Joe Spud, son of the inventor of ‘Freshbum’ toilet roll, is the richest twelve year old in the world. He gets everything he could ever possibly need, and quite a lot of things he most certainly doesn’t, including robot dogs from Japan, every computer game in the world, an underground 10 lane bowling alley and a private race track along with his own Formula One racing car. The one thing he doesn’t have, and the one thing that it turns out money can’t buy for him, is a friend.
I loved this story. It’s so silly, ridiculously so, but it knows that and plays on it. At the same time as being completely unrealistic it is also somehow very real, very honest and quite touching. Joe’s relationship with his dad is both funny and tragic – with Mr Spud unable to say ‘I love you’ back to Joe and merely replying ‘ditto’. The scenes at school, with slow-minded bullies and aggravating teachers are also silly and funny, yet real enough to be recognisable.
Read the rest of my review for The Bookbag