BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations
The Incredible Record Smashers (available here) is the second hilarious and heart-warming adventure from Jenny Pearson, author and primary school teacher. Her debut The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates was a Waterstones Children's Book of the Month, was shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Book Award and is a 2021 Read for Empathy title.
Read on for a review of The Incredible Record Smashers and then head over to author Jenny's guest booklist exploring 5 favourite children's books about children overcoming challenges.
Book Title: The Incredible Record Smashers (available here)
Author: Jenny Pearson
Illustrator: Erica Salcedo
Publication Date: April 2021
Most Suitable for: Upper KS2
After the success of The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates last year, primary-teacher-turned-author Jenny Pearson is back with a new and hilarious tale of ordinary children on extra-ordinary adventures.
Life isn't easy for Lucy. Her mum has depression and is difficult to care for, often being unwell for long periods that leave Lucy needing the help of a family friend. Lucy is great at fixing broken objects, but wishes more than anything that she knew how to fix her mum. It becomes clear that mum might need some time to stay at a place that can help her, and Lucy goes to stay with Aunty Sheila for a while.
Aunty Sheila loves car boot sales and is larger than life, always treating Lucy with kindness and a sense of fun, but life there is not the same as being with mum. With the help of friendly neighbour Sandesh, Lucy comes up with a way to make things right again. It's an ambitious plan that involves meeting an 80s pop icon who was once acquainted with Mum, appearing on a TV show and smashing a world record - but as far as Lucy is concerned, no aim is too high when it comes to making her mum happy again. What follows is a humorous romp as Lucy and Sandesh search for a world record to smash with a range of hilarious consequences.
The humour is perfect for Key Stage 2 and the story also explores the subject of parental mental health issues in an age-appropriate way. This is a smasher of a story; the author knows her audience extremely well and pitches both the comic and more serious elements at just the right level. The relationships that Lucy forms with Aunty Sheila and Sandesh are lovely, and demonstrate how - while nothing can replace the closeness that Lucy craves with her mum - the warmth and loyalty of others can make the world of difference during hard times. This strand of the plot may serve as a valuable encouragement to children affected by similar issues that reaching out for or accepting support from others is sometimes the very best course of action.
This book also features on our newly-updated Best Books for Year 5 list.
Click here to read author Jenny Pearson's guest booklist featuring 5 favourite books about children overcoming challenges.
Many thanks to the publishers for sending us a review copy and to Jenny for providing the guest post.
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