Opal Moonbaby by Maudie Smith
|Opal Moonbaby by Maudie Smith|
|Genre: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: Martha is determined that she is never going to have a friend again - she's been hurt enough. Then she meets an alien, who needs to be her friend. That's not going to happen, is it? Opal is a great comic creation and the book left me with tears running down my face. Maudie Smith was kind enough to pop into Bookbag Towers and chat to us.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 224||Date: January 2012|
|Publisher: Orion Children's Books|
|External links: Author's website|
Martha has decided that she will never have a friend again. She and Chloe used to be very close, but then Colette came along and suddenly Martha was out in the cold. If she doesn't do friendship than there is no way that she can be hurt again. Life isn't easy at home - it's just her, her mother and her younger brother, Robbie - as money is tight. Her mother has gone back to hairdressing (or head refurbishments as her employer calls it) and would like Martha to spend time with Chloe during the day. Martha has other calls on her time though. She's met an alien.
Yes an alien. Opal Moonbaby arrived in an egg-shaped craft and caused the local milk float to crash. Since then she's been living wild with Garnet, her mingle and is on earth to complete her planet's independence award. She's mastered the English language quickly, if somewhat idiosyncratically and has a few other rather disturbing traits. If Martha thinks of something then Opal will answer her. There's just one snag in all this: for her independence award Opal has to make a friend - and Martha has been chosen as the 'target'. Of course, that's not going to happen, is it?
Now - I want you to remember the name of Opal Moonbaby - she's a brilliant comic creation. Her mis-use of the English language had tears running down my face on at least one occasion - with friends like these you don't need anemones is brilliant. Another thing, I don't like fantasy - I have difficulty in suspending disbelief - and the current craze for the paranormal, the werewolf and the alien has left me completely cold. I do make exceptions, though and Opal Moonbaby is a great creation for the seven-plus age group. Opal sparkles and she's totally original. I loved her.
And Maudie Smith gives us a great story too. She's pitch-perfect on the way that girls in this age group act. I was talking to someone recently who said that she would hate to go back to her teens because of the angst and the exams. I wouldn't want to go back to the tweens because of the friendships which could dissolve in an instant and the casual cruelty handed out to people who were your friends only a short while ago. The females in the book are stronger than the males (who're just a little shadowy) but there are some great personalities across all age ranges. Definitely recommended - and a writer to look out for in the future.
Maudie Smith was kind enough to be interviewed by Bookbag.
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