AN Angel in the Middle

(4 customer reviews)


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His birth was unusual to say the least. For most of his life he has felt very different from his brothers. Why is this?
Alexander Noah Angel is the middle child. He has few friends and spends most of his spare time with Willow, his beloved dog.
He has a very kind and gentle nature with some unusual traits. He is an easy target for bullies. Will he be able to turn things around?
It is the 1970s, and he is on the verge of becoming a teenager. His life is about to change dramatically as he discovers that he has a special gift. He has support from a very unlikely source and there are some extraordinary happenings…

4 reviews for AN Angel in the Middle

  1. Sandy Fish

    AN Angel in the Middle by Nicola Hedges

    Now, what we have here is a comforting, hopeful and optimistic story about Alex a kind hearted friendless schoolboy who is bullied and misunderstood.

    And in this superb story for Junior Readers, Nicola Hedges gives us not only a response to the issue, but also a helpful and constructive understanding of why bullies do what they do, and far from being moralistic, this is a well-rounded story with an engaging central character.

    The book deals sensitively with the feelings of this young lad and how he has developed quiet ways to cope with rejection. And, like any real story about children who desperately want some all-powerful ‘something’ to intervene and rescue their life, this wouldn’t be complete without my old favourite; the imaginary friend, because who hasn’t had or doesn’t have one?

    Well, AN Angel in the Middle does, and that something/someone in this case is an angel, or two. A couple of drops of ethereal essence that help Alex to find his way, to move forward and use his own special gift to help and understand others.
    There are lots of little clever quirky bits in here, we aren’t left hanging – about anything, Nicola ties the whole package up to great satisfaction which is exactly what a child who is experiencing bad things needs to know, that actually things can turn out even better than you’d hoped if you share your worries and do the right thing.

    As I mentioned, the book is aimed at Junior Readers but is entirely suitable for a younger person to read depending on their ability or for an adult to read it to a younger person – depending on their ability of course.

    Anyway, it’s clear from this book that author Nicola Hedges knows about the mind of a child, with all the fantasies and excitement, concerns and sorrows and the nightmares through which the young must navigate.

    This is a perceptive and reassuring story and sometimes that’s just what you need to boost your confidence and get you on your merry way to your own personal greatness.
    It’s a lockdown book if ever there was one.

  2. Tracy Buckley

    I have just read An Angel in the middle with my 8 year old daughter. What an amazing book. The book draws you in and you feel that you are alongside Alex throughout the book. Nicola has done really well to capture the feelings of everyone in this book, from Alex who is being bullied, the reactions of his parents and explaining that a bully always has a reason for their behaviour. There were a couple of chapters that I had to fight back tears as I read. Well done Nicola cant wait for the next one.

  3. Karen Lennox

    This unusual story is set in the 1970s and is full of drama and extraordinary happenings. The reader is drawn in by Alex, a gentle boy and Willow, his dog, and we experience the twists and turns of his life over a few days. A loner, possibly autistic, misunderstood, bullied at home and at school, he has developed strategies to cope. Surprising occurrences and supernatural intervention give a boost to his confidence and help him to develop a special gift.
    The scenes and events are presented with tremendous realism and detail, enhanced by simple line drawings. The historical setting will probably trigger memories for many grandparents. Carefully observed behaviour and deeply felt emotion help us to understand a little of the possible reasons for becoming a bully and ways of tackling the problem without being preachy. While the angels intervene in a way any child may fantasise, Alex draws on his own inner strength gathered through experience and hones his skills for listening to and accepting others.
    The book is an entertaining read in which the plot develops reassuringly and leaves us with feelings of positivity and hope.

  4. Kate Le Petit

    This is a story of the confusion, struggles and challenges of life for a young boy, Alex, on the autistic spectrum. We meet him at a time in his life when he is overlooked, misunderstood and mistreated; he faces bullying behaviour from both peers and his siblings. Nicola provides an insight into the world of a young person suffering from the anger and unhappiness of others. Her writing reveals a sensitive grasp of the experiences of children who may feel different from their peers.
    As Alex learns to share his feelings, with some ethereal support, others begin to see his strengths for the first time, and we accompany him as he grows in confidence and helps those who need it most. His naivety and beautiful nature emerge to the world as his strength, and it is this moral and spiritual message which is so reassuring and uplifting.
    I found the fantastic descriptive detail from the 1970s unexpectedly transported me back to my own childhood! It’s realism will resonate with adults, and yet the journey of Alex’s young life is a vital insight for young people, parents and adults alike.
    It has the non-judgmental, fact-based narrative style of John Haddon’s ‘The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-Time’, which makes its powerful message so much more accessible and engaging for all. Despite Alex’s personal struggles, Nicola wholly avoids the cliche of emotive, hyperbolic language, which is rare these days.
    I would recommend this for parents, young readers and also anyone working with children on the autistic spectrum. It’s a novel you will never forget.

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