I was lucky enough to be included in the blog tour for The Stig Plays a Dangerous Game by Jon Claydon and Tim Lawler. The publisher, Piccadilly Press sent me a paperback and this blog tour has been organised by he wonderful Faye!
Sam Wheeler may be the new boy in Bunsfold, but he’s got a feeling that all is not well either in the town or at Bunsfold High – and he’s not just talking about the maths teacher with the unfortunate flatulence. A local boy, Buster Mustang, has recently gone missing, and no one seems to care – they’re all too busy playing the highly addictive video game Xenon or getting the town ready for its very first TT race. Both are the brainchild of mysterious local billionaire PT Cruiser. Besides global domination, PT Cruiser wants nothing more than to destroy his nemesis The Stig once and for all – and his TT race is just what he needs to tempt him on to the big stage again …
Sam sets out with his new friends Minnie Cooper and Ford Harrison to uncover the truth behind all the strange goings-on in Bunsfold – but danger has a habit of showing up wherever they do, and soon all that stands between our heroes and disaster is … a taciturn man in a white suit.
This was a real fun read, I sat and finished it within a day. Apart from Novellas and Graphic Novels, that is a very rare occurrence for me!
This book does exactly what it says on the tin, it has very obvious Top Gear references (if you were/ are a fan of the original series) and heavily features many car references, and obviously The Stig!
As a teacher, I am always looking for books that could engage children, sadly I think this is just a tiny bit old for my class, but it would be perfect for Upper Key Stage 2 or Key Stage 3 children. It will keep them hooked until the end, and then desperate for the next book. The action was fast, but not rushed. The humour was clever, yet accessible. There was a plethora of similes, which began to grate on me slightly as an adult but I know that as a child, I would have found them to be the height of hilarity! The truth is, I snorted with laughter a couple of times, and I genuinely found myself saying ‘Just one more chapter, they’re only short ones, I just want to find out what happens next…’
I’d highly recommend this for those who are fans of cars, or of the TV series but also, those who are reluctant readers or those who would like a quick and exciting read. It has both male and female main characters, all of which show an interest in cars and are as equally strong and well – rounded as each other so please, please do not fall into the trap of this being a ‘boy’s book’!
My only critisim would be the use of words such as fruitloop, dim, nuthouse and man up. I feel that these words are dated now and have been highlighted enough as problematic that it was a little grating to read them in this children’s book. However, they were not present constantly and attitudes towards the characters they are directed towards are changed throughout the book, resulting in them not being used towards the end at all.
All in all, parents and teachers of Upper KS2 and KS3 alike should consider this book for their bookshelves!
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