I Swapped My Brother On The Internet by Jo Simmons
|I Swapped My Brother On The Internet by Jo Simmons|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: A funny story of wish fulfilment being less fulfilling than hoped. Pacy and funny and with a great underlying message about family life and seeing the best in one another.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 304||Date: January 2018|
|External links: Author's website|
After a terrible argument over the Hanging Pants of Doom (don't ask), the sibling rivalry between Jonny and his older brother Ted comes to a head. Jonny fills out an application form at siblingswap.com and sits back to wait for a new brother who is bound, surely, to be infinitely better than patronising, mocking, bullying, Ted. Right? Any brother would be better than Ted. Right? Of course! What on earth could go wrong?
Well, plenty as it happens.
Sibling Swap sends Jonny a series of replacement brothers but the first few don't work out. There are practical issues if your new brother is a merboy or the ghost of a king in ye olde times, dontchaknow. Despite these early setbacks, Jonny is undeterred. Once he's sorted out the initial error of not ticking the preference boxes marked human or living, the right brother is bound to come along. Right? RIGHT?!
As you might guess, the new brothers aren't much better and Jonny's life becomes a complicated nightmare as he tries to control the various candidates and hide Ted's disappearance from his mother, his friends, the school and even the man in the sweet shop. And all the while, as Jonny's conscience begins to prick him, there's a thought in the back of his mind trying its best to make itself heard. Was Ted really that terrible a brother?
Poor Jonny! His is a story of wish fulfilment being considerably less fulfilling than he had hoped. He's not a bad kid. He's just a kid who gets fed up when his big brother laughs at him. And what younger sibling can't say they've felt the same at times? But he's forgotten all the good things about Ted and by the time he remembers them it's almost too late. But, aided by his various fill-in siblings, he comes good in the end.
I Swapped My Brother On The Internet is a rattle-along story which will entertain anyone from the newly confident reader to those in the last years of primary school. It's hilariously funny with lots of slapstick and at least one silly joke on every page. And vivid, too - with all the supporting adult characters as well drawn as the protagonists. I loved Henry VIII, who is the most genial of ghosts, even if his laugh is loud enough to shake the foundations of Jonny's house and even if he did send Jonny's mother into a fainting fit.
Underneath the humour, of course, is a sensible message about family dynamics, that nobody is perfect, and seeing the best in others makes you happier than seeing only their faults. Arresting, energetic illustrations by Nathan Reed do a great job of lifting the text - even when they are depicting the horrors of the Hanging Pants of Doom. Shudder.
I Swapped My Brother On The Internet is funny and lively and truthful and therefore a thoroughly good read.
You can read more book reviews or buy I Swapped My Brother On The Internet by Jo Simmons at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy I Swapped My Brother On The Internet by Jo Simmons at Amazon.com.
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