The Bubble Wrap Boy – Phil Earle

All my life I’ve been tiny Charlie from the Chinese Chippie, whose only friend is Sinus, the kid who stares at walls. But I believe that everyone’s good at something. I’ve just got to work out what my something is…

The Bubble Wrap Boy cover

The Bubble Wrap Boy cover

Charlie’s found his secret talent: skateboarding. It’s his one-way ticket to popularity. All he’s got to do is practise, and nothing’s going to stop him – not his clumsiness, not his overprotective mum, nothing. Except Charlie isn’t the only one in his family hiding a massive secret, and his next discovery will change everything. How do you stay on the board when your world is turned upside down?

Other Books by the Author


Saving Daisy

Being Billy

Demolition Dad

Phil’s Tips for Writers


Author Website  

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27 thoughts on “The Bubble Wrap Boy – Phil Earle

  1. Overall, I thought this was one of the best books I’ve read but it was hard to get into until chapter 8. By chapter 20 I was hooked, although there were some twists that left me a bit confused.

  2. This book has a slow beginning but if you’re prepared to stick with it until chapter 22, it gets a lot better. They’re very short chapters! I wasn’t convinced by the instant bond between Charlie and his badly disabled aunt. I think most teenage boys would have found excuses to keep away rather than keep visiting. Nevertheless, I’m glad I stuck with this typical boy’s book because it was worth it in the end.

  3. This book started slowly for me because I didn’t care about the characters and there was no action. By the end I was carried away by the action and enjoying every minute and my opinions on the characters had changed completely. The description in this book was amazing and I was shocked by the bullying. It was interesting to see things through a boy’s eyes and I was impressed by Charlie’s feelings for Dora.

  4. I thought this book had a very slow start and I don’t think I’ll read it again but, once it picked up, I really started enjoying it. The beginning didn’t grab my interest at all and I found it quite hard to sympathise with Charlie. I thought the author wrote very convincingly about Charlie getting wrapped up by his ‘friends’. It made me feel claustrophobic and helpless too. I thought the title was really clever because it can be taken two ways: it’s part metaphor and part reality.

  5. I thought Bubble Wrap Boy was quite good although the start was slow. Maybe it’s because I don’t like books that are more thoughts than action, but I found it quite hard to get into. Once the action had started, I thought it picked up rapidly, particularly when Charlie discovered his mum’s secret. The descriptions, especially of Sinus’s artwork, were very good indeed.

  6. I found the first ten chapters were very slow and this is a shame because it might put people off. After chapter 10, the plot started unravelling, the pace rapidly picked up and I was hooked. I was captivated by the end! Looking back, I think this story is interesting and exciting and overall I enjoyed it.

  7. The basic idea for this book – an overprotective mum – is amazing because it doesn’t seem very promising. I’ve never read a book like this before: it’s unique! The structure is rather unexpected because the climax seems to arrive too early but, by the time you reach the end, there’s another climax. Unlike other people who found them boring, I found the first few chapters – when Charlie is reflecting on his situation – informative and essential to understanding the rest of the book. Overall, I thought this book was very enjoyable and the humour added greatly to my enjoyment.

  8. I thought this book was wonderful the way it made you realise that the most ordinary people can be hiding massive secrets. I really like how the different characters with their very different personalities were portrayed. I particularly liked Sinus and his relationship with Charlie. He was so often sarcastic but he didn’t mean anything by it. I liked the way all the different pieces of the plot fitted together to make sense and the ending was very satisfying.

  9. I thought this book was harder to get into than the others, mainly because Charlie is speaking in slang but I’d got the hang of it by Chapter 4! I found it hard to like Charlie as he seemed full of self-pity and bitterness, which I could understand but didn’t make me like him. I changed my mind when he made friends with Dora and I saw a different side of him, although I did find this sudden empathy a bit difficult to believe in.

  10. I loved this story. The excitement lay less in the action and more in the emotional rollercoaster of a ride that carried me along and which kept me reading. I’ve never come across a book about an overprotective mother so, to me, the book is unique. On the other hand, we can all relate at some stage to having an overprotective parent or guardian so it’s also a familiar situation. Personally, I love a straightforward, realistic plot and this one is carefully constructed and contains just the right amount of emotion.

  11. I enjoyed reading this book and particularly liked the characters. However, I did find some of these hard to judge, especially on personality. Dora, for example, didn’t make it as 3D person for me so I didn’t find her death as emotional as I probably should have. I thought the book was well plotted, although the beginning was quite slow, because everything comes together at the end and makes sense. We find out why Charlie’s mum is so overprotective and his dad so quiet and why Sinus has a thing about walls………It finishes on a hopeful note and we’re left to imagine how things will change for Charlie and Sinus in the future. I’ll be reading more of Phil Earle’s books.

  12. This book annoyed me greatly at the start – not the way it was written but because Charlie was always talking about himself. He was so self-pitying and self-centred. However, as I read on, I started to realise that I might have felt a bit the same in his shoes. Maybe. I did feel that his mum deserved all the lies he told her. I think this is a very well written but annoying book and it made me shed a few tears.

