First of all, a huge thank you to the author of this stunning novel, Ariella Cohen for sending me a copy of her debut novel in return for an honest reFirst of all, a huge thank you to the author of this stunning novel, Ariella Cohen for sending me a copy of her debut novel in return for an honest review. I'm truly honoured that I had an opportunity to read this book, I found it to be a highly satisfying and emotional read and I absolutely loved all the characters that the author has created. The novel itself has elements of both contemporary and historical fiction and I enjoyed how each strand was pulled together to create a narrative that I'm sure will speak to readers on a number of different levels.
Our main character is Cate Saunders, who moves to the small tight-knit town of Amberley, in search of something to take her mind off her overwhelming grief. Her husband, John was a soldier serving in Iraq and was tragically killed by a roadside bomb whilst out on patrol. Almost as soon as Cate enters the town, she is befriended by a number of strong, independent women all of whom are fighting their own somewhat invisible demons. There is Sheila who runs the local store who gives Cate a place to stay, brash yet gentle mechanic Mary-Lou who teaches Cate how to smile again and Gaby who runs the diner who has a strange gift for empathy and builds Cate's spirit whilst fighting her own personal battles.
Before John died, Cate used to dream of being a writer and as she settles into Amberley, her dream becomes a reality when she finds old journal entries from a previous occupant of her apartment, Miriam, a Jewish refugee who had the most horrific life during World War II when she was sequestered in the notorious Lodz ghetto with her brothers. As Cate learns more about Miriam's life from the journal entries and from the people who knew and loved her, Cate slowly but surely begins to heal and, bolstered by her new friends, enters a writing competition to tell the previously unknown stories of all the women in the town who have been affected by the horrors of war.
Personally, I felt the most wonderful part about this book (apart from a cracking plot of course!) was the characters drawn by the author. I fell instantly in love with all of them as we witness their own personal hardships and admired how they came together in support of each other as soon as they were needed. I found parts of the story, especially when Cate remembers her husband John and learning about the secrets of Miriam's tragic past particularly emotional and I thank the author for taking me on a roller-coaster of emotions which left me with an new, entirely positive feeling about life, love and friendship. I'll certainly be reading the next novel from Ariella Cohen and I'm eagerly hoping that there will be a sequel so that I can catch up with characters where it feels like they are already old and very dear friends.
Yesterday, I introduced the first book in a stunning new series by Gabrielle Kent and today I’m delighted to be part of a blog tour celebrating the seYesterday, I introduced the first book in a stunning new series by Gabrielle Kent and today I’m delighted to be part of a blog tour celebrating the second book in the Alfie Bloom series, Alfie Bloom And The Talisman Thief. Many thanks to Faye for inviting me to be part of the tour and to Scholastic UK for sending me a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. I’m so glad I didn’t have to wait a while to read about the marvellous Alfie and his adventures and this second offering from the author has definitely confirmed that I’ll be watching out for the rest of the books in the series.
After the exciting and dramatic events in the first book (which I’m not going to spoil for anyone who hasn’t started yet) Alfie is still enjoying his new life in the castle where he seems to find somewhere different to explore and new treasures to unearth every day. One very important treasure that Alfie is guarding is a special talisman which he wears around his neck to keep it safe. The talisman has very strange powers, Alfie discovers that he can read some previously indecipherable letters by using the lens part of the talisman and other parts work like a key and open strange new doorways and hidden passages within the castle walls.
This second novel shifts some focus onto Alfie’s butler, Ashford who has always seemed quite mysterious and a man of many secrets. However, it is not until Ashford is kidnapped by some elves and their terrifying Queen that Alfie realises just how secretive and important Ashford really is. The Elven Queen and her minions want the talisman very badly, for reasons I shall not divulge and will stop at nothing to get to it which puts Alfie, his best friend Amy and his cousins in very real jeopardy. Alfie must once again draw on all his inner powers, magical or otherwise to save Ashford, protect his castle and those he loves and prevent the Queen from getting her hands on something that could endanger all their lives.
Alfie Bloom And The Talisman Thief is an excellent follow up novel to the first book in the series and one I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I would probably recommend reading the first book before this as although it can be read quite easily as a stand-alone you’d be missing all the great parts like the development of the characters and how Alfie came to the castle in book one! My favourite character, apart from brave Alfie has to be Artan the loveable bear – who is actually a bear rug but makes an excellent flying carpet and has some brilliant jokes. Once again, we have a thrilling plot that is action-packed with little time to draw breath before the author throws in another exciting incident and I’ll certainly be looking out for the third book in the series.
