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|Grandpa's great escape|
Author: Walliams, David
When Grandpa is sent to an old folks' home run by the sinister Matron Swine, it's up to Jack to help Grandpa plot a daring escape.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 5.20
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 182366
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 4.60
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 71910
Kirkus Reviews (11/01/16)
School Library Journal (11/01/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (01/17)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 11/01/2016 Gr 3–6—Twelve-year-old Jack loves to spend time with his grandfather, who regales him with stories of his daring feats as a British Royal Air Force pilot during World War II. Lately, though, Grandpa has been more and more confused, getting into scrapes because he believes that he is still battling the Nazis. After one particularly dangerous escapade involving an antique plane at the Imperial War Museum, Jack's parents decide to send Grandpa to live at Twilight Towers, the town's new nursing home. When Jack goes to visit his grandfather, he discovers that Twilight Towers is run by some unsavory characters who are drugging the residents and rewriting their wills. Grandpa, understandably, thinks that he is being held in a prison camp, and he hatches a plan to break all of the residents out of the home. After one final adventure as the gentleman's sidekick, Jack must say good-bye to his grandfather, comforted by the amazing memories of their time together. Filled with hyperbolic characters, wild exploits, and zany visual elements, this volume is clearly influenced by Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake. Walliams and Ross revel in impudence and absurdity, and they do not shy away from sinister characters performing nefarious deeds. While the irreverent wit will keep readers engaged, the surprising tenderness in the relationship between Jack and his ailing grandfather is what makes this book truly shine. VERDICT A darkly humorous tale with a surprising amount of heart. This British import is a solid addition to medium to large middle grade collections.—Sarah Reid, Four County Library System, NY - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 01/01/2017 After the ghoulishly funny Demon Dentist (BCCB 2/16), British actor/author Walliams seems to be sticking with the theme of oddball looks at adults who should be avoided. In this case, it’s the folks running a suspicious-looking nursing home called Twilight Towers, and twelve-year-old Jack is doing everything he can to keep his grandfather out of there, even though he acknowledges that Grandpa’s grasp on reality is long gone. Jack’s grandfather spends nearly all of his time remembering and reliving key moments in World War II and Jack is right there with him, playing along as an adoring sidekick. When Grandpa is finally sent away to the nursing home, Jack’s planning his escape even before he realizes that there is some seriously sketchy stuff going on with the staff, and with their treatment of the residents. The whole thing’s tricky, as adults will recognize that Grandpa is unfit to live alone while Jack’s perspective is that constantly reenacting dramatic war scenes is awesome; the addition of a truly nefarious nursing home actually makes it all better, as the focus shifts to getting Granddad the heck out of that obvious nightmare rather than dwelling on what will happen next. Tony Ross’ illustrations are a treat, emphasizing the absurd rather than the sad. The ultimate emphasis on loving people where you find them, as Jack does when he accepts his role as squadron leader rather than grandson, is poignant and well conveyed, even amid the cheeky humor. AS - Copyright 2017 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 11/15/2016 Young Jack’s efforts to keep his beloved but increasingly senile grandpa out of an old folks home lead to a string of wild misadventures in Walliams’ latest Brit-flavored farce. Said efforts ultimately come to naught when Grandpa, believing that he’s still a hotshot fighter pilot during the Battle of Britain, steals off to the Imperial War Museum and falls asleep in an old Spitfire. But the plot thickens considerably after Grandpa is sent to forbidding Twilight Towers (“Caring for your unwanted old folk”), a former lunatic asylum run by suspiciously hulking “nurses.” What to do? Help his grandpa round up all the resident seniors and engineer a daring night escape, of course. Typographical high jinks add melodramatic notes to the narrative, Ross’ many comical cartoon vignettes further lighten the overall tone, and along with filling out the supporting cast with clueless, inept adults, the author ultimately gives Grandpa—and that Spitfire—a grand send-off. A pleaser for fans of similar escapades engineered by the likes of Roald Dahl or Frank Cottrell-Boyce. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Walliams, already popular in the UK, is a best-seller this side of the pond as well, and this caper promises to be no different. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.