Author: Padraig Kenny
Pog is an absolutely brilliant story. I enjoyed Tin (by the same author) when it was released last year but Pog has exceeded all my expectations – potentially going to be my favourite read of the year. It’s a fantasy adventure, ideal for Years 5 and 6 (aged 9+), that follows a wonderful character called Pog (of the First Folk) as he keeps his promise to guard The Necessary alongside siblings, Penny and David, who are trying to navigate their new life without Mum. Published by Chicken House on 4th April 2019, you can buy it now from your favourite bookseller – or even better, ask your library to order it in for you to read for free!!
I was captivated by this book – particularly the unique voice and characterisation of Pog. He is a fabulous character and I desperately hope that Padraig will write more about his adventures in the future.
The story focuses on a family (Penny, David and Dad) who are navigating new grief after the death of Mum – having moved to her childhood home without her. Each family member is responding to, and expressing, their grief in different ways but could their be even darker forces at work affecting their emotions and lives…
In contrast, Pog is a loveable and loyal guardian (despite being less than two feet tall) who lives in their attic and has grief of his own to carry. In the depths of nearby forests insidious, sinister creatures are growing in strength – feeding on the pain and memories of the family – and Pog must protect the world from these through keeping his inherited role as Keeper of the Necessary. Something he takes very seriously.
Throughout the book Padraig has created a very distinct style and voice – you could read any extract and it be instantly identifiable as Pog. He takes you on a captivating journey with mystery, adventure, fantasy and (as with all great stories) friendship, good vs evil and a few twists along the way.
I have been a huge fan of Padraig since reading Tin as part of our Year 6 Writer’s Club and I can’t wait to share Pog with the children after the Easter holidays. The prologue is going to make an excellent story assembly and I can see this book being a very popular choice for reading aloud to a class – lots of humour, cliffhangers and subtle sentiment. It will also provide some superb extracts for whole class reading lessons, as well as being a firm favourite for bedtime reading at home.
This gripped me so much that I stayed up until 1am last night to finish it (despite having an important day working on 10,000+ word of assignment ahead of me! Oops!) and I had to keep a notebook of vocabulary whilst I was devouring it – littered, as the pages are, with absolute gems of words: cloying, arboreal, soporific, roiling, conjurations, carapace, husk and rivulets to name just a few!
This is unusual for me to say, but I enjoyed it so much that I am considering reading it again today – instead of moving on to my next book. I miss Pog!