Another day, another fantastic piece of middle grade fiction in the form of Alfie Bloom, an ordinary boy whose life changes dramatically when he is leAnother day, another fantastic piece of middle grade fiction in the form of Alfie Bloom, an ordinary boy whose life changes dramatically when he is left a beautiful but very strange old castle in an inheritance that pronounces him as the new caretaker of some magical powers he could only have imagined in his wildest dreams. I missed this book when it was first released last year but when I was asked if I would like to be involved in the blog tour for the second book in the series, I jumped at the chance - although I knew without a doubt that I simply had to read this one first.
When we first meet Alfie, he is as I mentioned, just a normal boy who lives with his father in a rather modest little flat. His father is a struggling inventor and quite scatter-brained with bits and pieces of things that he's working on (that mostly don't work very well unfortunately!) dotted around the flat and because he gets quite wrapped up in his work, he sometimes forgets to spend much quality time with his son. Alfie himself is fairly happy for the most part, he enjoys spending time with his best friend Amy and is quite used to his father's occasionally eccentric behaviour but is having a bit of trouble with bullies at his school, something his father is quite unaware of.
Then one day everything changes. Alfie receives a strange letter through the post from a solicitor, calling himself Caspian Bone informing him that he has been left an inheritance and that a coach will arrive to pick him and his father up one minute before midnight to go to the solicitor's office and discuss the matter further. Things get even more mysterious when the coach appears to fly like the speed of light, Caspian Bone turns out to be half man, half raven and Alfie discovers that he is now the owner/protector of a castle and the guardian of magical (and somewhat dangerous) powers.
Alfie meanwhile is absolutely delighted at the turn his life has taken and he and his father move into the castle almost immediately. On exploring the property and the many secret passages with his twin cousins, Madeleine and Robin who live nearby, Alfie's excitement and happiness increase ten-fold at what he finds within. They are even provided with a very special butler who takes charge of all the cooking and maintenance of the castle which is a huge relief to Alfie's father - there is so much more room and time for all his inventions!
Of course, this book wouldn't be much of an adventure story without a real adventure to be had and this all begins when Alfie starts at his cousins' school, presided over by two headmistresses, Murkle and Snitch. The two sisters dislike children intensely and devise a number of terrible punishments for any child they believe to be stepping out of line (which can be for the smallest, silliest thing believe me!). They also appear to be very interested in Alfie's castle for reasons which at first, Alfie cannot understand. The story is about to get a lot more dangerous, even more exciting and unbelievably tense as Alfie takes up his mantle as guardian of the castle and whatever lies within its walls and discovers a lot of interesting and at times, frightening things about himself as a result.
I'm a bit of a sucker for a magical adventure story and it's certainly true that fans of Roald Dahl and J.K. Rowling will really enjoy this thrilling middle grade read. The strong characters and solid plot grabs your attention instantly and leaves you eager for more at the end and I believe the fantasy elements will appeal to both the young and the young at heart. I can definitely see it being read in classrooms and also read by children on their own and if they are anything like me when I was younger they'll be turning the torch on to read under their covers after the light goes out, desperate to reach the end!
When Chrissi and I first started doing our Kid Lit challenge, the Narnia books were an absolute must as they formed such a staple part of our own chilWhen Chrissi and I first started doing our Kid Lit challenge, the Narnia books were an absolute must as they formed such a staple part of our own childhood reading. We also wanted to read them in the order recommended by the author, C.S. Lewis, the third of which is The Horse And His Boy. It's quite strange as I didn't have fond memories of this particular volume in the epic saga - in fact, I think it was probably my least favourite so I was quite shocked to discover that I actually enjoyed it a lot more when reading it as an adult! I was also pleasantly surprised by the re-emergence of favourite characters from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, something I hadn't remembered being part of it previously.
The story is set some time after the events of the second book and Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy have had a few happy years reigning over Narnia from Cair Paravel. They play somewhat secondary characters in this novel however, our star turn and hero of the proceedings is Shasta, a young boy who does not remember his real parents but has been raised by a fisherman who treats him as little more than a skivvy and has no qualms about striking a deal with a mysterious and exotic stranger who wishes him to be his personal slave. Shasta happens to overhear their conversation, is frightened and confides in the stranger's beautiful horse, not expecting for one second that the horse will a) understand him and b) talk back! For the horse, Bree is actually a slave himself and was originally a "free" horse from the land of Narnia where talking animals are quite the norm. He convinces Shasta to run away with him and escape to Narnia where he tells the boy that he bears a striking resemblance to the people that live in the North.
