I'm not sure what happened from 2020-2023 (is anyone?), but clearly my head wasn't screwed on straight, because I missed that my favorite living British author had not one, but two new books released. The advantage of this was that suddenly, just when I needed a pick-me-up, I had an amazing book to read, all at the ready! If you've been following the saga of The Hough Children Get Sick Once Again, you'll know just how valuable that pick-me-up was... After all, there's nothing like a new book to help you feel better about cancelling all plans for two weeks while your children catch and recover from a stomach bug.
Frank Cottrell-Boyce is my favorite living British author for good reason. His books are all laugh out loud funny, true. And they're paced to perfection, yes. But what really stands out is the juxtaposition of humor and gut-wrenching pathos. The pathos is all the more effective because of the humor it's sandwiched between...which means I can rarely get through a Cottrell-Boyce novel with a dry eye. Certain ones (Millions and Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth) leave me absolutely bawling. And it's no mere writer's trick. It's the deep truths about human nature that he tucks into rollicking adventures like treasures for you to find.
Speaking of treasures... Noah's Gold. :) Here's the publisher's description:
Being the smallest doesn't stop you having the biggest ideas.
Eleven-year old Noah sneaks along on his big sister's geography field trip. Everything goes wrong! Six kids are marooned on an uninhabited island. Their teacher has vanished. They're hungry. Their phones don't work and Noah has broken the internet. There's no way of contacting home . . . Disaster!
Until Noah discovers a treasure map and the gang goes in search of gold.
I love a good kids-on-an-island story. What made this stand apart (besides the aforementioned humor and pathos), is the recurring question of what role our phones and technology should play in our lives. It's never answered for you, and even the characters likely have mixed feelings. But the question is there for you to ponder and consider on your own.
Have any of you read this one yet? I'd love to hear your thoughts...and then I need to go get my hands on Cottrell-Boyce's other book (Runaway Robot) that I missed...!
For more Marvelous Middle Grade Monday recommendations, check out Always in the Middle!
Hi! I'm Faith. I blog about books and creativity, family and faith. Welcome!