This is a perfect read for young readers who enjoy a really good laugh, together with giants, goblins and even a school inspector, who turns out to be a fairy called Ms Sugar Plum! I am sure that this gives you a hint of the heights (or depths) to which this humour can go. Anyway, this really is a great story to relax with.
The action starts when Harvey’s mum enrolls him at ‘Madam Bogbrush’s Academy for Gifted giants’, the only problem is that his family are not giants, so he has to wear stilts and very long trousers to try and blend in. Now, Harvey has a history of being somewhat accident prone at school hence this latest option, as all the other local schools have thrown him out. The problem is that the curriculum is nothing like he has come across before and even worse, giants really dislike “smalls”, otherwise known as humans, so Harvey is definitely going to have problems. Thankfully he makes friends with a giant called ‘Walloping’, who is able to help him with his stomping and grunting classes among other things. School becomes a lot more complicated and even dangerous when the school inspector arrives, but particularly when the resident School Fortune Teller predicts that someone will go missing and that the ‘Unspeakable Circus’ will be responsible. The pupils find themselves faced with secrets, danger and trying to save their school. Will they be up to the challenge, will Harvey find his perfect school? It is just a matter of holding your breath as we go on a roller coaster of a ride, with a few bumps on the way.
This is a glorious romp of a story, but at the heart of it is the theme about not judging people by their looks, but by their actions. Harvey has spent his life moving around with his mother and attending a multitude of schools, all of which seemed to have problems. With this latest school, Harvey is more concerned about not being stomped on, rather than whether he can avoid causing a disaster; in fact helping his new friends is something that he really wants to do. One of the things that we see highlighted is the fact that various communities differ in their likes and opinions and we see how important it is not to lump all giants, or smalls, together. The illustrator Holly Ovenden has produced a fantastic cover, which is then complemented by the very funny illustrations by Rory Walker; all of which really adds to the overall humour of the book. It is really great read for all middle grade readers.
This book is published in the middle of June, so look out for it then, or pre-order from your favourite bookshop. Thank you to the publisher ‘Everything with Words’ for the chance to read an early copy.