Archie Nolan: Family Detective - A funny, illustrated story for 8-12yr olds.
Science geek Archie Nolan tries to keep a low profile, but when his class are told to research their family tree, he is terrified twin sister and school swot Jemima is going to reveal that they are donor conceived. Archie’s in turmoil. He doesn't want to have to talk about all that embarrassing stuff. The only person who understands is his donor conceived friend Cameron, but he seems to have unearthed a village vampire…..and Archie's far more interested in investigating that!
Open Archie’s secret diary and join him and his friends on an action-packed adventure to find out what family really means.
The story is set in the UK, but the characters, storyline and topics covered make it relevant to other countries.
For younger children 8-10yrs we recommend that parents read the book first themselves so they are aware of the content, but that would probably be a good idea for all parents whatever your child's age. The book is a conversation starter, and includes some topics that might need more exploration with parents (see the topics listed below).
Because the subject matter is quite deep the book can also be given to teenagers who might find it really interesting, even though the format is a little young for them and the main characters are 11 years old. You might want to explain your reasons for buying it for them, so that is clear.
The main characters are in a heterosexual couple family and a solo mum family. The book contains characters in a variety of families (heterosexual couples, single women, same sex couples) conceived by different donation types (including sperm, egg, double and embryo donation).
The book is a good read for all children, not just donor conceived children, and explores themes of difference, friendship, connection and family. As well as a murder mystery involving a vampire (of course!).
The story includes the following topics: genetic half siblings, known donors, anonymous donors, donors who are not known but will be identifiable at some point in the child's life.
The story does not include sex education, although it does cover how babies are made in terms of reproduction and some very basic information about genetics.