Author: Elen Caldecott
Expected publication: June 6th 2013 by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Synopsis: ‘Those McIntyres are nothing but trouble!’ When the McIntyre family moves in next door, Eva is intrigued – it is the first interesting thing to happen for ages. But her ever protective Dad – even more protective since Eva’s mum died – does not agree. And the McIntyres are certainly noisy! But Eva is curious about Jamie, who she often sees on the roof of his garden shed, escaping the family chaos.
e-Review copy courtesy of Bloomsbury publishing via NetGalley
Caldecott says she loves to write about ordinary children doing extraordinary things and it’s one of the things that I have loved about the previous two books I’ve read. And if that’s what you love about her books than this is no different, Eva and Jamie are two extremely likeable ordinary children. I’m impressed with the way that Caldecott’s characters are always so different and yet completely believable. In this book I related to Eva so much. The first scene where she spies her new neighbours moving in could almost be my life. And the fact that Eva so easily slips into a fantasy world, well that could still be my life!
The story really kicks off when she and Jamie, who come from very different backgrounds become friends partly because they both do disappear into imaginary worlds. At the time the children are volunteering at a soon to be youth centre (and I have to confess to wondering about health and safety after I’d finished reading the book). As the story unfolds we discover why they feel the need to escape and there are some very poignant moments as we discover who these characters really are. The way Caldecott describes their emotional journey completely carried me away, even though, I personally found it difficult to reconcile with the mum’s behaviour.
But, I was so into these two characters that I was halfway through the book before I started to wonder when the ice-cream came into it. But don’t worry because when it does, it’s like a scene straight out of a slapstick comedy and yet everything that is happening is completely logical.
The ending (as I’m discovering with Caldecott) had me reaching for the tissues, partly because both of them had taken that little step closer to growing up, but also because they were a little more sure of themselves.
So in summary, another great read from Caldecott. I give this book: