Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Alice Dent and The Incredible Germs by Gwen Lowe (Children's, 7 years +, 10E/10E)

1st March 2018, Chicken House, 256 pages, Paperback, Review copy 

Summary from Chicken House
 When Alice Dent gets a cold, she has no idea how much trouble it’s about to cause. 

Because this is no ordinary cold: it comes with some seriously weird side-effects. For a start, Alice can’t stop giggling and every animal she meets sticks to her like glue! But when the mysterious Best Minister for Everything Nicely Perfect and his scary masked henchmen come to take her away, Alice realizes her troubles are only just beginning …
Nayu's thoughts
It felt a bit ironic that I read this while I had a cold and was feeling a bit miserable so needed a laugh. During the first chapter I became worried that this would be quite a gloomy read despite what the press release said because the restrictions Alice and other children face because of a  new minister are horrifying, and in my head it felt a little dystopian-y (I totally made that word up but it's all I could think of to describe it). Mercifully the humour soon entered, and I absolutely loved it! I was afraid for Alice many times, but she finally gets some friends (albeit unusual ones), which made my heart happy because she deserved some love and support which was lacking from her own so-called family. 

Quite a lot of us live in a world where germs are frowned upon, disinfectant wipes are the norm, which is what makes Alice's tale so gripping - I could easily see this happen in the future, but hopefully it remains in fiction. While Alice's new school regime is terrifying, there are some absolutely splendid furniture elements which I want to try for myself despite not liking heights or large bodies of water. Gwen has created a brilliant world for readers to slide into with Alice (bad pun, sorry not sorry) and I for one am eager for book 2. 

It reminds me of a book whose title & author I can't remember (my memory is awful and I've read a lot of books) which meant that Alice's world felt familiar to me. I loved the secrecy from the adults on Alice's side, as well as the good organisations she encounters who are doing their way to fight the powerful enemy. Alice's task is daunting, but she is helped on her journey and I'm eager to reread the book just to enjoy the moments she realises people are her friends and somehow she will succeed in her mission to save children from the ridiculous health policies which would make my life miserable if I was in Alice's world.
Meet Gwen! Photo by Jonathan James

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