So, the adventure begins and what an adventure it is! Soon after they start on the road, Shasta and Bree come across another rider, Aravis and her horse Hwin (also a talking horse from Narnia - what are the odds?) and they team up so that they can travel to Narnia together. Aravis is a rich daughter of a very powerful man who has made plans for her marriage to a very nasty old man, Grand Vizier to the Tisroc (King) of the Calormen people and she is also running away to try and escape her fate. Of course, what kind of adventure story would this be without danger, wicked villains, new friendships, a deadly plot to attack the land of Narnia and a fabulous battle sequence? The unlikely foursome soon become a force to be reckoned with in their attempts to warn Narnia of the dastardly plans and Shasta finally learns the surprising secret of who he really is.
As I mentioned before, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book considering I had originally considered it the weakest of The Chronicles Of Narnia. The characters were wonderful, especially brave little Shasta and his proud war-horse Bree but I also loved that the author provided us with a strong female character in Aravis. Of course, it was lovely to see old favourites like Mr Tumnus the faun, the children from The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe and obviously the mighty Aslan who makes some very welcome cameo appearances throughout the novel. This book has a lot of other great things going for it in the form of a clever plot and some strong "love-to-hate-them" villains who, of course, get their comeuppance in some very humorous ways. Finally, anything which has talking animals in it is already a winner in my eyes and the Narnia books are both unforgettable and obvious classics in the world of children's literature.
First of all, many thanks to the lovely Faye for organising this blog tour and asking me to be part of it and to ScholaThree and a half stars from me!
First of all, many thanks to the lovely Faye for organising this blog tour and asking me to be part of it and to Scholastic Press for providing me with a copy of The Inventory: Iron Fist in exchange for an honest review. I’m really enjoying the amount of high class middle grade fiction that is out there at the moment and The Inventory is another fine example of an exciting story that will capture the imagination of younger readers all over the world.
Our unlikely hero and main character is Devon (or Dev as he prefers to be known) who hasn’t had the most conventional of upbringings and doesn’t have the most “normal” of homes. As far back as he can remember, Dev has lived with his uncle Charles Parker on a farm where strict rules and regulations are of the highest importance. You see, it isn’t an ordinary farm that Dev lives on – the sheep that live outside are actually robotic and a necessary cover for a huge underground system, The Inventory that stores the most amazing inventions that the world has ever known.
Imagine things like Hover Boots, black holes (makes escaping from risky situations a lot easier, you know?) x ray glasses, cars that run on air and then your more deadly weapons that have the potential to obliterate your enemy into mere particles. Each invention is placed in a certain zone depending on how dangerous they are, for example, The Red Zone houses the most lethal equipment which also has the maximum security surrounding it. Dev has access to a few zones by means of a special hand scan but even he does not have access to things in The Red Zone. The World Consortium which oversees the top secret Inventory has decided that all of these inventions are things that the world is not ready for or that they could be used for evil/threatening purposes. I mean, can you imagine actual X ray glasses or even worse, a deadly weapon in the wrong hands – it doesn’t bear thinking about?!
Dev’s uncle is the guardian of the Inventory along with his top class security system, a female robot called Eema. However, security can always be breached when you get a persistent individual like The Collector, who is determined to own a very special invention housed in The Red Zone, known only as The Iron Fist. When his ruthless gang of Shadow Helix soldiers manage to penetrate the facility, they are not prepared to face Dev and a couple of his school friends who although trapped there by mistake, will stop at nothing to protect his uncle and the Iron Fist from getting into the wrong and very unpredictable hands.
As I mentioned before, this is a really exciting story and it was a pleasure to read it. It’s a fast-paced adventure that will appeal to a number of children as the vivid imagination of the author and the thrilling nature of the inventions means that there’s never a dull moment. I found it very easy to tear through this story and was pleasantly surprised by the number of twists and turns that the narrative took – I certainly never anticipated that Dev was going to be a character who is so much more than what he originally seems….say no more! I was also happy that the finale of the book was quite open-ended, hopefully that means we are going to hear much more from Dev and The Inventory in future books and I look forward to the next in the series.
