Friday 20 January 2012

Book Review - For The Record

Title: For The Record
Author: Ellie Irving
Publisher: Bodley Head
Release Date: 2 Jun 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0370331980

Luke is a gifted but awkward ten-year-old who is obsessed with The Guinness Book of Records, and is nervous about starting senior school a year early as 'the swot with the dead Dad'. When Luke's tiny, unique Jersey village is in danger of being bulldozed to the ground to make way for a waste incinerator plant, the only way to stop it is by putting the village on the map: by breaking 50 world records in a week. With the help of geeky adjudicator Simon and a colourful cast of oddball village characters, this is Luke's chance to shine, to solve his mum's relationship problems, and to face his biggest fears - with bizarre, extraordinary consequences.

 My Review
Every year at the library we do a 'Book of the Year' event where we have to read 6 books then vote for the best, this year this book is on the list. They are all Children's/Middle Grade books. This is one of the books from the list. 
I had been putting off reading it as I didn't like the sound of it. For one thing on the back it has things like 'Loudest burp' and 'Most Doughnuts eaten in a minute' and I thought 'Oh, no, not another crude book for boys all about burps and farts. But I had a day off today and I decided to get it over with. I started it at about two o'clock and had finished it by five. At only 250 ish pages it really is quite short.
Luke is a gifted ten year old, but he finds life hard, bullied at school for being brainy, his dad died a year ago and no-one will talk to him, his mum has a new boyfriend and now someone is threatening to build a Waste plant on his island meaning his home, his friends and the local graveyard will all be moved to make space for it. Something needs to be done. Luke is obsessed with World Records and is convinced that if he can break enough of them the island will get 'known' and will be saved.
I was surprised how easy it was to get into this book, Luke is a likeable character and I could connect in some places. He made me laugh and had an easy-going demeanor. At first I thought 'this is ridiculous', but it was one of those that was so ridiculous it was actually quite good. I found it predictable in places, but I think kids would really enjoy it. Some of the record attempts are silly, some clever, some hard and some funny. There is plenty to keep you amused. There is a bit of a love story involved with Luke's mum, her new boyfriend, and the World Record Adjudicator. I knew who she would end up with but enjoyed seeing how they got there.
I wouldn't say this book was fantastic, but it kept me amused and was an easy read and I think it's target audience would really enjoy it. I was definitely surprised.

My Rating


Jim said...

Fab review, I really enjoyed this one as well!

barmybex said...

Thanks. :D