Sunday, 18 November 2012

Sammy Feral's Diaries of Weird by Eleanor Hawken (Children's, 8 years +, 10/10)

September 2012, Quercus
250 pages, Paperback
Review copy

Themes: family zoo, loving animals, falling out with a friend, making new friends, never quitting, major family drama, illegal goings on, bravery, determination, persistance, some major peril, lots of humour

Summary from Quercus

Sammy Feral is a lucky boy. His family run a zoo and so he spends his spare time hanging out with orangutans, crocodiles and snakes.

But his luck has just run out - his entire family has been infected with a werewolf virus! Now his mum, dad and sisters are howling at the moon, craving raw meat and, worst of all, trying to infect Sammy!

Luckily, Donny and Red - a crack team who investigate animals that don't exist - are on hand to help. But with an evil professor determined to take over Feral Zoo and no known cure for the virus, things aren't looking good for Sammy!

Nayuleska's thoughts

I expected this to be a bit more boy orientated - it wasn't. I nearly stopped reading at the 3 headed sn*ke, but it didnt come up again. Good choice on not including a picture of it or I would have lobbed the book out the window. With my aim it wouldnt make it to the window - unlike Sammy I don't have friends with special powers when travelling out of unusual exits.

I loved Sammy. He is faced with a terrible scenario: his own family are against him, when normally they would help him. He feels alone - especially when his best mate ditches him, but over time he makes new friends in people who come to help him sort the werewolf issue. Just because they are helping doesn't mean they are all friendly.

My favourite character, besides Sqmmy's sisters who are funny in human form, is Red. Sammy eventually describes her as an emo fairy, which is so true. I love her attitude and dress sense as it helps Sammy toughen up and not fall apart under pressure. Her power rules and I so hope she will feature a lot in book 2 out 2013. This is a top 10/10 read with humour, heaps of danger and a load of weirdness.

Suggested read

For another family who aren't quite human try The Vampire Blog by Pete Johnson

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