Ryan's Brain

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Michael Lawrence
Orchard Books
Jun 2006
�One for all and all for lunch�

With work that defies easy classification, traversing many genres and all age-ranges, Michael Lawrence deserves to be a much bigger, brighter star amidst the skyline of children�s literature. The �Aldous Lexicon� trilogy, due to draw to a close in October with the highly anticipated, �The Underwood See�, showcases his skills as a powerful, thought-provoking novelist. Meanwhile, his irreverent �Jiggy McCue� stories have found firm readership with children for the anarchic sense of fun and frivolity that fills their pages, an affectionate base lies beneath the mad-cap antics in the latest, �Ryan�s Brain�.

It is characteristic reluctance rather than the bravado shown by many a book�s hero that drives Jiggy McCue, Pete and Angie � this century�s new, self-professed, three musketeers, into their eighth exciting adventures. Taunts on the football pitch between Jiggy and arch-enemy, Bryan Ryan, culminates with a show down whereby Bryan Ryan prepares to head-butt Jiggy, takes his aim, fires and� misses, hitting the wooden goal post instead and suffering immediate concussion!

Pandemonium ensues as events appear to transpire to avenge Jiggy, seemingly manipulated through psychokinesis by the sub-conscious of the eponymous Ryan�s brain. Together with Pete and Angie, Jiggy attempts to convince the brain to reach a truth and in so doing encounters giant slugs, ravenous dogs, marauding horses and eventually uncovers the true culprit responsible for these torments.

Jiggy celebrates his thirteenth birthday in the novel, early teenage behaviour is typified through belligerence and an unerring ability to sleep. Lawrence�s awareness that the absurdity of storylines is what makes this series such a riotous read is belied by the encouragingly warm depiction of unswaying and unconditional brotherly love, respect and admiration that is firmly at the centre of this book. An at once savvy, sensitive but not remotely sentimental story�

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This page contains a single entry by Jacob published on August 16, 2006 4:56 PM.

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