As a fan of Time Travelling with a Hamster I was excited to read Ross Welford’s latest production. The 1,000-Year-Old Boy (great title!) tells the story of Alfie Monk, who, as the title suggests, is actually one thousand years old. When his mother dies in a fire, everlasting life no longer appeals to Alfie, and he sets out on a quest to do what comes naturally to every other teenager – grow old. He is helped by some friends from the modern world in the form of Roxy and Aidan.
As in his first title, Welford plays around with similar themes of time and friendship, while posing important thought-provoking questions. In our world where science, medicine and cosmetics seem obsessed with selling us the dream of eternal life, Welford explores the flaws of such aspirations. As the by-line on the cover says, ‘Living forever: it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.’
The dual narrative provides plenty of pace, and the short chapters, and simple, but well-written prose makes it an accessible read for ages 10+. Tension is provided by a mysterious character who follows Alfie around, their identity and purpose only revealed as part of the very satisfying conclusion.
Great characters, clever plotting and confident storytelling made this a very entertaining read.