Today’s review is by author Kristen Kittscher. Please see below to read about her upcoming middle grade novel.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang fans can rejoice! Cosmic and Millions author Frank Cottrell Boyce teamed up with illustrator Joe Berger to deliver the very fun and charming sequel,Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again ($15.99, Candlewick, ages 9 – 12). Though there are lots of nods to Ian Fleming’s classic (and only children’s book), kids unfamiliar with Chitty will happily climb aboard for this adventure-fueled, silly romp, too.
Mr. Tooting has lost his job — and the company car that went along with it. When he channels his underused engineering talents into a old camper van and a racing engine the family stumbles across, they’re all in in store for some crazy adventures! The engine, of course, is the same one that powered the famous flying car… only the Tootings discover it the hard way. No matter how much they try to control the car, Chitty forges ahead on her own mission to find all her lost pieces. Worse yet, a dastardly villain is also on their tail! Will the family make it through their escapades unscathed?
With quick pacing and funny dialogue, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again is an especially good pick for reluctant readers or for a classroom read-aloud. It’s billed for readers 9 and up, but there’s no reason younger readers wouldn’t also enjoy the book, even if some of the wry humor goes over their heads. The many colorful characters and the Tooting family’s optimism in the face of adversity made them especially delightful to spend time with. Though I preferred Boyce’s outstanding Cosmic and Millions more, Sir Ian Fleming’s heirs were wise to turn to Boyce for this wonderful sequel. Chitty is certainly one wild (and fun) ride!
Kristen Kittscher grew up in many places, including San Francisco, Dallas, and London but she feels most at home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband, Kai, and their hopelessly spoiled cat and dog. A graduate of Brown University and former English teacher, she now writes funny mysteries for the precocious middle-schoolers she once enjoyed teaching so much. Her debut novel, THE WIG IN THE WINDOW, comes out in 2013 with Harper Children’s. She’s now at work on its sequel, THE TIARA ON THE TERRACE.