This is my book review of The 1000 Year Old Boy by Ross Welford.
Book review of The 1000 Year Old Boy
Text from the blurp on the back of the book:
“There are lots of stories about people who want to live forever. This is not one of those stories. This is a story about someone who wants to stop…
Alfie Monk is like any other nearly teenage boy – except he’s a thousand years old and can remember the last Viking invasion of England. So when everything Alfie knows and loves is destroyed in a fire, and the modern world comes crashing in, Alfie embarks on a mission to find friendship, acceptance and a different way to live… Which means finding a way to make sure he will eventually die.”
First of all I was instantly attracted to the title when I noticed it in my local book store. When I then read the text on the back of The 1000 Yeard Old Boy, I had to have it. I mean, the concept of a 1000 year-old boy who wants to stop living forever, is not the most common plot. Since this is also a book aimed at tweens, I thought I’d give it a go. Since I really liked The Uncommoners and A Place Called Perfect, I though it’d be nice to find more tween books. (Also because they generally lack the teenage romances that are in most teen and YA fantasy books – which I try to avoid).
In The 1000 Year Old Boy, we meet Alfie Monk who’s been stuck as a 10 year-old for hundreds of years. We get a lot of backstory and follow Alfie through key events in his long life. Mostly, in involves his mother and we see how his language is also weirdly developed while maintaining his roots.
Alfie is not like I expected. Not a grown man in a 10 year-olds body. He is wise and has experienced a wide range of things, but being visibly no older than 10 or 11, he is not a grown-up. Alfie has never really done or experienced “grown-up things” or been through puberty. He’s also been living with his mom for a thousand years, and never had the real need of growing up further.
Alfie and his mom keep to themselves, and this contributes to Alfie’s lack of real maturing. Until one day a fire throws him into a friendship with a few current-day kids.
Alfie, friendships and the plot
I really liked this book. It’s not a hard read and it has an imaginative take on the concept of immortality. The friendships forged between the kids are relatable and feel real. Even though there is a tangible age-gap between Alfie and the others.
The plot is exciting, thrilling and adventurous as we follow the kids on their shared quest of making Alfie mortal again. It’s a game of keeping secrets from the adults and it works very well. The kids are well-written and the chapters shift between action and information in a good pace. The ending was a typical, high-adrenaline and a little over-the-top action ending. There were life-threatening situations, evil adults and police and rescuers etc. In general, a very dangerous mission for our three little friends.
Read it if
I really enjoyed this book. It’s not at the very top of my rating scale, but it’s a great read. Both for adults and tweens, if you like to read about what matters in life. Bringing the concept of living a long life into a tween book is not always easy, but The 1000 Year Old Boy makes it close to home. It’s a fun read too.
Read it if you, like me, enjoyed The Uncommoners, A Place Called Perfect or if you like books about kids going on secret adventures without adults.
I’m definitely picking up more books by Ross Welford, the author behind The 1000 Year Old Boy!
Have you read The 1000 Year Old Boy? How do you think you would feel about being immortal?
I hope you enjoyed my book review of The 1000 Year Old Boy. If you’re curious and want to browse through other book reviews on this page, feel free to have a look at my collection of book reviews right here>>