Friday, 27 May 2016

How Not To Be Weird by Dawn McNiff (Children's, 9 years +, 10E/10E, short 'n' sweet review)

April 2016, Piccadilly Press, 272 pages, Paperback, Review copy 

Summary from Piccadilly Press
Woody wants to get un-weird – and fast! And he’ll find help in the most unlikely of places.

Woody is forever worried about being different. He thinks himself weird and a bit of a wuss, and two bullies Della and Casey make sure he doesn’t forget that. It doesn’t help that his mum is slightly bonkers. She dresses up as a sheep for a living – mostly for her job as a children’s entertainer. And not to mention the fact that she forces Woody to wear old granny jumpers that she finds down the local charity shop. Gooner the dog doesn’t help either, always getting Woody in some awkward, smelly and rather messy situations! 

But Woody’s got a plan to get unweird – and fast! Just in time for his first day at secondary school. He starts off with some rules . . . ‘Don’t listen to Mum about anything to do with your life, ever’. . .and. . .‘don’t wear old lady clothes’. And with the help of his way more normal, yet rather extravagant GlamMa and the discovery of his Dad’s peculiar lucky charm, he soon finds a new sense of charm, un-weirdness and a heap load of shenanigans come his way!

Nayu's thoughts  
Warning: this review involves total fangirl bias because I love Dawn's other work, and happily loved William as soon as I met him. His family is not the so called norm of 2.5 children. It's him with a super hippy mother who can't even entertain the idea that he may have personal preferences over what style clothes he wears and what he eats, and her partner who William dislikes. And Gooner, who is a loveable and despicable at the same time! 

 New school means a new William-notice how I don't call him by his 'name' of Woody? William makes changes despite the universe at times being a bit against him. He places all his faith in a momento from his father, and has no idea that it is worthless and he already had the inner confidence to change himself, he just needed to lure it out. He thinks he needs to separate himself from his previous friends (kind of) but he learns that doesn't work, and he can evolve at the same time as keeping them.

There are plenty of mishaps which at the time William thinks will ruin his reputation, but the opposite happens. I was thrilled when he was able to feel 'normal' thanks to his new grandmother, her going overboard helps him out more than she will ever know. I doubt there's anyone who can't relate to wanting to change at least a part of themselves, which means it's a perfect read for everyone, cringe moments and all. Another rereadable story from Dawn! (Still hoping the next one is with a girl protagonist though!)

Find out more on Dawn's website

Suggested reading
Absolutely adore the covers for both of these books!

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