Boom!: Book summary and reviews of Boom! by Mark Haddon

Boom!
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  • Published in USA  May 2010,
    208 pages.
    Age range: Children


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Book Summary

An explosive, highly charged, and hilarious middle-grade adventure from Mark Haddon, acclaimed author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.

From the moment that Jim and his best friend, Charlie, bug the staff room and overhear two of their teachers speaking to each other in a secret language, they know there's an adventure on its way.

But what does "spudvetch" actually mean, and why do Mr. Kidd's eyes flicker with fluorescent blue light when Charlie says it to him? Perhaps Kidd and Pearce are bank robbers talking in code. Perhaps they're spies. Perhaps they are aliens. Whatever it is, Jimbo and Charlie are determined to find out.

There really is an adventure on its way. A nuclear-powered, one-hundred-ton adventure with reclining seats and a buffet car. And as it gathers speed and begins to spin out of control, it can only end one way ... with a BOOM!

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"In all, a well-knit tale that hurtles down a logical path to a satisfying conclusion ... well worth a second chance." - Kirkus Reviews

"Adventure and quirky humor keep the pages turning, and readers will connect to Jimbo with little difficulty. If they can overcome some of the cultural differences, they will appreciate the simple and engaging tale." - School Library Journal

"It’s exactly the kind of caper you imagine when you’re a kid, filled with adult conspiracies, secret codes, and wisecrack-filled escapades. Sure, it gets a little tiring during its zany spaceship finale, but it’s hard to find much fault in a climax featuring a giant, disco-obsessed alien spider named Britney. Grades 4-7." - Booklist

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Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Cloggie Downunder
a fun read
Boom! is the first book by Mark Haddon and was initially published in 1992 under the title Gridzbi Spudvetch! This edition for 10 and over readers has been updated in 2009. Jim’s life is upside down: his father is out of work and spends his days on the couch watching TV or flying model planes; his mother is the hard-working breadwinner; his sister Becky has stopped washing her armpits and has a biker boyfriend Jim calls Craterface; and Jim is worried he will be expelled from school due to his less-than-stellar academic performance. After they eavesdrop at the teachers staffroom and hear Mr Kidd and Mrs Pearce talking a strange language, Jim’s friend Charlie is convinced that they are spies, robbers or aliens. Soon he and Jim are shadowing teachers, breaking into homes and finding more than they bargained for. Haddon’s updated version of his first book will delight younger readers with secret languages, alien teachers, travel to another planet, rides on stolen motorbikes, thought-controlled food machines, sentient spiders, explosions and quite a bit of biffo. A fun read.

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Author Information

Mark Haddon Author Biography

© Nigel Barklie

Mark Haddon is the author of the international bestseller, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time which won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for First Fiction and the Whitbread Book of the Year award. In addition to the recently published The Talking Horse, the Sad Girl, and the Village Under the Sea, a collection of poetry, Haddon has also written and illustrated numerous award-winning children's books and television screenplays. He teaches writing for the Arvon foundation and at Oxford University. He lives in Oxford with his wife and son.

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