#MGTakesOnThursday – The Incredible Record Smashers

#MGTakesOnThursday was created by Mary over at Book Craic and is a brilliant way to shout about some brilliant MG books!

To join in, all you need to do is:

  • Post a picture of the front cover of a middle-grade book which you have read and would recommend to others with details of the author, illustrator and publisher.
  • Open the book to page 11 and share your favourite sentence.
  • Write three words to describe the book.
  • Either share why you would recommend this book, or link to your review.

The Incredible Record Smashers by Jenny Pearson, illustrated by Erica Salcedo, published by Usborne

This week I’ve chosen a new book that I had high hopes for. I read Jenny Pearson’s ‘The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates’ when it was Children’s Book of the Month in work last year and thought it was hilarious (you can read my review here) and perfect for young readers so I was hoping this would follow suit.

And it definitely does. It’s firmly cemented Jenny as one of my favourite funny authors to recommend and I can’t wait for this to join Freddie as one of my most heavily recommended books in work (if we ever reopen).

In both books, what’s wonderful is the way she takes a sensitive subject (in this case mental health) which could be serious, heavy or difficult and writes it into a story so full of warmth and hilarity that it’s impossible to read without a smile on your face.

Here, we meet Lucy who’s staying with her Aunty Sheila while her mum’s in hospital. She loves Sheila and enjoys their time fixing things, car booting and eating fizzy yoghurt and kale (OK maybe not the last bit) But, she wishes her mum would get better and be happy again, so she could stop staying with Sheila sporadically and stay at home with her mum.

Spurred on by a chance find at a car boot sale, she decides to try and get onto new TV show Record Smashers, in a bid to make her mum happy again.

So, along with new friend, world record fanatic and assistant co-performer the always interesting, never boring Sandesh, she sets out to find a Guinness World Record to break.

For those of you familiar with Freddie Yates, you’ll be able to guess at the hilarity this leads to. After a bashing from Wilbur the watermelon, a one hundred metre hurdle involving flippers and flamingoes and a near-death encounter with a squirrel, they finally find their act. And some suitably show-stopping costumes to wear for it.

There’s no stopping them now. Unless of course the two criminals on Sandesh’s tail have anything to do with it…

Its so clever how Jenny writes such real and moving moments into a story so full of silliness and fun. Lucy’s emotions and our glimpses into her life with a mum who’s sometimes sunshine and sometimes asleep are so well-depicted, as are her muddled thoughts and feelings on why her mum isn’t happy and how this affects her.

And there’s also her budding friendship with Sandesh, who is so lovely! They’re a great pair and I really rooted for them. I loved Sandesh’s World Record facts and the way we got one for each chapter header too – such a fun added extra.

As ever, there was loads to laugh about for both adults and children, but I have to admit giving an extra loud giggle to “Competitors Ready!” before spending quite a lot of time shouting “Contestants rrrrready! Gladiators rrrrready!” in a poor Scottish accent. And of course I was singing the theme tune to Record Breakers throughout the book.

If the above paragraph means nothing to you, you’re too young. Please smile and nod indulgently.

Fast-paced, funny and full of heart this is a brilliant follow up to last year’s debut and I’m thrilled to see there’s another book from Jenny on the way!

My favourite quote from page 11:

“…he said I had shouted, “Why don’t I fix that smile right off your face with my fiery fists of fury?” They both agreed it wasn’t a very “Lucy thing” to say, but secretly I thought it made me sound rather dangerously exciting.”

This book in three words:

Funny. Warm. Happy.

Bonus fun – Become a RECORD SMASHER!

Ever wanted to SMASH a World Record? In celebration of the upcoming publication of The Incredible Record Smashers by Jenny Pearson, Usborne and Guinness World Records are encouraging as many children as possible to have a go at SMASHING a book-themed record this #WorldBookDay 2021! Book dominos, book pyramids, balancing books on your head… Find out more here.

The Incredible Record Smashers us released on 29/4/21 but you can (and clearly should!) pre-order now!


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