The past 2 years haven’t been great for anybody and one of the things, among many, to suffer has been children’s mental health due to lockdowns, no proper schooling, missing their friends and family etc… Things look to be improving now and the kids are back at school and engaging with their friends and teachers, although there are plenty of signs that children might need some help with their mental health. Getting children to understand their own mental health and express their feeling in a good and positive way can be a challenge and a good tool to help with this can be in the form of books and stories. Faythe and the Fearstone: Best Frenemies, written by Roland Moore (created by Lucy Cole, Roland Moore and Martyn Niman), has been designed to help children express their feelings and talk about mental health through character led stories.
Faythe and the Fearsome: Best Frenemies is targeted at children aged 7-11 years of age, as this is where children start to feel real emotions and make decisions that will stay with them through their teenage years and adulthood.
The book has been published by Lucy Cole, who is a fully qualified Master Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) & Hypnosis Practitioner, Time Line Therapist, Personal Evolutionary & Health Coach and has used her training and personal experiences with her two daughters to publish the book which combines a fully animated cartoon series and has its own website www.faytheandthefearstone.com.
Lucy has worked with award-winning author, Roland Moor and Martyn Ninman, founder and creator of animation studio, King Bee Animation to create Faythe and The Fearstone.
A group of four teenage friends, Faythe, Dreme, Harmony and Kourage, are the same as most other kids their age – they like to have fun, go to school and try to do as well as the can, support each other and help each other deal with their day to day problems. But they also help to save the world from an evil villain who lives in another dimension, and learn how to overcome issues, conquer their fears and to be brave.
- Faythe – is the leader of the group is kind-hearted, courageous and sharp-witted.
- Dreme – is Faythe’s younger sister and is enthusiastic – although sometimes too over enthusiastic.
- Kourage – is powerfully built and brave and could be described as the muscle of the team.
- Harmony – Ditzy Harmony is a skilled acrobat and gymnast and is very much he action woman of the group.
When a strange new pupil appears at school, despite Faythe and her friends’ best efforts to help her fit in, she isn’t all that she seems – in fact she is a very intelligent shape-shifter that wants to steal the Fearstone from Faythe. Faythe and her friends have to try and stop her evil intents with the help of the Fearstone (a purple gemstone that has a lot of power including warning her of any threats, transporting her and anyone physically linked to her across the dimensions and helps her fight evil creatures that are a danger to Earth).
As Faythe’s friends start to come under the influence of the new girl Gemma and Undermind (the evil ruler imprisoned in Doomland), they start to turn against Faythe, becoming best frenemies, and very soon Faythe is fighting for her life!
Overall, Faythe and the Fearstone: Best Frenemies is a good book that subtly helps children with mental health and concepts such as betrayal, not judging yourself, not to bottle up your emotions, feeling ok with who you are and the importance of friendships. It also touches on what happens when someone turns against you and how to come out the other side. It teaches the comfort of choosing, making and keeping the right friends.
The story is something all children will enjoy. Four teenage friends who battle to save the world from an evil mastermind called Undermind that is imprisoned in another dimension in a placed called Doomland and a shape-shifting android that appears in human form. With the aid of a powerful gemstone on a bracelet that warns of dangers and can transport the wearer, and anyone physically connected, to other dimensions to battle various creatures and threats it makes a good sci-fi story.
Interlaced within the text of the story are various ways to look issues that young readers might be going through themselves such as depression, anger and other mental health issues and suggest small ways to help manage these issues. With Children’s Mental Health Week just finished, it might be a good story for children to read to support themes they may have learned in school during it.
It is a reasonably fast-paced story, one that is easy to read and one that children will enjoy and be able to get through reasonably quickly with its short chapters. Each chapter will introduce something new and help readers with issues they might be facing in their own lives with confidence and self-esteem, behaviour and emotions and overall children’s mental health (whether their own or that of their friends).
I did have some niggles with the book as I didn’t like the spacing between lines (personally I found it harder to read), and there were a few errors that were annoying (Doomland becoming Doom land, grave yard becoming graveyard before switching back again).
Whilst Best Frenemies is a sci-fi story that children will enjoy, the underlying messages of doing your best, the importance of friendships and being OK with who YOU are make reading this book a great way of reinforcing these messages and getting children to think about mental health for themselves using characters and themes that they can identify with.
RRP: £12.99 (Hardback) / £8.99 (Paperback) / £4.99 (Kindle)