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.