My book review of 'Show Us Who You Are' by Elle McNicoll

Show Us Who You Are

by Elle McNicoll
Recommended age: 10+
Show Us Who You Are
by Elle McNicoll

This is the second book by a new children's writer who is already causing quite a stir.

Elle McNicoll explores the themes of neuro-divergency in young people, this time with characters who have autism and ADHD. The story is set in an imagined future when artificial intelligence appears to offer comfort for those bereaved, and a hint of immortality. 

Cora's brother is working for a revolutionary new company called Pomegranate Technologies. Their father doesn't seem supportive of the initiatives being explored in the business, and would prefer it if his children weren't involved. But Cora becomes friends with Adrien, son of the CEO, and agrees to take part in the latest research.

Pomegranate is using AI to recreate people as holograms and, as Cora has recently lost her mother, she is invited to trial the initiative by interacting with the 'grams which have so far been developed.

While Cora is initially amazed and delighted by the potential, she soon discovers dark secrets and, as she digs deeper, her own sense of self is challenged.

It's a brilliant page-turner, aimed at readers aged 9+, but there are some taxing themes in this story. It would make a lively and fascinating book group discussion for young people to explore themes of friendship, family, grief, identity, mortality, technology, ethics...

Review date: April 2021
Publication date: 4th March 2021