Saturday, 3 August 2013

Billy Cooper's Awesome Nightmare - Penny Estelle

Billy Cooper's Awesome NightmareBilly Cooper's Awesome Nightmare by Penny Estelle
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

'Billy Cooper's seventh grade class has been given a last minute, weekend assignment. They must draw a piece of paper out of a box and prepare an oral book report on the person or event they select. Billy draws the name, William Tell, whoever that is. He has a full weekend planned, but figures he'll do a ten minute search and then be able to skate right through the assignment, having plenty of time for his busy weekend.

His outlook changes when he finds himself in the fourteenth century, standing in front of William Tell's house. Billy's modern day style and lingo has William Tell thinking the lad is a bit unbalanced, but asks if he would like to go along with him and his son to the town of Altdorf. It is here Billy learns just who William Tell is and why he is a legend.'

Penny Estelle has tried to tackle the hard job of teaching history to middle school pupils.

Before reading this short story I didn't know who William Tell was not being American, we don't learn this type of history. After researching William Tell I discovered he was an American Hero and I was able to put the story into perspective.

I feel that Penny Estelle has kept the story short but pacy and this will appeal to the target market, this is educational and children could use this to help them with their studies. The length of it I feel would encourage them to choose this over another book based on William Tell.

The story line is a simple one, Billy has a school project to do that he selected from a box, goes to sleep that night and has unusual nightmare where he time travels back to when William Tell was alive and can learn about his life and why he is so important and then wakes up. Although this is a simple story line it works and the target audience for this book I feel would enjoy this.

The historic part of the story is very well put together and it is clear the author has spent time researching this section of history in detail. I could see a series of these books all written in the same well doing very well.

I would like to thank the author for sending me this to review. My review has not been altered because of this, I have written an honest review in exchange for the copy.


  1. I so appreciate you taking the time to review my story, Billy Cooper's Awesome Nightmare, Samantha. I'm grateful for the kind words. History and I were not friends while I was in school. I found it boring. So doing these stories for the Wickware Sagas has taught me a great deal about some of our heroes/legends in history.

    Thank you again!

  2. Thats ok, like I said I learnt alot myself while reading it and it encouraged me to research further to find out who William Tell was.

    I also had a love/hate relationship with history too so I think it's great your writing about it in a way children can relate too.