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  • Writer's pictureNutty Bookworm


Pax and the Missing Head by

David Barker

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Book Info

Genre: Middle Grade Sci-Fi

Length: 216 pages

Published: 12th October 2023



In a country beset by civil war, New London defends itself behind a giant wall. Inside the city, children are forced to work from an early age, except for the lucky few who train to be leaders in the re-purposed Palace of Westminster. 12-year-old orphaned Pax is brilliant at recycling old tech. He enjoys working on the verti-farms and just wants a bit of peace and quiet. But when that is taken away from him, his only hope is to pass a near-impossible exam and join the other students in Scholastic Parliament. There he’ll make new friends and new enemies. He’ll get tested like never before. And he’ll discover that not everything is quite what it seems under the mayor’s harsh leadership

About the Author

I attended the Faber Academy in 2014 and from that had three climate-fiction thrillers published (The Gold Trilogy, Bloodhound Books). I joined SCBWI in 2018 as I shifted my focus to a younger audience. My MG debut, Pax & The Missing Head publishes with Tiny Tree in late 2023. I live in Berkshire with my wife and daughter. I have a passion for stories, sport and boardgames.

Okay before I start my review I have to say that when I first saw the title I immediately signed up because I assumed that the book would be spooky but when I started reading I realised that the Head was short for Headteacher and not a body part. But the excuse I am giving is that I was planning my spooky reads and was in the mood for spooky and I am sticking to that.

What I did get was a very different London where people like Pax who was a seedling worked in the workhouse and this gave me Oliver Twist vibes and the and the other kids went to school at the Palace of Westminster where they learn to become leaders if they get through the exam I loved the competition between each of the houses and was willing that Pax and the gang would win .

Now I don't normally like dystopian books but this really surprised me that I enjoyed it so much and I believe that is down to David's imagination and that he kept his chapters short which really made me not want to stop reading

I will be 100 % carrying on with the series as I am dying to see what happens next.

For all the above reasons i am giving Pax and the Missing Head 4 stars

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