by David Walliams (HarperCollins, RRP $24.99):
Comedian David Walliams continues to show just what a talent he is in the world of children’s literature with his latest offering, Awful Auntie.
We hear so much about the young-adult fiction genre these days, on the back of the likes of Suzanne Collins (the Hunger Games trilogy) and Patrick Ness (the Chaos Walking trilogy), and the all-ages wizarding fantasy novels of J K Rowling’s Harry Potter series are always a popular (and extremely well-written) option, but it often feel like there’s no middle-ground reading for the discerning younger reader. The offerings are either dystopian dramas or fantasy world-based – which isn’t a bad thing, just all-too-common right now – so it’s refreshing to get a good, old-fashioned read with good guys, bad guys and lots and lots of fun.
There was some criticism of Walliams early books, with claims they felt too much like the work of Roald Dahl to be original, but as Walliams continues on his writing career, his original style has emerged a little more with each book so that you feel you are getting to know the author as much as his characters.
In this story, Stella Saxby is the sole heir to Saxby Hall but must defend it from her awful Aunt Alberta and her giant owl, who will stop at nothing to take her inheritance from her.
Sure, Awful Auntie isn’t quite as hilarious as Walliams’ earlier Gangsta Granny, but it’s still stacks of fun.