I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this.
But wait. I’m actually going to.
This book – a purchase on a total whim because I saw it hovering at the top of the bestsellers charts in the children’s category on Amazon and because I’m a complete sucker when it comes to anything time-travelly plus it comes with added hamster (whose name is Alan Shearer and for that alone it deserves 10/10) – was a revelation.
It made me smile, it gave my insides all kinds of squirms in good, bad, *eeek!* ways and at times I actually closed my eyes for fear of what I thought might happen, happening.
Al Chaudhury is a 12 year old kid who’s had to get used to his dad not being around for 2 years after he died suddenly due to a condition sustained from a freak accident when he himself was 12. He’s also having to endure a step sister (the irresistible eye-rolling emo, Carly) and step-dad Steve and it’s clear he’s a good kid because he puts up with them so well – but you can tell his heart’s not really in it – he’s doing it for him mum’s sake. Al is adorable and loveable and funny and good and kind.
He also has a brilliant grandad in the shape of Grandpa Byron who drinks Chai tea, rides a moped, has a long plait of hair down his back and can remember facts from every day of his life and before that. He also wrote a book and so he’s now a bit of a hero of mine.
On Al’s 12th Birthday, his mum gives him a letter from his dad which he wrote just before he died, telling him about a secret project he’d been working on involving a time machine and a theory he has where Al might be able to go back to when his dad was 12 and prevent the accident happening, thereby saving his life in the future.
It’s a brilliantly simple premise. It has gorgeous parallels with ‘Back to the Future’ – it’s got heart, humour, action, emotion and it left me feeling very happy indeed. I knew even two chapters in that I was going to miss reading it when I’d finished it; it’s THAT good.
10/10. One of those ‘I wish I’d written that/could write like that’ books.