The earth is in danger. Seriously dangerous danger. Luckily Hamish Ellerby and his friends in the PDF (that’s the Pause Defence Force, who you may remember saved the world once already in Hamish and the Worldstoppers) are on the case! If you’re a kid aged 8-12 you should get ready to read this book (it’s by a fellow named Danny Wallace), learn a BIG secret and help Hamish and the crew save the day – but be warned, it’s a pretty exciting ride. Hypnobots included.
So you’re in. Welcome to Starkley, a town that’s famous for not being very famous at all- although it did make the list for ‘Britain’s Most Boring Towns and ‘100 Places You’ll Never Go’. Thanks to ten-year-old Hamish’s adventures now Starkley is on the map and all set to be visited by the PRIME MINSTER himself, Ernst Ding-Batt: the only prime minster in history to own a poodle AND be able to lift sixteen cans of Fanta at once. When the Prime Minister arrives to film an episode of his popular program Question Me Silly everything seems to be going well until suddenly there’s a blank look in his eyes and all he wants to talk about are his brand new blue pants. Something very strange has come over him…
‘Here!’ he shouted. ‘Film this! Film me doing my New Pants Dance!’
Hamish and his best friend Alice decide to go to London themselves to investigate, and to maybe, just
maybe, try to find Hamish’s dad who disappeared last Boxing Day. The only lead they have to go on is an address – 1 Arcadian Lane; where quite coincidentally the Prime Minister was supposed to be going for a meeting… How is it all connected? What’s at the top of that very, very tall tower? And WHO are the Neverpeople, who look just like every one of us but are different people entirely? You’ll have to read to find out!
Although Hamish and the Neverpeople does follow on from Hamish and the Worldstoppers, a child can certainly read this book and catch up without having read the first one. Hamish is an every day kid and easy for children to relate to – he wants to spend time with his family and eat a good kebab, just like anyone else. At times ‘the author’ breaks the fourth wall and speaks to the reader directly, which helps to integrate the child into the world and feel just like they are part of Hamish and his rambunctious Crew. You can even visit Hamish’s website to find out your own Starkley name to really fit in!
‘Yes!’ Said Alice. ‘Always be prepared! Have I taught you nothing by repeatedly saying the same thing over and over?’
The book is peppered with fun illustrations by Jamie Littler throughout as well as sections from the Starkley newspaper, case files, maps and the like, so although the book is over 300 pages it is not as daunting to a young reader as it may initially appear. It has a very quick pace with cheeky humour and jokes galore (even one about a prime minister eating a raw onion)! Although the plot has lots of action it’s relatively simple to follow, and will appeal to kids aged about 8 to 12. We can’t wait to see what adventures Hamish and his friends get up to next and who knows- maybe Starkley isn’t quite so boring after all…
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Images are copyright Jamie Littler.