First of all, many thanks to the lovely people at She Writes Press for providing me with a digital copy of this fascinating debut novel in exchange foFirst of all, many thanks to the lovely people at She Writes Press for providing me with a digital copy of this fascinating debut novel in exchange for an honest review. I have to be perfectly honest and say that I didn't find this an easy read at all - the subject matters of infertility, miscarriage and mental health touch into some of my worst fears but ultimately I found this story to be a very rewarding one and a highly emotional reading experience.
Our main character is Margo Kerber, an intelligent and compassionate woman who works as a hospital administrator and volunteers part-time with children in the hospital who are ill and just require some comfort and a bit of cheering up and at a home for young people with severe mental health difficulties. She is married to Steven, who is successful in his own right and their marriage is primarily a happy one although they both feel that having a child would make their family complete.
Unfortunately, after some time of "trying," the couple are given the devastating news that it is unlikely that they will ever conceive which breaks both their hearts but especially Margo, who always felt she was born to be a mother. Then one day, a miracle occurs, Margo finds out she is pregnant but their happiness is short-lived when she loses the baby. I don't want to give too much more away but this event and others that follow send our poor protagonist into a spiral of grief, severe depression and frightening psychosis that leads to her marriage teetering on a knife edge. Margo must now go through extensive therapy examining both her traumatic past and painful present and a little soul searching if she is to recover some of the person she once was and regain hope for her future.
So, as you can imagine from this little summary, this book is tough but if you can handle the triggers it may invoke, it is a hugely important and powerful read. The author has many years of experience behind her as a psychiatrist and it is clear how much of her personal knowledge and experience was put into the novel which I really appreciated as a reader. I was also pleasantly surprised by how beautifully written some of the prose was which for me is always a bonus in a novel and clearly demonstrates a creative and imaginative mind. Everything about it was so very believable, including the characters and plot and although it raised quite a few painful emotions as I read it, I'm so very glad I did.
I became a fan of Malorie Blackman immediately after reading her excellent Noughts & Crosses series which I highlyThree and a half stars from me!
I became a fan of Malorie Blackman immediately after reading her excellent Noughts & Crosses series which I highly recommend. I was also lucky enough to meet her in person at YALC last year and she was just as lovely as I had imagined so putting one of her young adult novels on our Kid Lit list for this year was an absolute must! Similar to Noughts & Crosses, Noble Conflict is set in a dystopian world of two sides at war. There are The Guardians, who control the city and protect it from their enemy - The Insurgents who have been mostly banished to the outskirts, known as The Badlands.
Our main character, Kaspar has just completed his Guardian training, hopes to follow in the footsteps of his famous Guardian parents and is tasked with keeping the peace on a daily basis whilst protecting the ordinary citizens from the "violent" behaviour of the Insurgents. Of course, it wouldn't be a juicy piece of young adult fiction without everything not quite being as it seems and after Kaspar comes across one of the rebels when one of his missions goes horrifically wrong and discovers the other side of the story it seems that there are terrible secrets being kept at more than a few different levels. Kaspar has to question everything he has ever been told, confront his own morals and decide whether he's fighting on the right side of this war.
I loved the plot of this book and was pleasantly surprised (and at times horrified) to realise that the story goes a lot deeper and darker than your average war story. Malorie Blackman has created some fascinating, infinitely readable characters with exciting, nail-biting discoveries that keeps the reader on tenterhooks until the very end. The action never stops and there are many scenes that pack an emotional punch which she never seems to shy away from in her young adult fiction generally speaking. It's another fabulous read from the former Children's Laureate here in the UK that reminded me why I'm such a fan.
The Bones Of You was the last book on the Richard and Judy Spring Book Club list here in the UK and after reading the iThree and a half stars from me!
The Bones Of You was the last book on the Richard and Judy Spring Book Club list here in the UK and after reading the intriguing GoodReads synopsis above, I was looking forward to getting stuck in, although I was a little wary about the comparisons being made to the excellent Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. Why is it that most psychological thrillers nowadays always seem to bear this comparison by the way? I find it quite unnecessary but I refused to let that tiny little sticking point cloud my judgement before beginning and I was determined to judge the book on its own merits. By and large, this book did not disappoint although unfortunately I did figure out who the killer was quite early on which was a shame. However, the author does a great job of attempting to mis-direct the reader with a host of suspicious characters who all had the potential to be the murderer of eighteen year old Rosie Anderson.
