BOOK CLUB: The New Kid – Very Popular Me

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Author: James O’Loghlin
Illustrator: Matthew Martin
ISBN: 9781760554835
RRP: $14.99
Publication Date: 24th June 2019
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Copy: Courtesy of the publisher

I asked my 11 year old son and 9 year old daughter to read ‘The New Kid -Very Popular Me’. My son is an avid reader, and will pretty much read anything he can get his hands on, so these school holidays, I set him the task of reading the book, and writing a review. His sister, who isn’t as much of a frequent reader, wanted to join in. This is what they wrote:


From my 11 year old son:

About the book:

The book is about a lonely boy named Sam, who plays tennis against the wall. All too soon he’s a new kid at a new school, and things aren’t going well. Then Sam gets Swirly, an obsessive marble, and poof! Just like that, he’s popular and Sam’s loving it. But then, everyone starts to hate him again. Oh no, he’s the teacher’s pet! Luckily Sam ‘worms himself’ out of it and becomes just an average kid… until….

Pros: Very humorous
Cons: None

The book was very engaging and when I started reading, I couldn’t stop. The book captivated me very much and is a definite win for both the author and the reader. I recommend this book for 9+, but it would also be good for 7 and 8 year old readers.

From my 9 year old daughter:

Sam is an only child, but suddenly he gets a new baby sister. He isn’t very excited. He finds a marble jar in the garage and asks his mother if he can keep it. Then he picks a particular marble out that doesn’t have the same pattern as the other marbles. He becomes very popular with his marble. His worst enemy has even become his friend…

My star rating – 4 and a half stars out of 5

I liked the pictures of the baby and how the author used a lot of alliteration, similes and metaphors. I congratulate the author. I think that this book is good for 7 to 11 year olds. It is almost like reading an old fashioned book.

This guest review was submitted by Raechel, one of our Beauty and Lace Club members. Thank you for sharing the thoughts of your children with us Raechel.

The New Kid: Very Popular 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: Very Popular Me with their children and I look forward to hearing what they think. Please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

7 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The New Kid – Very Popular Me

  1. I definitely want to instill a love a reading in my children. So I was excited when this book came in the mail and my two oldest excitedly grabbed it and read it. To me, if a child can’t put a book down until it is finished it means it is pretty good! 🙂 Thanks Beauty & Lace and Pan MacMillan.

  2. Such a fun book! My children, 8yo & 11yo have read James O’Loughlin’s The New Kid, Unpopular Me and thoroughly enjoyed it, and now comes the sequel, yay!

    Sam was an unpopular, lonely and embarrassed young man, the new kid at school with no friends and embarassing parents (underwear shopping, OMG!) But now, thanks to recovering from a disaster at the school play, Sam is the popular kid in school. The school bully tolerates him, he has a fantastic marble that everyone is in awe of and things are going pretty well. Until…. he becomes the teachers pet. Oh no! what could be worse?

    Well done to James O’Loughlin, another lovely book my kids can easily read and relate to. I will happily seek out your other childrens books to read too.

    Thank you to Pan MacMillan Australia and Beauty and Lace Book Club for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  3. Miss 10 and a half loved this read. She read it over a weekend. Her response was “Omggggg hilarious! I liked the latest Unpopular Me book becuase it’s funny and reminds me of us”… ok… compliment? Right guys? I haven’t read it myself but Missy over here tells me it’s a 4.5/5 only losing .5 of a star due to being not as good as the first but only by a .5 😉
    Thank you for the read and break for me!

  4. I have a 6 year old and I wanted to read this book to get into the minds of kids who are 8-9 years old and this book was hilarious. I couldn’t stop laughing on poor Sam and his thoughts and how things happen to him.

    His mum was an awesome character. Cudos to the author for writing such an amazing story.

  5. My 7yo really loved this book, The New Kid, Very Popular Me . I could hear giggling as she read this. We found some similarities of The New Kid to the WeirDo books which my daughter absolutely loves. It’s a different family with weird and whacky comical adventures.

    Her favourite part *spoiler alert* was when the mother gave birth to the baby at the vets. There is obviously a lot of humour in this book which really does encourage children to keep on reading. She gives it 5 our of 5 and now wants to read more of this series.

  6. Miss almost 12 read this book, she reads beyond her years, and although she persevered, this book was not for her.
    Although it was not her thing, she said it would be good for 7-9 year olds as they could relate to it more and would find the book quite funny. It was not difficult to read and she believes that they would enjoy the story.
    Miss almost 12 did like the storyline and said there were definitely pluses for it, but it would be better suited to a slightly younger audience.
    She is still grateful to have read and reviewed this book!

  7. Miss 8 read this book. Totally loved it & couldn’t put it down.

    Thank you to Pan Macmillan Australia & beauty & Lace for this great read.

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