Charlie Changes into a Chicken
299pp., pbk., RRP $A7.99
When the draft copy of this book first arrived in the post, it came with a flurry of yellow feathers and straight away it was apparent that it was going to be something a little different and lots of fun.
Charlie is an optimist, but things are conspiring against him. His brother SmoothMove is in hospital waiting for an operation, his parents are trying to hide how worried they are, and the school bully is upping the ante in Charlie’s direction.
The thing is, Charlie’s never really been stressed before – not properly, sweatily, heartpumpingly, stressed – and with everything going on at home, plus all the normal worries at school, he’s starting to panic. And this is bad, because Charlie’s just learnt that when he gets properly, sweatily, heartpumpingly, stressed, he turns in to an animal, all sorts of animals. A flea. A pigeon. A rhino. Who knows what’s next?
The school play is only a couple of weeks away, and Charlie is starting to worry. What if he transforms in front of the whole school, while he’s on stage playing Sad Potato Number 1? What if he turns into a naked mole rat or a John Dory in front of everyone he knows, with the spotlight on him? Will he get sent away for Science to deal with? Will his parents crack up with all the extra stress? Will everyone know he’s a freak?
With the help of his three best friends, Charlie needs to find a way to deal with his extraordinary new talent. And fast.
With its eye-catching bright gold cover, zany illustrations and informative footnotes that add extra information about the story without intruding into it, this one will be a winner with independent readers looking for the fun in stories. They can learn more about Charlie’s friends, who are introduced here.
The new year is bringing forth a wealth of new novels and series for young independent readers who just want to curl up and read a quality story and this is one of them. Hook your boys with this one, with at least two more to come.