The turners by Mick Elliott
Lothian; 2015. ISBN 9780734416629
(Age: Junior secondary) Mick Elliott, award winning Nickelodeon producer, takes us on a rollicking ride into a fantastic world of weirdness.
Leo Lennox, a typical thirteen year old, sits in the school library, admiring his attractive classmate, Lily. Suddenly, life changes for ever as he turns into a komodo dragon, a very hungry one, and his classmates scatter. Leo discovers the family secret: at night, his father and his sister turn in to various animals with very little warning. Leo is different in that he turns during the day as well.
His father, still mourning the loss of his wife, Leo's mother, seeks help dealing with Leo's predicament. When he fails to return, Leo and his sister must try to find him. Leo inadvertently impacts upon his sister in his efforts to control his changes and these are very funny. As they face one dangerous episode after another, they learn to trust and respect each other.
Life as a turner all seems reasonably entertaining until Leo and his sister, Abbie, encounter their long lost relative, a revengeful, cruel scientist who hates turners and who has created a gruesome and repugnant world. The weirdness factor rises as does the pace of the story as the family faces a truly horrific death.
This is the first book in a planned trilogy. I hope Elliott will focus more on the humour and tone down the gore. I think the ghastly death of the villains in the story will be distressing to sensitive students.