29 July 2009

The Fete Escape

by Christina Miesen
An Aussie Bites book by Penguin. Australian, Junior. Paperback RRP $12.95

Guest Reviewer Jo Burnell

Susie Murphy (also known as Sooz) loves the Peppercorn Primary School fete. She spends the year dreaming of all the fun she’ll have there. Her mum is on the Committee to organise it. Correction. Her Mum is the Committee. It never bothered Sooz before, but this year is different.
The reason for Mum’s panic and Suzie’s meltdown is inside a large cardboard box. The school Mascot, Pepper the Rat comes in two varieties: a living pet and a costume that smells worse than dead. Suzie can’t stand either.

A rollercoaster of mishaps and dilemmas follow. Will Pepper ever be found? (Does Sooz actually want to find him?) Can Gramps manage to save the day, or is Sooz doomed to watch all the fun from behind giant whiskers? No fete is complete without hair-raising rides, lots of yummy food and a cake competition, but things will go wrong when you’re stuck inside a stinky rat costume.

Christina’s characters are quirky, but realistic. That’s why The Fete Escape is so much fun. Emily Snell is an aspiring actor who plays dress-ups for practice. Little brother Ben scours the fete grounds with a metal detector, hoping to get rich; Mum is at her frantic best while Dad tries his best to soothe Mum’s nerves.

The Fete Escape is a perfect read for anyone who has ever had fun at a fete. It’s also an invitation to come along for those who have never been.

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