Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Radio Boy, by Christian O’Connell                   Junior Fiction

            Spike Hughes is so average at St. Brenda’s that most of the other kids hardly notice him – except the school bully, Martin Harris, who likes to torment everyone.  Perhaps that wouldn’t be so bad, except that Martin Harris is good looking, the captain of the cricket and football teams – and is the son of the Headmaster, Fish-Face Harris, whom everyone fears and despises:  Fish-Face is a bully too;  even the teachers are anxious around him.
            Spike’s major pleasure is being an early morning  DJ at the local hospital where his mother is the Ward Manager – it’s only for an hour but he’s sure being a DJ will be his life’s work;  he has no other ambition except to wed Katherine Robertson, the Most Wonderful Girl in the School – one day.  But he is utterly betrayed by the Station Manager, who wants to give his spot to the Garden Show because ‘no-one listens to Spike’s Show between 6 and 7.  (That’s AM, not PM).  Spike is beside himself with rage and disappointment, leaving the hospital studio unusable by exploding the stink bombs he got for Christmas.  Well, it was the Station Manager’s own fault, giving his hour to someone who looked like a Garden Gnome!
            However, help may be at hand with the news that St Brenda’s is going to start its own Radio Show.  Spike is overjoyed:  he will have another chance to realise his dreams, at the same time impressing Katherine Robertson, the Girl He is Going to Marry.  Until Fish-Face Harris announces that the new Radio Show will be manned by his own dear son Martin.  BETRAYED AGAIN!!
            There’s nothing else for it but to rally the rest of the school AV club (his two friends Artie and Holly), and start a secret Radio Show of their own, broadcasting online with equipment begged, ‘borrowed’ and bought on EBay with his Dad’s assistance:  it has to be secret because if his Mum found out the sky would fall in – Mum’s pretty tough, but worries constantly about ‘what people think’.  What she doesn’t know won’t worry her, Spike reasons:  this idea can’t fail!  And he’s right.  With techno genius Holly as Producer and Artie in charge of music (Artie rescued his Dad’s vinyl collection from being dumped and is an ace music selector on a ‘borrowed’ turntable.  He lives in a huge house called The Gateau Chateau, so named because Artie’s Dad owns a chain of bakeries.  This means that there is always a supply of cakes and buns past their use-by date:  genius!)  Yep, Radio Boy/Spike, Elvis/Artie and Mystery Girl Producer can’t go wrong – until they do.  Majorly.
            Christian O’Connell has his own Breakfast Show on Britain’s Absolute Radio so he knows what he’s writing about, and how to capture hearts and minds of today’s techno-savvy kids  by making the AV Club’s exploits so laugh-out-loud funny but believable that a huge uptake of 10 year old AV students in the future will be a sure thing.  FIVE STARS    

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