CBBC Office: CBBC Book Club: The Boy With Two Heads
Hi! Katie here. For this CBBC Book Club meeting, we read The Boy With Two Heads by Andy Mulligan.
I've written a description and a book review below... but I'd love to know what you thought of the book!
- Were you shocked and upset by some of the things Rikki said to people?
- Who were your favourite characters? Mr Barlow, Granddad, or perhaps even Rikki?
- What did you think of the ending? What do you think it meant?
The Boy with 2 Heads is about an eleven year old boy named Richard who one day wakes up to find he is growing a second head. His second head, named Rikki, speaks for itself and is opinionated, rude and cruel to everyone, causing Richard a lot of problems. However, the doctors at the Rechner Institute where Richard and Rikki are being treated are sure
that they are both the same person. Richard must go about his daily life at school, socialising with friends, playing football and trying to pass his exams, with his second head Rikki making his life increasingly more difficult.
When I first started reading the book, I was shocked at Rikki’s attitude and some of the things he said. The voice of Rikki seems to be an adult voice with cynical opinions. He has no time for anybody and is a bully who picks on people’s weaknesses. He is rude to everyone and I instantly hated him. The author Mulligan has done a good job of creating a villain and it quickly becomes a horror story as you put yourself in Richard’s position and imagine his frustration as Rikki ruins his friendships and his reputation at school. The Rechner Institute is also painted as a very scary place indeed with rumours of animal testing and a plot to separate Richard and Rikki. However, they inevitably bond and begin to tolerate each other despite at the same time fighting to be the stronger to survive. What is the solution?
This book is certainly a page turner as you wants to read on to find out if Rikki gets his comeuppance for his bad behaviour or if his attitude changes, and also to find out why he is there and what his purpose is. I think the growing of a second head is a writing device used by Mulligan to portray that Richard is struggling with a split personality after the death of his grandfather. Whatever the reason for Rikki, the book certainly shocks you and makes you sympathise with poor Richard. There are some good characters in the book – I particularly liked tough nut Salome who isn’t afraid to stand up to Rikki and his evil ways.
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