My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I actually think there’s a bit of a quiet revolution going on at the moment for the under ten market. I’ve been reading a lot for this age demographic recently and have been really loving the idiosyncratic quality of practically everything I’ve read. These books aren’t churned out by factories, or written by committee; these books are written by funny, charming and highly unique authors. I mean, if you showed me a paragraph from say Alex T Smith or Maudie Smith (no relation!) or Jacqueline Harvey or Lauren St John, I bet you could very easily identify who wrote what.
I love that. I love that we’ve come to a stage of having books that are uniquely written for this age demographic and that they’re GOOD. They’re all so flipping good!
And I really really love that I can now add Susie Day to that list.
Pea’s Book of Best Friends doesn’t quite have the right title for what it is. I sort of expected a bit of a Junior Mean Girls type thing but what I got is a gorgeously quirky, funny, crumpets toasted by the fire sort of book. It’s so lovely.
Pea’s mum is Marina Cove, author of the famous Mermaid Girls books. And now, because she’s doing really well, she’s bringing Pea and her sisters through to London. That means Pea has to start a whole new life, one where she’s not automatically getting the hand-me-down clothes and one where she’s not got a best friend. Her sisters aren’t that happy either – and so begins the great “ex-merminating” project where the sisters decide to exterminate the mermaid books that have brought them to London and so go back to their former lives.
Pea’s list of best friend requirements – and how it changes over the story – is brilliant. She gets an extra star from me for wanting a best friend like Sally from Malory Towers (which, to be fair, doesn’t everybody?)
And Vittoria, over from Brazil and living with the family in order to improve her English, steals practically every scene she’s in. Innit.
I look forward to the rest of the series!