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The Astronaut's Apprentice by Philip Threadneedle

Bradley is as normal as any boy could be. He lives on a farm with his father and grandma and loves all sorts of boy things. But it's at this point that things begin to get a little bit, well, odd. His grandpa is an alien and his mother is in the attic, but she's dead. Grandma's not your normal cuddly version, either. She's of the opinion that childbirth is much over-rated, both from the point of view of the mother and the child and she's not above calling her husband a love rat and a womaniser. Still, even the best of families have their little oddities…

The Astronaut's Apprentice by Philip Threadneedle

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee
Summary: A hoot of a jaunt through space with Grandpa, Bradley and Headlice (that's a girl, by the way - not a hair problem) will leave you sitting on the edge of your seat AND laughing. Recommended. Philip Threadneedle was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 158 Date: November 2010
Publisher: Falcon Berger
ISBN: 978-1453843802

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Being an alien Grandpa isn't a home body and his comings and goings are not entirely predictable, but they're always exciting. One night Grandad takes Bradley on a whirlwind tour of outer space in his flying saucer. If he'd read the manual he might have had better control of the craft but he assured Bradley that the drip from the roof was nothing to worry about as it would freeze over in space. Bradley's not dressed for the journey either – pyjamas don't exactly cut the sartorial mustard – but that's soon rectified at the tailor's shop in the Asteroid Belt. Throw in exploding star pups, a girl with the pretty name of Headlice and a bottle of Gee Whiz Soda (don't ask) and you can imagine that this trip – and this book - is anything but boring.

It's laugh-out-loud funny in places. There's more tension that Star Trek in others, although you might find that the technology is a little more basic and entertaining. Don't be expecting education about space (it's far too much fun for that) as the number of planets is adjustable according to need and some of the inhabitants of space could easily give you nightmares if Grandpa and Bradley were not so good at despatching them.

You'll love Grandpa and Bradley and live in fear of Grandma. It's a relatively short book but the characters really come off the page and work their way under your skin. I had a minor quibble when the book ended on something of a cliff hanger – because you will end up buying the next book to find out what happens to our intrepid astronauts, but it is minor in the context of a fun and unusual book.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy of the book to the Bookbag.

It's entirely different but if this book appeals to you then we think that you might also enjoy Sebastian Darke: A Buffalope's Tale by Philip Caveney.

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Buy The Astronaut's Apprentice by Philip Threadneedle at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Astronaut's Apprentice by Philip Threadneedle at


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