Grandpa's Great Escape

 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
933 0
Grandpa's Great Escape
Publisher
Age Range
8+
Release Date
February 28, 2017
ISBN
9780062560896
Buy This Book
      
Grandpa is Jack’s favorite person in the world. It doesn’t matter that he wears his slippers to the supermarket, serves Spam a la Custard for dinner, and often doesn’t remember Jack’s name. But then Grandpa starts to believe he’s back in World War II, when he was a Spitfire fighter pilot, and he’s sent to live in an old folk’s home run by the sinister Matron Swine. Now it’s up to Jack to help Grandpa plot a daring escape!

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Spam ala Custard and Spitfires
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
Jack lives in a delightful small town in England in 1983. His grandfather lives in an apartment above a news agent's, and frequently hosts Jack for sleepovers that involve questionable tinned food and tales of the grandfather's exploits as a fighter pilot during World War II. When the old gentleman starts wearing his bedroom slippers out in all kinds of weather and is eventually rescued from the spire of a local church which he imagined to be his plane, the family is convinced by the local clergy to send him to Twilight Towers, the local old folks' home. There, the residents are supposed to be quiet all the time, turn their valuables in to the staff, and generally are treated very poorly. Jack wants to rescue his grandfather, and the two set off on an adventure that ends with the theft of a vintage plane from the Imperial War Museum in London.
Good Points
Walliam's has been called "the heir to Roald Dahl", which is a very accurate description. Like Walliams The Demon Dentist, Grandpa's Great Escape pits a slightly scared but motivated child against the forces of evil that are violating something he holds dear. The Tony Ross illustrations nicely mimic Dahl's frequent illustrator, Quentin Blake. Jack and Grandpa have a delightfully British way about them, and the map of their village made me want to move there desperately!

It's nice to see an intergenerational book that deals with the problems of old age but also makes the grandparent seems vital and interesting. Setting this book in 1983 made the grandfather an appropriate age and also allowed the removal of some modern techbology that would have gotten in the way of the adventure.

World War II remains a topic that many readers enjoy, but it is a fresh twist to see one of these brave soldiers in his twilight years. Not only will fans of Dahl appreciate this book, but readers who enjoy very British books (by authors like Jacqueline Wilson) where a lot of tea is imbibed will warm to Jack and Grandpa's adventures.
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