Book Review: Awful Auntie

Wednesday 14 January 2015 by

Awful Auntie, Children's, Book, David Walliams, Tony Ross

David Walliams’ seventh novel for children Awful Auntie tells the story of young Stella Saxby, the daughter of a Lord, who awakens one winter morning to discover that her parents have passed on and that aunt has her held captive with the intention of getting rid of Stella so that she can claim the family estate for herself. And so it falls to Stella to thwart her aunt’s plans.

While that snippet sounds awfully dark, this book is a hell of a lot of fun. Yes, there are dark elements to the story but no more so than you would find in any Roald Dahl novel. As with his other works, the book is packed full of humour that I’m sure young readers will relish. There’s loads here for children, and parents, to enjoy; cunning plans, daring escapes, car chases and a ghost sidekick. It’s a really fun adventure all round, with twists and turns that young readers will no doubt find very exciting. There are a couple of plot twists that some readers may figure out, but I’m sure children won’t mind that – I recall always feeling pretty chuffed as a child if I’d figured out the twist for myself.

Stella is a great character oozing strength, determination, sass and warmth in equal measure. Plus, she’s not all girly so I’m sure boys will enjoy her adventures just as much as girls. Of all Walliams’ novels I’d say this may be his best to date; it moves at a great pace keeping the excitement and tension just right to keep readers hooked, the prose and illustrations (again provided by the wonderful Tony Ross) bring the setting vividly to life and the characterisation is wonderful.

While his works are often compared to those of Roald Dahl, I think it’s fair to say that Walliams definitely has his own unique style. He always deftly mixes humour, thrills, darkness and drama in a way that enchants readers and makes for wonderful fun filled stories which I have no doubt will get the younger generation devouring books and inspire them into picking up pens and writing their own stories. I highly recommend his works, with this one being a definite favourite.

Rating, Four, Review

Nerissa is a writer, mummy and rather proud geek living in the countryside. In between playtime, cuddles and fun times she loves to read, knit, bake and write Young Adult and children’s fiction.

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