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Blackberry Bill: Ned Reardon

BY Sam Howard

27th Nov 2019 Book Reviews

Blackberry Bill is an enchanting tale about a ten-year-old orphaned boy who bravely sets out alone upon the Kentish marshes in pursuit of a mysterious recluse. 

He believes that this eccentric character, a gypsy commonly known as Blackberry Bill, may hold the answers he seeks with regard to his own identity. When the two eventually meet, the boy learns that he is in fact the same person who had saved his life as a baby.

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This heart warming tale of Tom, a ten year old boy who lost his parents as a baby, goes against the grain of the typical ‘unhappy child in care goes in search of love’ scenario, favoured by many, and instead shows us what can happen if you don’t follow the crowd and have conviction in your own thoughts and opinions, which applies to both the author and protagonist in the story.

Instead Tom by his own admission is happy and even counts himself lucky where he is, yet his inquisitive and adventurous nature is what leads him on a journey to discover more about his heritage.

With the beautifully descriptive images of his surroundings, it’s easy to envisage yourself a passenger accompanying Tom in his search, which provides some unexpected revelations in this pleasingly refreshing read.

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