Rosie comes from a well-to-do family and after she is brutally killed, her family goes into meltdown. Her mother, Jo, a fascinating character with a lot of skeletons in her closet, is devastated and the ramifications of her grief affect her relationship with her husband (a frightening character in his own right) and Rosie’s younger sister Delphine who becomes neglected and pushed aside under the shadow of Rosie’s death. Kate, whose daughter Grace was friendly with Rosie and who knew Rosie well herself as she often used to escape to Kate’s to help her take care of some horses is also deeply moved and saddened by what has occurred and she befriends the family to try and help them with their extensive grief. Things start to get a lot stranger however when Kate begins to receive anonymous notes through her letterbox that suggests something a lot murkier and nastier going on surrounding the reasons behind Rosie’s premature death.
There were some hugely enjoyable parts of this novel that I really loved. The characters for one were extremely readable and endlessly fascinating. I particularly enjoyed trying to figure out the volatile and slightly toxic relationship that appeared to exist between Jo and her husband and my heart broke for Delphine, the little sister who misses Rosie so terribly and appears to be nurturing some dark secrets of her own. What was most incredible for me though is that interspersed between chapters we hear from Rosie herself, who is aware of what has happened to her and we see flashbacks of her life from her point of view before her murder – where crucial events occur that give us little clues into the mind and reasoning of her killer. It reminded me a bit of The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold in this way and was written in such beautiful and lyrical prose that at times, I felt close to tears. For her debut thriller novel, this author has proved herself a force to be reckoned with and I am eagerly anticipating anything she comes to write next, I have a strong suspicion she’s just going to get better and better.
First of all, a huge thank you to Faye Rogers for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour and to Scholastic Books for the copy of Create Your Own SFirst of all, a huge thank you to Faye Rogers for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour and to Scholastic Books for the copy of Create Your Own Spy Mission in return for an honest review. I was drawn to this book purely out of curiosity at first as I used to love the create your own adventures that I read when I was younger and wondered what it would be like to read one as an adult. Well, thank you very much Andrew and Chris Judge, while reading (and playing, as there is a lot of playing involved) with this book, I completely regressed to my inner child and had a ball in the process!
I'm not going to mention a whole lot about the story-line in the book for a couple of reasons. First of all, there are a few different ways the story can go as anyone who has read a "create your own" book will know. Based on the decisions you make as you are reading, the book can take you in a completely different way on a whole new adventure whilst seamlessly wrapping it all up in the end and making you want to go straight back to the beginning and try another path! Secondly, it's meant to be a SPY mission of course and telling you all about the plot would spoil the fun completely!
I was slightly worried at the beginning of the book, I have to be honest as I'm a bit obsessive compulsive over not scribbling in books and god forbid, ripping and tearing it seemed a bit too scary to contemplate. However, I got into the spirit of things, doodled and ripped away like a woman possessed and had a great time doing it. I can fully imagine children loving how interactive this book actually is and for any kid who sees themselves as a bit of artistic talent or of course a super spy waiting in the wings, this book is a dream come true. I can also see this book as a fantastic introduction for anybody that has children who may be reluctant readers due to the interactivity it involves and the encouragement to (shock horror) draw in books!
Buy it, doodle away, rip and fold it and above all - have fun.
I first came across this astounding book on Twitter where it was receiving many rave reviews and I've been meaning to read it for so long so when RichI first came across this astounding book on Twitter where it was receiving many rave reviews and I've been meaning to read it for so long so when Richard and Judy chose it for their Spring Book Club here in the UK I was delighted and now I'm left wondering just what took me so long? This is a truly beautiful and yes, disturbing read but one I will be eternally glad that I've experienced. From the very first page I was suckered in through the eyes of a young girl whom we hear from at her current age of seventeen and as an eight year old girl when something happened to her that has the potential to change her entire life - and has been far from an easy one so far.
Re-united with her mother Ute, a concert pianist, Peggy has to rebuild her relationship with her and a nine year old brother that she has never even met or heard of. For Peggy was taken away by her father, a survivalist, when she was eight years old and was told that the world had ended and everybody she loved had died. Of course, this wasn't true but she was made to believe that their only hope was to move to die Hütte, a remote cabin surrounded by miles of woodland and live off the land, something her father has had plenty of training for.
