Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Small Change for Stuart by Lissa Evans

What an absolutely brilliant book!  It's a real old fashioned mystery story, with only very mild peril and loads of really loveable characters.  I loved the nurturing but slightly old-fashioned nature of Stuart's family set-up. The plot is intricate, but carefully structured so that it is easy to make sense of.  There are interesting clues, which build up throughout, and lots of funny moments.  I felt most put out that I had to go to work today, and could not just get this all read in one sitting.  

The story is about a boy named Stuart, who moves town with his mum and dad, and starts to unravel a family mystery which has lain dormant for decades.

I have now read two of the novels shortlisted for the Carnegie prize this year, and they have both been spectacular (this, and A Monster Calls) and they have both been absolutely brilliant.  I really don't envy the judges having to choose this year.

A relatively straightforward read (although the Dad character writes cryptic crosswords, so there's quite a lot of complex vocab there), suitable, I would say for children of 9+, younger for reading aloud by a parent.  It's a proper children's book - not aimed at girls or boys in particular.  It reminded me a little of the brilliant The Queen's Nose

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