My book review of 'Has Anyone Seen Archie Ebbs?' by Simon Packham

by Simon Packham
Recommended age: 8+
Has Anyone Seen Archie Ebbs?
by Simon Packham

With his mum and sister, Archie has to leave behind everything he loves, including his cat. Then, as he tries to adjust it seems like he's becoming invisible.

Archie's mum has been served notice by their landlord. He wants to sell the house so the family has eight weeks to leave. There's nothing available in their price range so they go to the council for help and are put into B&B accommodation. This is two bus rides from Archie's school and smelly, noisy and dirty. They have one room, no cooking facilities and a shared bathroom.

Neither Archie nor his sister Izzy cope well but then Archie sees someone from his school also living at the B&B. She is a Polish girl called Zofia and she tells Archie that their changed circumstances mean they are now invisible to their former schoolfriends. After this initial shock, Archie and Zofia decide to use their invisibility for good.

This is a brilliant book with such a powerful message. It is a fabulously warm, funny and fast-paced adventure which nevertheless highlights how easy it is for a family to become homeless, the conditions they are then likely to face, and how friends and colleagues may respond. It's aimed at readers aged 8-12 and is moving, uplifting and thought-provoking. I loved it.

Review date: January 2022
Publication date: 7th April 2022