Mark Haddon
(David Fickling Books)

First, what a fantastic cover! Bright orange, very touchy-feely, and no blurb to give anything away. This book definitely shouts out “Read Me” to potential readers.

Like most people I had read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time and loved it. I was aware that Mark Haddon had written other books before that (we have one in my library called Agent Z Meets the Masked Crusader) but it is only when I read the foreword of this book that I realised that it was a rewriting of an older book of his called Gridzbi Spudvetch!. Now, a few critics have been quite cynical about this, claiming that Haddon is only serving us his leftovers etc. Fair enough. But I don’t see where the harm is myself. The book was out of print and out of date so why not give it a face lift and see what happens? It is not as if he tried to fob it off without mentioning it had already been released years ago!
Anyway back to the story. As I said, there is no real blurb to give anything away so I had no idea what the story was. But the book opens with a chapter called “Helicopter Sandwich” in which Jimbo, the main character throws a cheese and jam sandwich from his balcony which unfortunately lands on Cratterface, his sister’s nasty boyfriend. The tone is set! I am not going to give any of the storyline away to cultivate the mystery but what I will say is that this was a really enjoyable read, with lots of funny bits, some very quirky characters (I have a soft spot for Jimbo’s dad myself) and a good storyline. I did not know what to expect but I have to stay I did not expect the way the story developed! It is a great book for 8+ , and I would say boys will particularly enjoy this adventure!