THE BOY WHO SWAM WITH PIRANHAS by David Almond
Kirkus Star

THE BOY WHO SWAM WITH PIRANHAS

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

In British novelist Almond’s latest, the trouble starts when Ernie Potts decides to turn his house on Fish Quay Lane into a loud, stinky fish-canning factory, and his nephew Stan has to quit school to work.

But the adventure starts on Stan’s birthday, when he’s granted a rare day off, stumbles upon a nearby fair and is told by the fortunetelling Gypsy Rose, “You are entranced. You will be dejected. You will travel. And we will meet again.” Stan, however, is too entranced by the dying goldfish offered as prizes at Mr. Dostoyevsky’s hook-a-duck stall to absorb her prophecy. He rescues the 13 fish—but in vain. Greedy and obsessed, Uncle Ernie pan-fries and cans his nephew’s new best friends that very night, and Stan, knowing Ernie is now truly barmy, runs away. Stan heads back to the traveling carnival, where he soon becomes the protégé of the mustachioed Pancho Pirelli, the piranha-proof man. Almond’s wonderstruck philosophical bent, earthy humor, lovely use of language and colorful characters keep readers swimming along, as does the personable narrator who playfully demands an examination of the storytelling process as it happens. Jeffers’ spare, cartoonish pencil sketches perfectly suit the salty, magical tale.

A buoyant, delightfully Almond-ine coming-of-age novel about fish, fate and family; moonlight, madness and myth; runts, “Rackanruwin” and, finally, redemption. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 6th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-7636-6169-4
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2013




MORE BY DAVID ALMOND

ChildrenMOUSE BIRD SNAKE WOLF by David Almond
by David Almond
ChildrenMY NAME IS MINA by David Almond
by David Almond

MORE BY OLIVER JEFFERS

ChildrenIT WASN'T ME by Oliver Jeffers
by Oliver Jeffers
ChildrenTHE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT by Drew Daywalt
by Drew Daywalt

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenHENRIETTA HORNBUCKLE’S CIRCUS OF LIFE by Michael de Guzman
by Michael de Guzman
AdultTHE TROLLS by Polly Horvath
by Polly Horvath
ChildrenJAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH by Roald Dahl
by Roald Dahl