Friday, 5 July 2013

‘Shrunk’ – Fleur Hitchcock – review

Tom isn’t enjoying life, he lives in model village and is trying to fit into a new school. But things change radically when he discovers he has an unusual superpower – he can shrink things.

At first shrinking things is fun, then he realises his accidental shrinking of Jupiter is having bad consequences. This is a hilarious roller-coast adventure, hugely imaginative and seriously good fun.

I really love that the superpower Tom has is so unusual and the whole idea that he shrinks a planet is so enjoyably quirky it shows great imagination. I would definitely put this book in the same category as David Walliams and Andy Stanton’s Mr Gum stories. It’s fun to read aloud and it seems to appeal to a broad age range, including reluctant readers, which is impressively great to pull off with your first book.

I also really enjoyed ‘Dear Scarlett’, which, although not nearly so zany and written for slightly older readers, is enjoyable for very similar reason to ‘Shrunk’. In ‘Dear Scarlett’, Scarlett discovers all sorts of secrets surround her dead father and that he has left her some unusual legacies.

Via some great comedy scenes (if you suddenly discovered you could break into places would the sweet shop and the zoo be top of your list?), it has the same edge of adventure, lovely wry observations and a great forward-moving plot.

I have to say I am a great admirer of Fleur’s writing and if you would like to meet her I’ve actually invited her to come and run my bookshop for the day on Saturday July 6. She and two writing colleagues from Nosy Crow are taking over Mostly Books in Abingdon, offering book advice all day, taking tea and bringing cake for customers and giving interviews to local schoolchildren.

It’s going to be brilliant, so thank you to Fleur, Paula Harrison and Helen Peters, who are being handed the keys to Mostly Books and finding out what life is like on the other side of the bookshelves for the day (exhausting I am sure because authors just sit around drinking tea and typing the occasional word – right?).

Child review by Alex Aged 8

'Shrunk' is a funny book and I found it exciting. I liked the sense of humour and how Tom dealt with the bully at school. 

Tom's parents run a model village and when Tom discovers he can shrink things all kinds of crazy thing happen. He frantically tries to find out how to unshrink things. 

It made me want to be in the book as Tom. The power to shrink things was a wonderful idea and I thought it was an awesome book.

I liked the whole booked, but I really liked the way Tom dealt with the bully.

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