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Wipe Out
by Mimi Thebo 1598/805 first published 2003
Real Life Drama for ages 10 to 14 published by Collins
Available from:  Amazon.co.uk
* £6.39, usually dispatched within 2 to 3 days.
Mrs Mad's humble opinion
9/10 Very good. I am pleased with this.
What's it about?
One boy's grief set against the colourful world of his dead mother's surfing!
What happens?
Billy dreams of his mother, she was a champion surfer and has just died after a year of illness. Now the colour has left his world and everyone seems grey, especially his Auntie Mary, who he is staying with until the funeral. Billy dreams of his mother all the time, his dreams are vivid and leave him drained but wanting more. His father is so locked up I his own grief he cannot reach his son and Billy could never imagine Auntie Mary with any colour in her at all. He needs to do something, to get the colour back in his life, and those of the people around him. But can he do it?
Is it easy to read?
A brilliant book for boys, but girls will love it too. Needs some maturity and understanding of older themes to really appreciate this story.
Anything else?
This is a stunning first novel, Mimi Thebo is Billy. She understands the boy's feeling so clearly that you forget it is a story. It could be a diary you just picked up and started to read. I couldn't put it down, it really got me hooked. The themes of colour, taste, touch and smell snap out at you from every page. You can almost smell the fish and chips they are eating and see the colours of the blue carpet they put down. It is also full of hope and life and the belief that good things will happen to people, everything doesn't have to be sad. A truly startling book. Go out and read it now!
Who says so?
This review by Mrs Mad.
The publisher reckons...
A first children's title from a prize-winning poet and author of adult books. A novel exploring a young boy's grief, set against a colourful background of surfing. Eleven-year-old Billy's mother has just died. Billy's father isn't coping too well so Billy goes to stay with his dull Auntie Mary. The death of his mother has taken all the colour away from Billy's world. He sees his Auntie Mary as a grey person, whose dull blue house is shrouded in fog. Billy feels foggy and dull, too, and longs for the colour to return to his life. His mother was a well-known surfer -- Kitten Brown -- and the author has woven into this novel the buzzing vibes of the surfing world. Waves, movement, colour, VW combis, Cornwall, surfing songs -- described through Billy's dreams as he sleeps away his grief. For though Billy's mother is dead, her joyful personality pervades the whole story as Billy, Auntie Mary and Billy's dad all attempt to deal with their grief. The author confronts the themes of loss and change in a most vibrant and original way. Her writing is sensual -- colour, taste, smell, touch and sound all leap from the page. She shows how different people handle loss and change differently, and how they learn to relate to each other in new ways. The author's writing style is simple, sparse yet poetic, reminiscent of David Almond and Berlie Doherty.
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