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Boom!

3.35 of 5 stars 3.35  ·  rating details  ·  2,218 ratings  ·  395 reviews
In explosive, highly charged, and hilarious middle-grade adventure from Mark Haddon, acclaimed author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. From the moment that Jim and his best friend, Charlie, bug the staff room and overhear two of their teachers speaking to each other in a secret language, they know there's an adventure on its way.

But what does "spudvetc
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Hardcover, 208 pages
Published September 3rd 2009 by David Fickling Books (first published January 27th 1994)
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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. RowlingThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark HaddonCatching Fire by Suzanne CollinsTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeThe Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Gregory Baird
Clunk!
From a financial perspective, it makes perfect sense that this book, originally published in 1992 under the title Gridzbi Spudvetch! , is being given a second life nearly twenty years later. Its author, Mark Haddon, has since achieved literary renown as the author of 2003’s book club favorite The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and the lesser known but equally enjoyable A Spot of Bother . It’s been nearly four year’s since the latter’s publication, and with no new adult
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paula
"Boom! is a version of your old-style Something Is Very Strange About the Teachers at My School story. You know that story. They're aliens, or monsters, or she collects the teeth of children for nefarious purposes. Love that storyline. Who hasn't thought it at one time or another? Even in college, I was pretty sure a respected art history professor of mine had probably wrested herself into life from the mud at the bottom of an archaeological dig in Sicily."

Full review on Pink Me: http://pinkme.t
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Srividya
This one was a total hoot! What a fantastic ride! Really quick read and so entertaining at that.

IndyPL Kids Book Blog
When Jim’s sister Becky informs him she overheard a teacher saying he is a lazy nuisance and likely being sent to Fenham - a school for kids with problems - Jim doesn’t know if the story is true, or he’s being punked. Becky isn’t exactly trustworthy, but at the same time, what if it’s true?

The only way to know for sure is to do some investigating. Jim’s friend Charlie has the just the thing - a set of walkie talkies. One walkie talkie can be hidden in the teacher’s lounge while Jim and Charlie l
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LH Johnson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oona Palmer
I decided to read this book because my little brother recommended it to me. We enjoy the same type of book, action packed and fiction.

This book completes ‘recommended by a member of your family’ on my bingo board.
I thought this was a good category because, knowing what books each other like is another way of getting to know each other, always a good thing in a family, (especially with siblings) it teaches us to share.

My favourite quote from the book ‘Boom’ was “life is a cow pat sandwich, Jimbo”
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Tim
This is an updated edition of a book originally published in Britain in 1992 as "Gridzbi Spudvetch." My knowledge of children's literature is not that encyclopedic (not even pertaining to authors whose books I have enjoyed in the past), it just says so in the foreword. I believe I reviewed one of Haddon's picture books years ago, and I quite liked "Curious Incident..." ("Spot of Bother" is on my bedside table..but it has been for a while--too many paying review gigs)

All that's beside the point.
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Kimberlee
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jasmine Gray
This book follows the unexpected(and rather odd) journey of a teenage boy Jimbo, his best friend Charlie and his 16-year-old Becky. This all starts with Becky attempting to prank her little brother,telling him that he was going to be expelled from school, and that she had heard the teachers discussing it in the staff room after school. Jimbo, stressing over the matter, turns to his best friend for advice. Charlie, being the far-fetched schemer he is, hatches a plan to place a walkie talkie in th ...more
April
This is a great listen...esp with Britney...had me cracking up! Some Goodreaders have remarked disappointment since this is a YA book...but I knew it was YA and wanted to read it because it is YA and because I loved Curious Incident (which I also listened to). This book is funny and suspenseful and has great characters. And it was only 3 discs. AND it's British. What more could you want?
Arie
Boom, was not a particularly complex read, and never having read any Haddon beforeI didn't know what to expect, but after the initial shock at how ordinary the book seemed, it became quite a page turner. Boom had me looking up the "English" words and phrases, there for doing some actual learning. I feel like I had far more enjoyment from what is essentially a middle school age reading level book than I deserved, it unfortunate took until about half way through for me to get to the enjoyment, par ...more
Aaron
Well, this is a good example of why I read less and less children's and YA fodder now. Great character, good flow, great set-up...leading to a rushed climax and absolutely no resolution, which made me use the dreaded p-word.

