June 2012, Corgi
256 pages, Paperback
Themes: losing a parent as a child, dealing with a parent's disliked partner, world record addict, trying new things, hula hooping, determination, practicing skills, getting proof of evil deeds, mountains of enthusiasm, a fair amount of peril, happy ending, lots of humour, super mild romance (parents), a tissue is needed
Summary from Random House Children's Publishing
Luke is a gifted but awkward ten-year-old who is obsessed with world records, and is nervous about starting senior school a year early as 'the swot with the dead dad'. When Luke's tiny, unique Jersey village is in danger of being bulldozed to the ground to make way for a waste incinerator plant, the only way to stop it is by putting the village on the map: by breaking 50 world records in a week.
With the help of geeky adjudicator Simon and a colourful cast of oddball village characters, this is Luke's chance to shine, to solve his mum's relationship problems, and to face his biggest fears - with bizarre, extraordinary consequences.
Although this was out first, I read it after Ellie's second book, Billie Templar's War. It's fantastic! I learnt so much about world records and how they are adjudicated. There's a lot to do with living with someone who is trying to be a dad but isn't welcome, trying to sneak around a parent's orders without knowing the reason for the prohibition. The tissue moments are off-set by the rest of the humour. I love how much I laughed while reading this excellent read. I spent a few minutes flicking the book back & forth to make the hula hooping girl move! It's an awesome trick on the page corners.
As well as Ellie's 2nd book, Bilie Templar's War, (Children's, 9 years +, 9/10E) for more protests try Eva's Holiday by Jodi Curtin (Children's, 9 years +, 10E/10E)