Radio Boy and the Revenge of Grandad. Junior Fiction
By Christian O’Connell
After being introduced to Spike Hughes A.K.A. Radio Boy in Book One, I HAD to meet up with him again in Book Two and am happy to report that the sequel, continuing his adventures as DJ Radio Boy in his Dad’s garden shed, is just as entertaining – especially as a new character makes his mark, whether Spike wants him to or not.
Now that Spike has been outed as Radio Boy, his cred (and his listeners) have increased hugely; he still hasn’t made any impression on Katherine Robertson, The Girl He Would Love to Marry Some Day – in fact she is now going out with horrid but handsome School Bully Martin Harris – but Spike is now regarded as pretty cool and funny by his schoolmates. And his parents, particularly his dad, are proud of him too. Life is pretty good (even though Headmaster Fish Face Harris makes it plain every day that Radio Boy and his sidekicks Artie and Holly are his least favourite pupils and he wastes more time than he should on thinking up nasty punishments for them instead of doing his job of running the school.) Never mind: Radio Boy and his team can handle anything, especially when his favourite DJ announces that there will be a competition to find a DJ to replace him when he takes a week’s holiday very soon. COOL!! This competition is Spike’s to lose! He’ll nail it! No-one else will even come close, so they may as well not bother entering.
But they do.
And Spike is super disgusted to learn that his very own Grandad is up against him – not to mention Fish Face Harris (WHAAAAAAT???!!!). Even Sensei Terry, who runs a Karate class and is also the local Postman has entered. WHAT’S WRONG WITH THEM? Don’t they know – of course they do! – that being a DJ will be his life’s work and they shouldn’t waste their time going up against him, because no-one in the history of radio is a surer thing than Radio Boy.
Unfortunately, his Grandad thinks the same about himself. He has recently been thrown out of home by Nan and has come to stay at Spike’s house, thanks to an invitation from Mum; well, that’s all very well but he’s sleeping in Spike’s bed, which means that Spike has to sleep on the World’s Most Uncomfortable Air Mattress, and to add insult to injury, Grandad SNORES. IN SURROUND SOUND. And because he tried to take over Radio Boy’s nightly shed broadcast, Spike and the team were forced to sack him.
He didn’t take it well, and has turned into the Grandad from Hell, entering himself in the Radio Competition as professional singer Tony Fandango. Spike is mortified.
And that’s not all: Spike’s dad and his old mates resurrected their teenage band the Pirates and have now reached the semi-finals of Simon Scowl’s TV show. DOUBLE mortification!Christian O’Connell has worked his magic again, effortlessly involving readers of all ages in the ordinary lives of his characters: these characters are you and me and the neighbours, not to mention the rellies, and once again Radio Boy is laugh-out-loud funny. I hope Christian’s working on Radio Boy #3 – now I know he’s a DJ himself in his day job, but writing great children’s books is more important. FIVE STARS.