When I was a teenager I was a slacker in middle and high school. Don't ask me why, I was a freaking teenager! But I had more than a handful of teachers and youth leaders use the dreaded p-word with me and my parents.

Potential.

It was like a swear word to me. But the worst par
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Jellybean6401
Mark Haddon is one of my favorite fiction authors, and this book shows his creative side with a strange idea as a plot, great characters and it all tied in together really well as a whole. I gave it four stars because I think he could have built on more to his characters.
Claire
Mark Haddon portrays a goofy alien hunt in this tale for young readers. James and Charlie are curious over the way their teachers are acting, so they investigate. Once Charlie goes missing, James and his sister take over. They conclude that aliens are coming to Earth to kidnap science fiction fans to help repopulate their planet. The element of adventure and odd humor targets young readers about 3rd grade to 7th grade. The storyline and character development cater to readers with an imagination ...more
Betsy
One Sentence Review: If you didn't know it was science fiction going in, the sudden switchover might shock you, but really this is just a fun mystery with some pretty goofy sci-fi elements (and copious Britishisms) in the mix.
Emilyzzz
This book wasn't bad. It just wasn't my thing. I'm not sure what my 'thing' is per-say, because I read everything from dribbly YA fantasy to non-fiction psychotic psychology to action packed thrillers to Shakespeare and Jane Austen, but Boom just didn't really work for me. Maybe if I'd read it a few years ago (my self finishing primary school would have probably enjoyed it a hell of a lot) I would have liked it, but the me now could only read it analytically.
It's quite interesting really that I
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Sarah
people should stop comparing this book to the dog in the night time this book is a book in its on right and you must go into it not expecting it to be like the dog in the night time but with the anticipation of a new book by a new author

I read this book before the dog in the night time and found it highly enjoyable with its plot twists and fast pace

people should stop judging this book on the fact that americans might not understand it I am from new Zealand and have had no problem understaning
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S0r3n_
I really enjoyed Boom!. I read it very fast. The story was very exciting. And by only a few chapters in, I couldn't stop reading. It was so mysterious, I had to know what will happen next. All of the cliff hangers kept me reading. I also enjoyed the characters. The relationship between the main character, Jim, and his older sister’s boyfriend was interesting. But my favorite character was Jim's dad. He gets a cookbook from Jim as a present, and starts cooking for the family every night. There we ...more
Brian
My rating is a combination of how much I liked it and how much I think I would have liked it as a kid: 4 stars! Mark Haddon is the guy who wrote 'The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time' and this is his version of a YA adventure novel.

Jim and his friend Charlie hide a walkie-talkie in the teacher's lounge and discover two of them speaking in a weird language. Are they Russian are aliens or what? As these typically underachieving kids hunt down more clues, the secret codes and magic wri
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Kelli Venier
Jim's sister Becky has him convinced he's going to be kicked out of school. He gets so worked about being kicked out, he shares his fears with his best friend Charlie. Charlie has a simple fix to Jim's problem, they'll just bug the teacher's lounge and find out for sure if he is in fact getting kick out. As the two boys listen in they discover Jim has nothing to worry about. Just as the celebrating begins for the boys, they realize, two teachers left in the lounge and are talking to each other, ...more
Arminzerella
(originally published as Gridzbi Spudvetch! in 1992)

Charlie offers to help Jimbo bug the teachers’ lounge after Jimbo’s older sister Becky insinuates that Jimbo is about to be expelled and sent away. The boys place a walkie-talkie in the lounge, and listen in on another walkie-talkie. They don’t learn anything about Jimbo’s expulsion, but they do overhear two of their teachers speaking in a strange language – unlike any they’ve heard before. They try to find out more about the language by questi
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Malissa
Jul 31, 2011 Malissa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Those who like good but funny stories and parents & teachers as a read aloud book.
Shelves: juvenile
Another consideration for Shelby County Reads.

I really enjoyed this book. I'm not sure that it will work for our reading program since it doesn't really have much actual science in it, but it's a quick, fun read that I think a lot of kids (and adults) would enjoy.

The book is about Jimbo, a teen who along with his best friend discovers that two of their teachers are aliens. Aliens who aren't very happy that Jim and Charlie know their secret. When Charlie disappears, Jim goes looking for him. Th
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Emily
So many books have promising plots and little character development. I find myself struggling to care about characters simply because I just don't know much about them. However, Boom! has such great potential for its characters, but its plot borders on ridiculous. Jim and his sister are people I find intersting and real. I would like to know them better, as well as their out-of-work dad. If Haddon would take these characters and put them in a better plot, I think he would have a great book. As i ...more
Scott
Apr 18, 2012 Scott rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: a disco spider
This story devolves from being a realistic fiction with a vivid urban setting to a slapstick science fiction with a portal to another galaxy and a Volkswagon-sized disco spider. The further I got into this story, the less I liked it.

I'm guessing that the author had no idea where he was going with this story when he started writing, so he threw in some mysterious elements, like people who spoke a weird language and appeared to be aliens disguised as humans. Then it got weirder and weirder as he f
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Melanie Au
When Jim and his friend, Charlie overhear two of their school teachers speaking to each other in a weird language, they know something suspicious is going on. Their investigation leads them to one of the teachers' houses, where they manage to sneak in and find a book written in the same indecipherable language. They're sure they've gotten away with their break and enter, until a mysterious man at a fast food restaurant warns them to stop their investigation. When Charlie demands to know who is w ...more
Charlotte
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Adriane Devries
This witty, thoroughly British, Douglas-Adams-esque sci fi tale for the younger set would be perfect for any boy child who loves karate and legos, or any girl child who loves ballet and art, and pretty much all other children in between. For adults, if you love funky British Isle accents and stories that prove your school teachers really were evil aliens after all, then this story’s for you, too. From personal experience, this story is best if you listen to it on the audio read brilliantly by Ju ...more
Ruthanne
After hearing a secret from his sister Becky, Jim and his friend, Charlie, get an idea to plant walkie-talkies in the teachers lounge. They plan to listen in on the teacher meetings, so they find out what's going on. The boys get more than they bargained for when they hear two teachers talking in a secret language. Jim and Charlie decide to investigate further to discover their teachers’ secrets. The boys discover the teachers both wear metal wrist bands which they touch with their right fingers ...more
Lucy Silbaugh
I adored this book.

First of all, a few words in my defense. This is not the type of book that I normally read. This is not the type of book that I normally even pick up from the shelf. And yet…kindly revert to the first sentence.

Boom! is by no means a literary masterpiece, as I might, in a kind mood, classify Haddon's other novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. While The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is serious and moving, dealing with issues such as love, m
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Tasha
Jim is a magnet for trouble, which is why he thinks his older sister might be telling the truth when she says that the teachers at his school are talking about sending him to reform school. So he and his best friend Charlie come up with a plan to bug the teacher’s lounge. While listening, they discover that two of their teachers are speaking in an unknown language. Jim and Charlie set out to discover what exactly is going on in their school and stumble onto a plot that is much larger than they h ...more
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Boom! By Mark Haddon 2 6 Apr 03, 2013 01:31PM  
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Mark Haddon is a British novelist and poet, best known for his 2003 novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. He was educated at Uppingham School and Merton College, Oxford, where he studied English.

In 2003, Haddon won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and in 2004, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize Overall Best First Book for his novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-t
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More about Mark Haddon...
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time A Spot of Bother The Red House The Talking Horse and the Sad Girl and the Village Under the Sea: Poems The Sea Of Tranquility

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