I was picturing a child's picture book but this was more of a "novel". It also highlights the problem with "age-banding" that has become a part of a lot of children's books in the UK and I think is a terrible idea. It was listed as 9 and above, though really the writing style seemed closer to what I remember reading at 6, than anything I read then. It was overtly simplistic and not nearly as funny or clever as Lemony Snicket.
The setting was a mixture of modern suburban English life, complete with talkshows and lots of candy. But then there was the rather unrealistic character of the prettiest girl in school who befriended the main character and was very nice to everyone. The main character also seemed like a very young 12 year old, but then one wonders if he didn't have to be put at the age of puberty to make his story seem more consensual. The fact that the main character loved dressing up in girl's clothes AND football just seemed like it was trying too hard. Surely if there was ONE book that didn't need the kids to win the match at the end to be a success then the book about the boy trannie was that one! There also seemed to be a lot of emotional issues, such as the boy's mother having left the family, that felt a bit at odds with the otherwise humorous and light hearted nature of the story.
But at the end of the day it is a child's book about a transvestite kid which makes it fantastic! I don't think many 12 year old boys will read it. But hopefully some people will and it'll open their minds a little....Continua