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Saturday, November 21, 2009

granny, written by Anthony Horowitz. Puffin Books, Penguin. 2009. $7.50 ages 10 and up

"Then there were her table manners. Although it's a sad thing to say, Granny's table manners would have made a cannibal sick. She had a large mouth framed by some of the yellowest teeth in the world. These teeth were stumpy and irregular, slanting at odd angles, and actually wobbled in her gums when she laughed. But how hard they worked! Granny would eat at a fantastic rate, shovelling food in with a fork, lubricating it with a quick slurp of water, and then swallowing it with a little sucking noise and a final hiccup. Sitting at the table she would remind you of a cement mixer at a construction site and watching her eat was both fascinating and repulsive at the same time."

While this funny book was published earlier in Britain, this is the first time it has been published in North America. Kids are so caught up in Horowitz’s books about Alex Rider and the The Gatekeepers that they will be searching the shelves for anything else he may have written. Now, you can hand them this hilarious and wicked book about the Granny from ‘HE...double hockey sticks!’ We meet a very unhappy Joe Warden, whose family is rich, whose parents don’t really acknowledge that they have a son, and whose life is confined mainly to the four walls of the family manor. But none of those circumstances compares to his Granny. She looks abhorrent and MEAN must be her middle name. She looks at Joe with a greedy eye and he wonders if she has some special plans for him. He must discover what her intentions for his life are, and then try to prevent her plan from working. Laugh out loud funny, this short novel will appeal to readers who love Roald Dahl and his irreverent stories about a child’s power over pompous adults.

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