BOOK CLUB: The New Kid – Unpopular Me

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Author: James O’Loghlin
Illustrator: Matthew Martin
ISBN:  9781760554255
RRP: $9.99
Publication Date: 29th May 2018
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Copy: Courtesy of the publisher

This month we were lucky enough to have a couple of fabulous books for children and The New Kid: Unpopular Me sounds quite amusing.


James O’Loghlin is an accomplished Australian with a career spanning comedy, radio, TV, public speaking and criminal law as well as writing books for both children an adults.

Mathew Martin is an internationally known cartoonist and illustrator who has appeared regularly in Sydney Morning Herald, Time, Rolling Stone, The Times of London, and The New York Times.

It is universally understood that being the new kid is nerve-wracking and uncool. No-one likes being the new kid, or leaving their friends behind to move to the other side of the country.

Eleven year old Sam is no different, the idea of moving from Adelaide to Canberra does not fill him with excitement at the prospect of new adventures.

Sam doesn’t intend to be the uncool new kid, he has big plans to make himself the most poplar kid ever.

The New Kid is the story of a kid who wants to be more, and it is not a smooth ride.

His story is hilariously unforgettable with tales of lonely losers, frog underpants, human umbrellas and bad boys.

P.S. Sam was not harmed (too much) during the telling of this story.

The New Kid: Unpopular Me is published by Pan Macmillan and is available now from Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to Pan Macmillan 10 of our Beauty and Lace Club Members will be reading The New Kid: Unpopular Me with their children and I look forward to hearing what they think. Please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

11 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The New Kid – Unpopular Me

  1. Miss Ruby (age 9) loved this book! She read it over a weekend, and when she finished she ran out excitedly and rattled off the entire story in what felt like forever haha, mind you I was cooking dinner with a baby screaming on my hip!
    So from what I could absorb she said – This is the best book ever!!! I’m taking it to show and tell and it’s 10 out of 10 stars!!!!
    Sam is the new kid at school and he plans to be popular, but something about vomititing on Johnny Wilson? She said it’s a really super funny book and now in her top 5 all time ever books!
    Thanks Beauty & Lace for the fantabulous review Love Ruby Randall xx

  2. My 8 year old daughter gave the book 3 stars out of 5. It did make her laugh a couple of times. she said it was more a boy book but it was ok.
    I thought it was ok. The book tell you that if you have the right attitude everything will work out and that change is good.

  3. This was a “Great Book” , thats what my niece said to me. She thoroughly enjoyed all the tro Sam went to in order to become popular.
    overall a beautifully written book for kids.

  4. This book is a high interest book but not overly complicated, so it should suit most primary aged kids. There are lots of illustrations and different forms of text throughout the book to keep the reader engaged (eg, it will give you dot points etc).
    The storyline is one that will interest many kids as it is relevant to them, no one wants to be the unpopular new kid. It follows the standard narrative formula with problems along the way but a happy ending.
    My only concern is that he feels if he is naughty and gets away with it he will become cool. Although his plan didnt work, he was naughty and lied himself out of the situation and there were no consequences. Might not suit an impressionable kid.
    Overall I think its great and will suit a range of kids of varying abilities.

  5. James O’Loghlin has written a fun, adventurous and interesting book, very suitable to read with my 7yo and 10yo children. There are many a ‘Dad joke’ to be had and this made for much laughter. The characters are very relatable and the problems and circumstances faced by Sam are not uncommon and therefore resonate with younger readers. I liked the way the conversations were written with the speakers name at the start of the line ie ‘MUM: (Crossly) Oh for goodness sake!’ (this certainly sounds familiar to me as a reader!)

    This was an enjoyable read for myself and children and we will seek out more James O’Loghlin books in the future. Thank you to Beauty and Lace Book Club and Pan MacMillan Australia for the opportunity to read this book, it was great fun!

  6. Miss 12 and Mr 11 both read this book they thought it was a really good book which had a lot of good humor in it and was easy to understand. The Characters where described really well and gave you a real feel for what they where like. They both agree that they would read it again and would definitely recommend this book to their friends and other kids.

    Big Thanks to Beauty and Lace Book Club and Pan MacMillan Australia for giving us the opportunity to read this book.

  7. Ava, 11 says ‘I liked The New Kid because some of his behaviour reminded me of my brother.

    It’s about a boy called Sam who starts at a new school when he moves house and bad things seem to happen to him around every corner.

    He doesn’t have many friends and the ones he finds are a bit weird like him.

    At his new school he tries to find ways to become more popular and fit in with the other kids.

    I thought this book was pretty funny and it had some interesting words and the story was very good.

    I won’t tell you if Sam found some good friends by the end of the book, you’ll have to read it to find out!’

  8. My 11y.o read the book and I asked her to review it. So here is her review:
    This book is a wonderful story about a boy who goes through lots of adventures just to become popular. It is a fascinating story that kids will enjoy, love and maybe even relaate to. The boy, whose name is Sam, goes through different journeys that are life changing and even dangerous. I enjoyed it so much that I am hoping for a book 2.
    By Mikayla (11years old)

  9. I’d recommend this book for other children because I thought it was exciting and interesting to see what happened next.
    I thought this book was awesome.
    Lainie (9 years old)

  10. My 12 year old read this in an afternoon. A real easy uncomplicated read and had her interest all the way to the end. She said it was super funny, and loved it.

    Thanks Beauty and Lace and Pan MacMillian for this great opportunity – keep our kids reading

  11. My 12 year old read it from the post office to home.
    She said it was funny, and really enjoyed it
    She thought it was great and wanted to keep reading it to the end (other words couldn’t put it down lol )
    Thanks again Beauty and Lace

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