  13. I didn’t think skateboarding would interest me as a subject for a story so I was impressed by this book because the skateboarding bits were described so well that they were interesting! I was really surprised when I found out that the author wasn’t a skateboarder. I was rather put off by the title and cover until I realised where they came from and the fact that they aren’t just a metaphor. I quite liked this book in the end.

  14. I enjoyed this book and thought it both funny and full of emotion. I loved Sinus’s family with all the outsized body parts and his mum obsessed with make-up.

  15. I didn’t think the beginning of this book was very interesting as it was all self-pity. As the story unravelled and more and more secrets were revealed, however, I thought it got a lot better. I liked the way Charlie was inspired to be a better skateboarder by his aunt. I thought this book had the best storyline of all of the books. It was really good!

  16. I thought The Bubble Wrap Boy was truly heart-warming and full of wit. I wouldn’t normally read a book in this type of genre but this experience has changed the perspective of the books that I read. It is a book I can’t put down and I would definitely recommend it.

    I’m not a fan of books like The Bubble Wrap Boy but I really enjoyed it. A stirring story with events that aren’t expected; I really liked the idea that his friend was included a lot. It was an excellent change from adventure & sci-fi stories for me.

    Bubble Wrap Boy is both an emotional yet funny book. I thoroughly enjoyed the comedy in the book, especially about ‘Yoda’. It almost moved me to tears when his auntie, who he had only just found out about, died. The only objection I had was that it had some inappropriate language in it that should not really have been published in a book aimed at my age.

    The Bubble Wrap Boy is a fantastic book; it has an educational life lesson of never giving up despite being in difficult circumstances. The concepts of bullying and other social issues were approached with care and sophistication; this was only one of the numerous things that made this book such a pleasure to read. Another amazing thing about this book is that it is fairly relatable as it is set in a common modern place; the parents are like any others with the exception of the overprotection from Charlie’s mother. I suggest you read this book if you enjoy tales of passion and determination.

    The Bubble Wrap Boy addresses typical teenage worries in a typical teenage way: sarcasm, jokes and movie references are all the attributes that made me really get into the story and connect with the clumsy Charlie Han. The idea of the walk of shame was amazingly original yet believably true. Overall a real page turner!

    This book is confusing at the start, and through the book I didn’t understand what some of the terminology meant (eg the walk) The book is sad and upsetting as a family member he has just met a couple of times dies. I am not a fan of this book.

    What a wonderful book. It’s awesome how well I can imagine the whole story.

  17. Charlie is classed as an outsider and is sometimes referred to as “that tiny kid from the Chinese Chippy”. His mum is way too overprotective and has been hiding a massive secret that will be revealed in the book. This story is about relationships and I enjoyed it very much even though it was sometimes too predictable

  18. I really enjoyed this book because it was funny, emotional and sporty. I didn’t find the start particularly slow – there was lots going on. I liked that there were two things going on at the same time: the secrets to discover and Charlie learning how to skateboard. This kept me reading.

  19. At first this book didn’t enthuse me at all but by chapter 7, I’d got interested. I love how family plays a big part and I like the way we find out about Dora and what Sinus can actually do. I think all the main characters are well developed and the end, in which Charlie falls rather than being the best, is quite realistic. The scenes with Dora almost reduced me to tears. I don’t think I could have been as caring as Charlie.

  20. I thought that the Bubble Wrap Boy was very funny and I really felt sorry for Charlie because of the way that he was being bullied .I also like how the story draws you in and makes you feel almost as if you were in that story with them and the same things are happening to you.

  21. I think that this book was very funny and it made me feel bad for Charlie because of the way that he was being bullied. I also think that it made you feel as if you were a part of that story and you were in the story with them. I have to admit that it was rather hard to get into at the start but after a couple of chapters I couldn’t put it down for more than a few minutes.

  22. At first I wasn’t too convinced that there was an actual storyline, but as you keep reading, it does begin to develop and grow on you. This book was one I would have never read, but was glad I gave it a chance. I thought the ideas were good but because I didn’t like the characters and general ideas, I found it a bit boring. Definitely one to recommend for people who enjoy skateboarding!

  23. I thought that it was quite hard to keep on reading this book and I had to force myself to keep on going .But when I got to chapter 6 I started to enjoy it and I really liked how Charlie found out that his talent was skate boarding ,because if it hadn’t got to that bit I wouldn’t have kept on reading.

  24. The Bubblewrap Boy is a tale about a boy with an overprotective mother. He dreams of flying high like a bird, soaring on a skateboard. Bursting with inspiration and shot through with constant traces of humour, this book is surely one to read at all times.

  25. I was turned off by the front cover of this book and didn’t really want to read it. Now I know why people say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. I really enjoyed it. It’s my second favourite NEBA book. It got off to a great start and carried on that way for the rest of the story. My favourite character was Sinus. He was sensible and talented and a great influence on Charlie. I found Charlie’s mum really annoying, though. I kept trying in my head to tell her to just back off and you only live once! Unfortunately, she couldn’t hear me.

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