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Month in review

Teaching children to read

Reviews
Angelology by Danielle Trussoni
Blood Fruit edited by James E.M. Rasmussen
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again by Frank Cottrell Boyce
The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff
Deadly Décisions by Kathy Reichs
Demon Eyes by Scott Tracey
Emeraldalicious by Victoria Kann
Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett
f2m by Hazel Edwards and Ryan Kennedy
The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland - For a Little While by Catherynne M. Valente
Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Highway Robbery by Kate Thompson
How to Dine on Killer Wine by Penny Warner
The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
Mariana by Susanna Kearsley
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger
The Pirate's Daughter by Margaret Cezair-Thompson
Polly and the Pirates 01 by Ted Naifeh
Poor Rich by Jean Blasiar
Rez Life: An Indian's Journey Through Reservation Life by David Treuer
Sapphique by Catherine Fisher
Sarah Emma Edmonds Was a Great Pretender by Carrie Jones
Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane
Six Chinese Brothers by Hou-Tien Cheng
Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith
This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
The Underneath by Kathi Appelt
Why Read Moby-Dick? by Nathaniel Philbrick

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8




Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again: 02/01/13

cover art

Before starting in on Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again by Frank Cottrell Boyce, read the introduction. Boyce explains why he wrote this sequel and why he wrote it the way he did. Boyce, like I think many people of our generation, saw the movie before reading the book, and was shocked by how little the movie resembled Ian Fleming's book. The only thing the book and the movie agreed on was the make of the car and the fact that it could fly of its own accord.

Boyce goes one further — deciding that it could be any model of flying car. Well, not exactly, but the Tooting's vehicle of choice is one of those old air cooled VW bus — something vintage with the movie. I have to admit that a flying VW bus gave me pause but Boyce trundles on with the comedic confidence you'll find from the likes of Terry Pratchett or Douglas Adams. And he pulls it off.

In all fairness to the cover art — the Tootings don't start off with a flying car (or a VW bus). Both come over the course of the first third of the novel. The bus is part midlife crisis and part family hobby, a means to a family vacation on an extreme budget after dear old dad is made redundant.

The remainder of the book is the adventure itself — some of which involves flying. There are baddies who are a stylistic compromise between the straight up gangster types of Fleming's book and the more magical (surreal) baddies of the film.

And, just as the film broke for Boyce, right as things were getting really interesting, the book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. As this is a book about a flying car, the cliffhanger is rather literal.

The relaunch continues (thankfully!) with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Race Against Time (March 2013).

Four stars

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