The Rise and Fall of Derek Cowell by Valerie Sherrard

by

Ah, the high-school years. Especially the Junior grades when you are still finding your way around a new academic setting, while at the same time discovering your own way in life. When the opposite sex gets thrown into the mix, and it can be a very confusing time for a young thirteen-year-old lad like Derek Cowell. Valerie Sherrard’s latest Young Adult (YA) title takes a humorous look at an otherwise average self-described “see-through” teen as he becomes quite popular after unintentionally photo-bombing a group selfie of his sister and her friends. Here’s a sample of the humour you can expect in Derek Cowell:

For the most part I didn’t mind being overlooked. Now and then, usually when I did something moronic, it could even be a plus. Either way, I was used to it. After all, it’s been this way for as long as I can remember. (Or I should I say, it was that way until a freak occurrence changed everything. I’ll get to that in a minute.) At home, a big factor was the amount of attention that’s left to dribble down when a guy lives in a house full of girls.
I have three sisters. If that doesn’t horrify you then you don’t have three sisters.

How will Derek keep the interest of his female classmates piqued once fame at the high school level is achieved? His good friend Steve has an idea. That’s where the trouble really begins.

Light-Hearted Style

Derek Cowell is written in the light-hearted style of Ms. Sherrard’s well-received 2015 novel, Random Acts. I liked Random Acts as it had more going on in the story than Derek Cowell does. It’s difficult to rate a humorous teen read, especially since my teen years were 40-some years ago. I prefer Ms. Sherrard’s more serious YA reads, like Driftwood or Rain Shadow. However, DK does get serious near the end, which was most welcome. Themes of friendship, loyalty and understanding are all explored in DK, but in subtle ways, as befits a read that is primarily humorous. Written in the voice of a young teen boy, there are plenty of bracketed ‘asides’ which get tiresome after a while, but overall, a fun read with some good clean fun and lessons learned along the way.

The Rise and Fall of Derek Cowell by Valerie Sherrard
DCB, an imprint of Cormorant Books.

*Please note if you choose to purchase this book (or Kindle version) through Amazon using the link below we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. If you cannot see the Amazon ad below (if you are using an ad blocker, for instance) here is the link: https://amzn.to/2UV2kea Thanks!

(Visited 79 times, 11 visits today)

About the author

James M. Fisher is the owner and editor-in-chief of The Miramichi Reader. Started in 2015, The Miramichi Reader strives to promote good Canadian books, poets and authors, as well as small-press publishers, coast to coast to coast. James works and resides in Miramichi, New Brunswick with his wife and their dog.

Start a conversation:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: