This story was originally published ten years ago as Staying Home, imagined as happening in the late 2000s, and here we are! The updated cover by Toby Morris along with the new title gives this book great appeal in today’s world.
Zac is a 12-year-old boy living in a fictional town named Hansen, with his mum, three siblings, and some animals. There is news coming out about a deadly virus out of control in the big cities and all citizens have the stay-at-home order.
This story is written in the first person from Zac’s perspective in diary format, includes bullet point lists and illustrations making the 200+ pages accessible to a wider age range.
Zac’s family faces more hardships than we are currently as the infrastructure is failing; no power, and limited internet and telecommunications. His family shows great resilience, creativity and a make-do attitude although Tessa really misses her Honey Puffs.
There is more to this story than just being stuck at home. Zac comes up with an ingenious idea to catch the egg thief, he discovers his father’s diary (more interesting reading) and possessions in the attic, and who is that odd man living down the road?
The minor characters in the book give the reader insights into other places and time, reminding us that we live in a big world with history worthy of further reading.
Title: Locked Down
Author: Jesse O
Illustrator: Toby Morris
Publication: 9 February 2021
Reviewer: Nova Gibson, Library Manager, Massey Primary School, Auckland
How are you recommending this book? Highly Recommended
Opening sentence: ‘It’s coming,’ says Stevie.