Olly Brown, God of Hamsters / The Big Breakout

Olly Brown, God of Hamsters
Bethany Walker , illustrated by Jack Noel

Olly Brown is obsessed with hamsters, so much so that when told to write down three targets for the final weeks in his year 6 class, his first is ‘Look after the class hamster at home for one weekend.’ He’s absolutely determined to do so and then by means of a spot of subterfuge he succeeds in smuggling home Tibbles; that is despite the fact that his dad is supposedly allergic to the creatures, not to mention his hang-ups about health and safety.

Surely though it was just the one hamster he took, so what are all those others doing creating havoc (and a great deal of poo) in his home.

He can’t tell his dad but he must share this news with somebody: that somebody is his best friend Stan. The trouble is Stan then starts calling him such names as ‘Master of the Hamsterverse’. It’s certainly pretty amazing that the furry beings can communicate with Olly, certainly Tibbles can.

In addition to the hamster invasion, with the end of term drawing ever closer there’s the class outing, leavers’ party and more to contend with so it’s no surprise Olly feels as though things are spiralling out of control.

How on earth and in the Hamsterverse is Olly going to extricate himself from all this? To find out you’ll need to get yourself a copy of this hilarious book. Also funny are the drawings by Jack Noel who appears to like hamsters too, if the number he’s drawn for Bethany’s story is anything to go by.

Add to KS2 class collections: what fun it would be to share this with a Y6 class in their final term.

The Big Breakout
Burhana Islam, illustrated by Farah Khandaker
Knights Of

This laugh-out-loud story concludes the trilogy featuring Yusuf and his crazy escapades.
Yusuf’s elder sister, Affa, is about to have a baby and Yusuf – who has now gained a fair bit of street-cred. – is determined to become the best ever uncle to the soon to be born addition to his extended family. Not only that but he’s currently ‘man of the house’ in charge of his amma (mum) and Nanu (gran) who needs to pay a visit to the opticians.

At school, as form captain, he’s charged with showing the ‘very special visitors’ ie Ofsted inspectors aka MI5, around his school while keeping Chompy the school chameleon out of their way. What could possibly go wrong? Errm …

I laughed my way through this wishing I’d met this British Muslim family in the previous two books and will certainly seek them out. Not only are they ideal for bringing more diversity to KS2 class collections, Yusuf, his family and friends are enormous fun to read about and Farah Khnadaker’s black and white illustrations bring out much of the madness and mayhem for which the well-intentioned Yusuf is responsible one way or another.

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