Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden

Not My Book Of The Year

Waterstones' Children's Book of the Year 2010 is The Great Hamster Massacre.

I read this book in Foyles during my lunch break a few weeks ago. I really, really, really, really hated it [writes huskyteer aged 32 and nearly five months].

I should have been warned by the title, really.

Deaths which take place before the story starts: one cat, two hamsters, one rabbit.

Deaths onstage: nine hamsters, another hamster probably, one granny.

Is it me or is this a bit bleak for the 7- to 9-year-old market? It was certainly way too bleak for me.

It's entirely probable, granted, that I am more sensitive than the average eight-year-old. I could see that it was cleverly done and realistic. But I don't know what Michael Morpurgo was thinking when he described it as 'fun-tastic!' and I feel the jokey cover picture, which tricked me into reading it, is entirely out of place against the horrors within.

I suspect I'm somehow missing the point.

To cheer myself up I had to read this tale of a hapless office worker who discovers two talking mice eating biscuits under his desk.

I thought it was charmingly written and very funny, but as its purpose is solely to entertain and amuse I guess it wasn't in the running for the prize.
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