Thursday 19 April 2012

110. Just Doomed by Andy Griffiths illustrated by Terry Denton

Just Doomed by Andy Griffiths illustrated by Terry Denton
Published April 2012 Pan Macmillan

From the publisher:

Take the DOOMED TEST and find out. YES / NO Have you ever broken a mirror, walked under a ladder or opened an umbrella inside? Do you often find yourself feeling that everything is about to go horribly, terribly and utterly wrong? Have you ever lost or destroyed a valuable item that didn't belong to you? Have you just accidentally enraged a very large and bad-tempered bully? Are you 120 years old or over? SCORE: One point for each 'yes' answer 3-5 You are definitely DOOMED! You will love this book. 1-2 You are fairly DOOMED! You will love this book. 0 You are DOOMED, you just don't realise it.

Now is probably the time that I admit to never having read an Andy Griffiths book.  I have read some parts of some of them, but not one in it’s entirety…until now.  The main reason being, that for my many years in children’s books, Andy Griffiths has always been a ‘no questions asked, firm favourite’, his books are not something I had to read in order to figure out who I would recommend these books for.  Andy Griffiths is like a literary Rock Star, kids love him, and they always know well in advance when his next book is coming out, and the books fly off the shelves.  As I have said before, this is my year of trying new things, broadening my horizons and now I am getting into the head space of a 10 year old boy!

As you may know, Andy Griffiths’ books are short story collections.  I find that interesting, because often when I recommend short stories to people, they say ‘kids don’t read short stories.’  Andy Griffiths and Paul Jennings (to name a couple) may disagree.

So.  I was actually going to say that this book isn’t going to change your life…but then I thought, if I was a 10 year old boy who didn’t read, and this book turned me into a reader, then it might just be a life changer!  For me however, it was a fun, sometimes very funny, quick read.

The book is made up of short stories, lists and the artwork of Terry Denton.  The lists, ….didn’t do much for me, but some of the stories I really liked.

The character in the stories is 10 year old Andy Griffiths.   For all of his cocky, sassy attitude, he is quite an endearing character.  He still gets nervous around girls, worries about what people think of him and tries to do the right thing...most of the time.

My favourite stories in Just Doomed were:

Andy's handbag: where Andy has to get his Mum's handbag from where she has left it at the dry cleaners, utterly embarrassed to be carrying a giant purple handbag, he meets a girl he likes, pretends he doesn't know who's bag it is, takes it to the police station, then steals it from the police station...only to be caught by the police for stealing a bag that was really his to begin with...and then there's the 'stolen' book about criminal masterminds, which doesn't help his argument.

Romeo and Juliet and Danny and Lisa and me: Andy is thrilled to get the part of Romeo in the school play, thrilled because he will get to kiss Lisa who is playing Juliet.  Of course nothing goes to plan, as Lisa gets sick and drops out of the play, only to be replaced by Andy's best friend Danny.  Horrified at the thought of kissing his best friend, Andy makes himself horribly ill by licking a green smelly slimy gutter, so he is out of the play.  Sadly (for Andy) it turns out Lisa wasn't too sick to do the play, and she is now Juliet again, this time it's Danny who plays Romeo.

Just Nude!: I won't say too much about this one, but just imagine your family is going on a much needed family holiday to the beach.  Sound good?  Yes it does, what doesn't sound so good to Andy is that the resort they have booked into is a nudist resort, sorry, Naturist resort!  A two week holiday where clothes are not allowed.  What will Andy do?

Boys LOVE Andy Griffiths, and I am sure this new 'Just' book will not disappoint.

Who will like this book: Boys age 10+
Read it if you like: Andy Griffiths!

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