ON the face of it, Ryan Kennedy is just like any other five-year-old.

But the Blackburn schoolboy has a very unusual gift.

Put a book in front of him to read and he will be able to recite it back to you word for word.

The youngster has already passed the entrance exam for Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School and his family say they are ‘astonished’ by his memory.

Ryan lives with his mum, Lois, 29, and grandparents Ian, 61, and Anne Dickie, 58, in Dukes Brow, and they are looking for a scholarship to get him into QEGS.

Ian, 61, said: “We read an article about a young girl who could do certain things at a young age and she was being called a ‘prodigy’.

“But Ryan was able to do those things at an even younger age.”

Mr Dickie said they began to notice he had a gift when he was aged two and a half.

He said: “We would be reading to him and he knew when to turn the pages and we thought, ‘how does he know to turn the page now?’ “When we read to him and tried to skip bits he knew and would pull us up on it. And now if you miss a word he picks up on it and will tell you what the word is.”

It isn’t just in story-telling that Ryan’s gift comes in handy.

Mr Dickie said: “Somehow he found a Year Six algebra exam on the computer and he memorised all the answers.

“He doesn’t necessarily understand it but he can remember what all the answers are.

“And recently he started learning to play the piano and after 10 lessons he is already using all of his fingers.

“He says things and we wonder where he has got them from.

“The other day he asked me what the Gulf of Mexico was. He just remembers things he has heard and is very inquisitive.”

This kind of gift is often associated with Asperger’s Syndrome, but doctors have given Ryan the all-clear.

Mr Dickie said: “This is very rare in people without Asperger’s and we have had him checked but he is just very gifted.”

Ryan is a pupil at St Anne’s Junior School in Blackburn.

His teacher, Alexandra Baker, said: “Ryan is a lovely boy who is very gifted.”