Review: How To Be A Human by Karen McCombie.


Who said friends have to match to matter?

When the Star Boy’s space-pod crashes in the grounds of Fairfield Academy he knows he must seek shelter. Taking refuge in the school’s boiler room to await rescue he discovers that the room’s small window is the perfect place to watch humans go by.

The Star Boy knows about humans from his Earth lessons but no one from his planet has ever studied them up close. Now he has the perfect opportunity. There are two humans in particular that catch his attention – a boy called Wes and a girl named Kiki. But as his curiosity grows so does his courage and, making a momentous decision, the Star Boy follows Wes and Kiki into class … and into their lives.


How To Be A Human, is a lovely, quick read, with some excellent themes of being yourself and sticking up for others.

This is a heart-warming story looking at kindness, friendship, and not putting up with bullying. It teaches about accepting others and their differences, as well as appreciating your family and friends.

I enjoyed the idea of using an alien that has crashlanded on Earth for Kiki to realise what is important to her and how to be a good friend and human. 

The narrative coming from three perspectives (Kiki, Wes and Stan) was an excellent way to see how their thoughts and feelings corresponded (or not) as the story went along. Plus, Stan has some incredibly funny one-liners when he makes mistakes and misunderstands whilst learning about Earth and humans. 

A fun and light-hearted story, ideal for kids transitioning from Primary to Secondary school. Would recommend for Year 6s and 7s to read, but appealing to all readers from age 8+.

Thank you to Stripes Publishing (Little Tiger Group) and Netgalley for the e-arc to review.

Author Bio

Karen McCombie is a bestselling author of children’s and young adult novels, and has had more than 90 books published. She is the author of the much-loved series ‘Ally’s World’ (early 2000s) and her most recent books include the Carnegie-nominated historical adventure ‘Little Bird Flies’ (2019) and it’s newly published partner novel ‘Little Bird Lands’ (2020, Nosy Crow Books), plus the ‘St Grizzle’s School’ series for younger readers (Stripes). She has several books publishing in 2021.
Originally from Scotland, Karen lives in London with her husband, her teenage daughter and beautiful but bitey cat Dizzy.

Twitter KarenMcCombie

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