|Granddad Bracey and the Flight to Seven Seas by Michael Roll|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Can Granddad help Sally and Peter find the witch, save the islanders and, most importantly, bring Mum home? Well, they'll need a spaceship, of course.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 160||Date: March 2013|
Sally and her brother Peter are staying at their grandfather's house because their father has died in a car accident. Granddad Bracey (named after the accessories for trousers) is the perfect person for the grieving children at such an awful time. He's kindly and loving but also funny and entertaining - as a retired merchant navy captain, he has plenty of stories to tell. But then a second catastrophe occurs: their mother, Mary, decides to remarry. Sally distrusts her new stepfather, Ned, and his daughter, Mona, immediately. But even Sally doesn't realise the extent of their villainous intentions. Until, that is, Mary is rushed into hospital with a mysterious illness.
In the quest to save Mary and be rid of the awful Ned and Mona, Sally, Peter and Granddad embark upon a crazy series of adventures that include, but are not limited to, a spaceship, a faraway planet, an ancient curse, a dreadful witch and a ghostly shipmate...
Oh, this story is so imaginative and funny. It goes from kitchen sink drama, through surreal and crazy journey to other worlds and badass defeating of baddies, and back to kitchen sink again. I loved the dialogue, which is energetic and vivid and full of sly and not-so-sly jokes. I loved the genial Granddad and his ghostly crony Charlie, but I suspect most readers will identify with Sally, who is spikey and stroppy but full of beans. She'll stop at absolutely nothing to protect her family. And, of course, it all happens with Mum none the wiser. How can you save the day with your mother in tow, for heaven's sake?
My only reservation is one of interest age against reading age. The storyline and characters are suitable for confident readers of about eight or so and onwards. But the length, sentence construction and vocabulary are above what you'd expect many of this age group to manage. And the paperback copy I have has extremely small type, which many in this age group find offputting. It may be better to choose the Kindle version and adjust the text size to make it more child-friendly.
Otherwise, Granddad Bracey and the Flight to Seven Seas is a great story. It has a fast-moving plot and a rollicking adventure most children will enjoy. And it makes a great job of taking some very untrustworthy adult characters a la Roald Dahl and balancing them against the adults who love you and will do anything for you - like your Granddad. There's a little bit of magic, a little bit of superstition, a little bit of space travel and a great deal of good, old-fashioned junior heroics.
What more could you want?! Especially when the Kindle version costs a paltry £1.53 from Amazon.
I think you might also enjoy Johnny Mackintosh and the Spirit of London by Keith Mansfield, another adventure with a missing mother and a fantastic spaceship.
You can read more book reviews or buy Granddad Bracey and the Flight to Seven Seas by Michael Roll at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Granddad Bracey and the Flight to Seven Seas by Michael Roll at Amazon.com.
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