David Walliams, hailed as “the heir to Roald Dahl” by The Spectator, burst onto the American scene with the New York Times bestseller Demon Dentist. Now the UK’s #1 bestselling children’s author is back with this high-flying adventure about a boy and his grandfather, perfect for fans of Jeff Kinney and Rachel Renee Russell.
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!
It's 1983, but Jack's grandfather, whose memory is failing, believes that the year is 1940, when he was a decorated RAF pilot serving in WWII. Unlike his worried parents, 12-year-old Jack views the workings of Grandpa's mind as "nothing short of magical," is spellbound by the man's wartime tales, and eagerly plays "Squadron Leader" to Grandpa's "Wing Commander" as they outwit enemy aircraft from their armchair cockpits. Knowing that "You had to enter Grandpa's world to get through to him," Jack uses military lingo to talk his grandfather down from a church spire, remove him from a museum's fighter plane, and help him escape the nightmarish Twilight Towers home for the elderly (motto: "Caring for your unwanted old folk"). Ross's energetic drawings and some playful use of typography bring additional drama and humor to the story. As in Walliams's Demon Dentist, the adult characters are of the bumbling sort such as Miss Swine, the diabolical matron of Twilight Towers, and a pair of detectives, Beef and Bone and the story's comedy is nicely counterbalanced by the poignant bond between Jack and Grandpa. Ages 8 12.