Monday, 23 February 2009

Love Ya Babe, Chris Higgins - Teenage

Love Ya Babe by Chris Higgins £5.99 978-0-340-970750-1 Hodder Children’s Books
Everyone has been there as a teenager: you feel your parents are old and embarrassing and your siblings are annoying. Everything they do makes you cringe and the only people who understand you are your friends.
Welcome to Gabby’s world. She is a typical teen, when every little thing is amplified and magnified, making a huge impact on who she is and what she wants to be. Gabby does normal things: she goes to school, parties, fancies boys and every day brings its challenges.
Her father is a hard-working loner, a man in the City who finds solace in the drinks cabinet after an excruciating day at the office. Her mother is an eccentric, flamboyant dresser, a woman who is impervious to the impact her behaviour has on her children.
So you only imagine how Gabby feels when her “ancient” mother announces that she is pregnant. She decides she wants nothing to do with this third sibling, but circumstances take over and she realises she has to take on more than she thought.
Higgins is an entertaining writer, who somehow keeps us wanting to read more, even though much of it is about the more mundane aspect of a teen’s life.
Eminently readable, this story, with its amusing anecdotes, touching scenes and the dissection of teenage angst, will speak volumes to young adults who are trying to find themselves amongst the detritus of growing up.
Jayne Howarth

Tantrums and Tiaras, Sarah Horne - Young Readers

Tantrums and Tiaras by Sarah Horne. £4.99. 978-1-84715-045-5. Stripes Publishing.
When Molly moves to the countryside she suspects that she might get a little bored, after all there are only trees, sheep and cows to be seen.
But she hadn’t accounted for the rather strange neighbours, the Von Volavons, who live in a most spectacular-looking castle and their even odder pet: a talking pure-bred Persian Mimi.
Molly is asked to look after the pet when Mrs Von Volavon, in a fit of pique, decides to take her spoiled children on a break.
But – having got over the fact that the cat actually speaks – she finds she cannot satisfy the demands of this overbearing moggy, which refuses to eat mere cat food.
Instead she wants trout a la maison (the goldfish) and pork de la Bon-Von-de-la-Mon (the guinea pigs) and talking quail (the pet parrot).
But can Molly win over the tiara-wearing ball of fluff? Young readers will love this slapstick tale, with its succinct lessons in good behaviour and manners.
Jayne Howarth