Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Boom!” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.34 of 5 stars 3.34  ·  rating details  ·  2,678 ratings  ·  434 reviews
Jim and his best friend Charlie bug the staff room, and overhear two teachers speak in a strange language. What does "spudvetch" mean? Why do Mr Kidd's eyes flicker with fluorescent blue light when Charlie says spudvetch to him? A high-powered adventure can end only with a Boom!
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published September 3rd 2009 by David Fickling (first published January 27th 1994)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Boom!, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Boom!

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Gregory Baird
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
This one was a total hoot! What a fantastic ride! Really quick read and so entertaining at that.

"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
Que desperdício de papel...
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
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”
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.
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
Jim and Charlie are spying on their teachers when they hear two of them start speaking in a strange language. Trying to get to the bottom of what those teachers are talking about, suspicious events happen. The boys set out on an adventure to try and figure it out.

There isn't a Haddon book I've met that I haven't liked. Until now. I enjoyed some of the moments between Jim and his dad, who is unemployed and trying to figure out how to contribute to the family when he's given a beginner's cook boo
OK, so maybe this is a 4-star book, but I give the 5th star for "I've seen nothing quite like it." It's also short, with no wasted words. (I love words; can you tell? But there's an economic writing ability some authors have, which I cannot explain adequately, and which makes some books just shine.)

The author's note at the beginning of this edition explains how this book came to be reworked from an overlooked early novel. Whatever time Haddon put into reissuing this was well spent, and those who
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?
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
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.


It was like a swear word to me. But the worst par
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.
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
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.
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
Absolutely hilarious. Felt like Ron and Harry trapped in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Finished in one sitting. Full review to come!
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

This was a fun book. It starts out in a usual enough way with a boy named Jombo who maybe isn't the best student or son or kid brother, but he's not a bad kid. Along the way it takes an odd turn and the story that starts out about a kid who may be about to get expelled from school--if you can trust the word of his, big sister--becomes a story about a boy trying to save the world from alien takeover.

I wasn't sure what to expect from this one, but I walked away completely satisfied; a
Tim Thompson
I seriously considered giving this book a one star rating. (I hardly ever do that!)
Boom! just wasn't written all that well. The storyline was a very common trope found in old sci-fi movies and shows, and not actually written in such a way to set apart from the crowd. Based on the buzz I'm hearing, I should give Mark Haddon's other books a chance, though.

In the end, Boom! was not a very enjoyable read, unfortunately. The dialogue was weak, the plot was tedious, and the characters were not likable
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
(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
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
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Boom! By Mark Haddon 3 10 Apr 03, 2015 12:50AM  
  • Fludd
  • Bury Me Deep
  • Choke Hold
  • Blackout (Newsflesh Trilogy, #3)
  • After Dark, My Sweet
  • The Dramatist (Jack Taylor, #4)
  • Bare Bones (Temperance Brennan, #6)
  • The Key to Skandos: A tale of adventure, love and magic
  • The Elephant Tree
  • Griff Carver, Hallway Patrol
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
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

Share This Book

“The police asked us whether we wanted counselling. We said we'd prefer a hot supper.” 0 likes
“And maybe Bob-with-the-Hawaiian-shirt was right. Maybe it was cool being on a planet on the far side of the known galaxy. And maybe it was even cooler escaping and getting home again. But the coolest thing of all was having my best friend back.” 0 likes
More quotes…