Monday, September 10, 2012

The Brain Sucker by Glenn Wood (Walker Books Aust)

Callum McCulloch has just turned 13. He wakes to find the present he’s always wanted – a Thunderkit wheelchair from his grandmother. Paralysed from the waist down, this wheelchair will let him go places he hasn’t gone before. After trying it out he returns home elated with it. That’s until his Gran receives a letter from the Welfare Department questioning her ability to continue to care for him. They have to go to the city for a meeting.

Meanwhile, another story is being told of a man called Lester Smythe. From very small, Lester has been ignored or misunderstood causing him to become bitter and evil. He has grown to hate any goodness he sees and has built a machine called The Brain Sucker. This machine is connected to a victim’s ear which then sucks out the goodness from their brain. (A few adjustments had to be made along the way as the first machine he invented took out a little more than he’d planned). He plans to dispose of all this goodness so it cannot return to its owner.

Back to Callum who travels to the city with his best friend Sophie and Gran. This is where the two stories collide with terrible results. Gran become Lester’s latest victim of The Brain Sucker and she changes into a rude, nasty woman. Can they get her ‘goodness’ back before their Welfare Department interview?

With Sophie’s gadget expertise and their friend Toby (nicknamed Jinx because of all the terrible things that happen to him), they embark on their dangerous mission, facing Lester, his henchmen and his terrible machine.

A great story for 8+ with firm friendships, gadgets, guns and all the action young readers love. The age old concept of good vs evil filled with humorous characters both imaginative and some closer to people we may know...
Listen to comedian Jeremy Corbett read the story:
New Plymouth born author Glenn Wood is an ex cop, copywriter, screenwriter, actor, and full time writer. He's had two books published for adults about his hilarious experiences in the police force. This is his first book for children. His second follows June 2013. 
ISBN – 9781921977633           RRP$19     248 pages  

Reviewed by Adele Broadbent

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