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Howarth, L. P.: Swarf.

Howarth, L. P.


Catnip, 2010, pp140, 5.99 [pounds sterling]

978 1 84647 103 2

Extraordinary things are happening in Ant's normally humdrum life--everything has come to a standstill because, mysteriously, everyone's petrol has turned to green gel overnight making transport and normal life impossible. Ant is sent to his grandmother's while his parents go to find answers. However, on arrival, he is distraught to find that his grandmother is very ill and desperately needs hospital attention. With great trepidation yet fierce determination, Ant sets out on a long and perilous journey to get his grandmother the help she needs.

The bigger scene shows scenes of mayhem, distrust, opportunism and bravery as people deal individually with the alarming and far-reaching development. Who has brought about this lifechanging situation? Is it a friendly act designed to make us think about our actions or could it be the work of aliens wanting to subjugate us? Ant's journey brings about self-realisation and a greater knowledge of human nature before his eventual success.

There is a slight mismatch between the age of Ant (14) and the probable age of the would-be readers which is probably 10 to 12 but it is nevertheless a good and thought-provoking read.

On a minor point, the text on the back cover is both pedestrian--not an inviting scene-setter and grammatically incorrect. This is not a good example for trainee writers.

Linda Banner

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Author:Banner, Linda
Publication:School Librarian
Article Type:Book review
Date:Dec 22, 2010
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