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Boom! (Or 70,000 Light Years)

Book Review

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Leave it to the author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time to title a book Gridzbi Spudvetch! Only a very few readers were willing to chance their discretionary income on such a ridiculously titled novel (not so ridiculous once you've read the book, however). In 2007, children's book author Mark Haddon was encouraged to re-work it into Boom! (Or 70,000 Light Years), a charming, quirky story about a boy willing to go to any length to rescue his best friend.

In Boom! young Jimbo and Charlie discover something fishy about two of their teachers. After putting a walkie-talkie in the lounge to eavesdrop on the educators, the boys hear their art teacher, Mr. Kidd, and their history teacher, Mrs. Pearce, having a conversation in an unimaginable language.

"Zorner ment. Cruss mo plug."

"Bo. Bo. Tractor bonting dross."

"Wendo bill. Slap feedo gandy hump."

"Spudvetch!" said Mr. Kidd.

"Spudvetch!" Mrs. Pearce repeated.

The nosy lads begin surreptitiously--at least as surreptitiously as a pair of rambunctious boys can be--following Mr. Kidd and Mrs. Pearce. Jimbo and Charlie soon find out that the burning lasers that shoot from their teachers'--and a few other adults'--fingertips may be the least of their problems.

When Charlie goes missing, Jimbo knows it's not a coincidence. With the help of his big sister Becky--and her boyfriend Craterface's motorbike--Jimbo races across the English countryside on a rescue mission that will take him farther than he ever thought possible: 70,000 light years away.

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