It would have been helpful for me to consider the title of Frank Cottrell Boyce’s new[ish] book. Not that I need to know what a book is going to be about, but there is a clue.
Anyhow, Frank can put his characters on a deserted island any time he likes, as far as I’m concerned. I was merely wondering to myself what the six children he marooned were going to do on this island, while also avoiding eating each other. I also wondered how he could make it so ‘fantastical’ while also perfectly normal, insofar that marooning on islands go with a day trip with your school.
Noah is in year 7, and just happens to end up in the van taking his year 9 sister Eve and four others to the Orinoco Wonder Warehouse. The gps isn’t working too well, which is why they end up on an island, and then Noah accidentally breaks the internet, by which we mean the whole internet everywhere.
It’s funny in the expected Frank Cottrell Boyce way. He writes nice characters and always a worthy main character, like Noah, and the reader can sit back and enjoy the ride. Not perhaps the ride to the island, but the general idea. Today’s children are not used to not being able to google facts, or to post their island adventures on social media. (Instead Noah writes letters home, posts them in the old style postbox, and even receives letters back…)
But you can still survive, especially with someone like Noah who is hardworking and earnest and sweet. He will repair the internet, and feed the others, and find a way home.
The humour is lovely. Perhaps because it’s based in goodness and innocence. The children are funny because they don’t know any better. But they try. And they don’t eat each other.