Review Blog

Mar 16 2018

Radio Boy and the revenge of Grandad by Christian O'Connell

cover image

HarperCollins, 2018. ISBN 9780008200596
(Age: 9-12) Recommended. Spike runs his own radio show from his backyard shed and with the help of his friends Artie and Holly, all seems to be running well . . . until the arrival of Spike's grandad who has been kicked out of his home by Spike's exasperated Nan.
At first Spike lets his narcissistic, showy Grandad talk on his show but eventually Spike has to "sack" him so that his listeners no longer have to hear Grandad's repetitive, rambling stories. Grandad seeks revenge by entering the local "Radio Star" competition, a contest Spike desperately wants to win.
Spike has other worries, his unlikable headmaster, an unwinnable love interest and an embarrassing father playing in a band on TV.
Like many radio shows Spike set crazy challenges for his listeners and funny situations are common occurrences.
There are laugh out loud moments when Spike tries to help his friend Artie steal back his "kidnapped" cat and things go terribly wrong at the live reporting of the local show by the four "Radio Star" contestants.
I found Grandad a very unlikeable character who not only bullies and demeans his son, Spike's dad, but seems to have no empathy for Spike and his young friends. He is a self-obsessed character who only wants the spotlight to be on him.
This is the second "Radio Boy" novel. The author Christian O'Connell is a famous radio star himself as he "presents Britain's biggest commercial breakfast show on Absolute Radio".
He has worked with Australian comedians, Hamish and Andy, who are mentioned on the book cover. My research on Christian shows he has recently accepted a radio job in Australia, so I am sure he will become well known here too.
The fun illustrations are by Rob Biddulph, who has created his own award-winning books.
I recommend this book to 9 to 12 year olds.
A book trailer is available at this site.
Jane Moore

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