Select one of the keywords
Boom!    by Mark Haddon order for
by Mark Haddon
Order:  USA  Can
Doubleday Canada, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

At the beginning of Boom!, Mark Haddon (author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) tells us that the story (since rewritten) was first published in 1992 as Gridzbi Spudvetch, which no-one could pronounce. He was finally persuaded to update it by a letter from students of SS Philip and James Primary School in Oxford, England.

The story is told by James (aka Jimbo) who lives in a tiny flat with a balcony. His dad has been obsessed with models since he lost his job at a car factory. Fortunately Jimbo's mother found a good position. His sixteen-year-old sister Becky has turned Goth and dates Craterface, who has a motorbike, a black belt in kung fu, and 'the brain of a toilet brush.'

Spying on their teachers using walkie-talkies, Jimbo and his best friend Charlie overhear Mrs. Pearce and Mr. Kidd uttering very strange words (one of which is Spudvetch). This launches them on 'a nuclear-powered, one-hundred-ton adventure with reclining seats and a snack trolley' - a cross between Men in Black and My Teacher Is an Alien.

Along the way, Jimbo introduces his dad to the joy of cooking, gives Becky a reason to dump Craterface, rescues Charlie, commits various crimes (including breaking and entering, theft, and assault), travels to the Isle of Skye (and far, far beyond it) and back, and finally meets the good guys. Boom! is a riot - don't miss it!

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Kids books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews