The wise-cracking, recalcitrant Benny Shaw laments his family's decision to relocate from Ireland to North Africa, but when he meets kindred spirit Omar and strikes up an immediate friendship, he and his new chum blaze a path of mischief through their Tunisian town that unexpectedly leads them on a journey of personal growth and self-discovery in Eoin Coifer's coming-of-age tale.
Euan Morton's rich, emotive Scottish brogue lends authenticity to his portrayal of the acerbic Benny, and he masterfully captures the poignancy of Colfer's character study and the heedlessness of youth with his sincere, versatile performance.
©2007 Eoin Colfer; (P)2007 Scholastic Inc.
Great book. My son (a 13 year old boy more interested in sports than books) and I are hooked on this story. I thought he wouldn't like it but it is a great book.
This is a great audiobook because the narrator must use numerous voices and accents and does a very decent job of it. The author does a great job of recreating parental lectures and child/parent arguments - my son and I look at each other and laugh because they are so familiar.
The book is well-written, very funny and yet poignant. It's a pleasure to listen to - although Benny can be sarcastic and rude, listening to life from the perspective of a 12 year old is very funny. Eoin Colfer must have sons of his own.
We have about 40 minutes to go to finish the book but, as a parent, the theme is about maturity and decisions that young people must make.
Benny thinks he has adults figured out and is always thinking two steps ahead of them. His parents are frustrated and want him to understand their perspective and, in essance, be mature. Lectures, lessons and chores do not work but a dose of Tunesian reality does.
In rereading this, I make the book sound dull and simple but the book is not preachy while making an effective point to the listener. I strongly recommend it.
This was a touching story about a selfish boy from Ireland who moves to Tunisia with his family (against his will) and meets a poor African boy who changes his life.
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