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The Astounding Broccoli Boy

Frank Cottrell Boyce, illus. Steve Lenton
Age 9-11

Although Rory Rooney knows a lot about superheroes, he is an unlikely hero himself and an easy target for school bullies. When he inexplicably turns green and ends up in an isolation ward next to his arch enemy Tommy Lee (aka Grim) Komissky he begins to wonder whether he has developed special powers to go with his strange new skin colour.

This is a very funny madcap adventure across the streets of London in which Rory meets a prince and a prime minister, rescues and befriends his nemesis and even helps to find ways of saving the city from an outbreak of a deadly cat flu virus, commonly known as ‘killer kittens.’

Listen to the author Frank Cottrell Boyce read the first chapter on Instagram. Frank has recorded and posted the other chapters on his Instagram channel too.



Talk about the story

  • What do you find out about the main characters Rory, Tommy-Lee and Koko Kwok, what they think about each other at different points in the story and the ways they change?

  • Which character do you each find most interesting and why?

  • Look back at the chapter headings – which are your favourites?

  • Talk about other green characters in stories these could be superheroes or fairy world characters such as leprechauns


Things to make and do

Make a colour chart of shades of green
Mix different shades of green and make a colour chart. You could match your shades to different vegetables or plants or objects around the house.

Don’t be scared be prepared
Write a page of Rory’s book. You could choose everyday things such as What to do if there is a spider in the bath or crazy things such as what to do if you wake up green

Write a comic strip
Make a comic strip story of Tommy-Lee’s rescue from the top of The Shard.

See our print-off activity book with some of these ideas and other activities


Find out more

Read more books by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Titles include:




Runaway Robot

The Unforgotten Coat

Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth


Find out more about illustrator Steve Lenton


Find out about other green characters in stories