The story skips backwards and forwards in time as the author builds tension and mystery in perfection, showcasing the naivety of young Peggy and the obsessive behaviour of her troubled father. At first, Peggy treats it as a big adventure and there are many happy memories as she learns to hunt for food and even play the piano on a special noiseless piano that her father makes for her, teaching her how each note should sound by humming the melodies. However, there are bad times in abundance, particularly in winter when food grows scarce and father and daughter come desperately close to starvation. As she becomes a teenager, Peggy starts to have serious doubts about everything her father has told her and when she finds a pair of boots in the forest, she realises that they may not be completely alone.
That's all I really want to say about the plot of the book as I think to read it is to experience it in all its wonder, intrigue and darkness. Peggy as a character stole my heart from the very beginning and I loved how she developed independence and questioning of her father's curious behaviour as the story continued. I found myself really rooting for her strength and despairing at how much of her childhood she had lost as she returned to her mother. Claire Fuller has played an absolute blinder with this, her debut novel and expertly weaves past and present into a cohesive whole that has the reader questioning everything while completely breaking your heart. I'm eagerly anticipating her second novel next year that I'm in no doubt will leave me on tenterhooks once more.
I apologise here and now for ever doubting the power in children's writing that is David Walliams. Chrissi and I read one of his titles, Gangsta GrannI apologise here and now for ever doubting the power in children's writing that is David Walliams. Chrissi and I read one of his titles, Gangsta Granny in our Kid-Lit challenge last year and we enjoyed it so much that I was really keen to put The Boy In The Dress, his debut novel on our list this year. Once again, I was completely bowled over by the amazing characters, fantastic story-line and characteristic humour throughout the book and of course, the little message within which all good children's books should have, right?
The Boy In The Dress tells the story of twelve year old Dennis, a talented footballer for the school team who lives with his dad and his older brother, John. Dennis is having a bit of a rough time at the moment - his Mum has left and as a result, his father refuses to have any mention of her in the house, including photographs (although Dennis has managed to sneak away a rather blackened photo which he treasures and hides for fear of his Dad finding out). Dennis's Dad is a long-distance lorry driver and is often out on jobs but when at home he binges on food and seems very depressed and Dennis has no idea how to deal with the situation. He just wants to give his Dad a hug and quite often needs a hug himself, but they don't do that - well, except when he scores a goal in football but that's different! His Mum was the "huggy" one in the family:
"Most children can't wait to grow up and get bigger, but Dennis missed being small and being picked up by his mother. It was in her arms that he had felt most safe."
Dennis also has quite a big secret. He loves Vogue magazine and hides it under his mattress so that his brother and Dad won't find it - he dreads their reaction. When he is alone his favourite thing to do is look through the glossy pages and admire all the dresses that the models are wearing. And yes, unfortunately his Dad does find the magazine and his reaction confirms all of Dennis's worst fears. However, one day at school the subject happens to come up with the most beautiful (and possibly coolest) girl in school, Lisa and she invites him to her house to look through all her copies of Vogue. Before long, with Lisa's encouragement, he is trying on all of her wardrobe. With Lisa by his side, Dennis is also brave enough to let her dress him up complete with make-up and go into their school as "her French exchange student friend Denise," in one of the funniest moments of the book, where no-one recognises him, not even his best friend Darvesh.
Of course, things cannot stay this happy and carefree for ever. Dennis is discovered in the dress and the reactions of his teachers, friends and family are terrible. Worse still for him, he is expelled from the school and cannot play in the final of the football match against a very prominent school. As their star player, the school is bound to lose the game so can the day be saved and by whom? More importantly, can his family and friends ever accept Dennis for who he is, dress and all?
I really loved this story, especially the message behind it making it quite an important book in my eyes for children to read, teaching them tolerance and acceptance which sadly, I feel that many don't learn until they are quite a bit older. The illustrations in the book by the marvellous Quentin Blake, who is somewhat of a god to me anyway after he began illustrating Roald Dahl's work, are just the icing on the cake of this story. Everyone should fall in love with Dennis, he is written so beautifully and a number of other characters like Lisa, Raj the shop-keeper and Darvesh, Dennis's best friend are also brilliantly recognised. David Walliams has an undeniable talent for writing children's books and I really hope he continues as his debut novel proves that he has abilities too strong to go unpublished and unread by generations of children.