work out as planned. Kenny, the boy who is financing this expedition, loses his backpack, and all his money. The boys have very little money between them, and they are not sure how they are going to get to Ross. Luckily, some friendly young men come along who are happy to give the boys a lift to Blackpool. The boys go from situation to situation, and matters only get worse when they find out that the police are looking for them. Not only that, but they hear news about Ross' death that shakes them all to the core.

In this bittersweet novel, Keith Gray explores the nature of friendship. Do we ever really know what is going on inside the heads and hearts of our friends? What should we do when we see that they are in trouble? Sim, Kenny, and Blake think about these and many other questions as they make their memorable journey. They meet people who force them to think about their relationships with Ross, and in the end, they are forced to face some painful truths about themselves and about the friend whom they all loved so much.