The Year of Big Dreams by Karen McCombie

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The Year of Big Dreams by Karen McCombie

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Robert James
Reviewed by Robert James
Summary: Another engaging story from one of today's very best authors for this age range. Not quite as good as her previous two, but still well worth reading thanks to excellent characterisation and a fun plot.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 320 Date: June 2013
Publisher: Scholastic
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1407131733

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Flo Brown's mum is in the final of a huge TV talent show! Millions of viewers want to see her give a life-changing performance - but they aren't expecting what they see. What will happen to Flo, her mum, and her gran Olive after the show is complete?

Karen McCombie is such a talented author that anything she writes is worth reading. As always here, she creates an engaging narrator, a fun supporting cast, and a clever plot. That said, I didn't think this was as good as her last two for this age range, the superb Six Words And A Wish and Life According To Alice B Lovely. The decision to reveal in the first chapter that Queenie's dreams tragically ended in the final of the show is presumably meant to add intrigue by making it clear this isn't a 'standard' rags-to-riches tale but I can't help thinking that if anything it's a slight misjudgment and it might have been a better read if we hadn't known this.

I'm concerned that this is turning into a review which sounds rather negative, and it's not meant to be. My feeling of slight disappointment can be chalked up to McCombie's usual excellent consistency; this is possibly the first I've read from her which I wouldn't have given at least a high four and a half stars to. While I do think it's a touch below par for her, you have to remember that 'par' for her is as good or better than it is for anyone else writing for this age range.

Bear that in mind, and go into this expecting a pleasant light read with good characters and plot and you certainly won't be disappointed. Recommended for young teens and older tweens.

For another story about a talent contest for a similar age range, check out Dork Diaries: Pop Star by Rachel Renee Russell.

Buy The Year of Big Dreams by Karen McCombie at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Year of Big Dreams by Karen McCombie at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Year of Big Dreams by Karen McCombie at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Year of Big Dreams by Karen McCombie at Amazon.com.


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