The Lost Homework - A book review by Isabelle Smith

18 July 2019
Izzy smith

Romany author, Richard O'Neill's latest book The Lost Homework is a beautifully written and illustrated children's book which shines a light on the many strengths the Travelling community has in offering its youngsters informal learning opportunities.

The award winning author offers a refreshing and contemporary look at modern life for young Travellers and shows how the skills learned at home can be just as important as those learned at school.

Lead character, Sonny devotes his weekend to helping his neighbours with a variety of tasks. He uses many skills, from calculating the amount of fuel needed for a journey, to restoring a caravan. In fact, the only thing he doesn't do over the weekend is his homework - his workbook is missing! What will his teacher say? 

#YTT asked  6 Year old, Isabelle Smith, from Worcestershire, what she thought of the book,  "I  give this book 5 big gold stars I liked the part when the women made the horseshoe and when Sonny helped paint the wagon, it looks like mine. I liked the blonde spotty dog too"  



The author also weaves Romany words into the narrative in a way that deepens the readers understanding of the rich history and heritage of Romany and Traveller communities in Britain. A must read for Traveller and non - Traveller children alike. 




Richard O’Neill was born and brought up in a large traditional Romani family in the North of England. He is an award-winning storyteller and writer who tells his original stories in schools, museums, libraries and theatres throughout the UK. A sixth generation storyteller, he grew up in a vigorous oral storytelling tradition, learning his skills from some of the best Traveling storytellers in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Richard is the author of eleven children’s books, and his stories and plays have been broadcast on BBC Radio. His digital stories have been enjoyed throughout the world, and in 2013, he was the recipient of the National Literacy Hero award. More recently he provided the voice over for our animation 'Roads from the Past, A short history of Britain's Gypsies, Roma and Travellers'