The Pain, my mother, Sir Tiffy, Cyber Boy and me by Michael Gerard Bauer

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Omnibus Books, 2016. ISBN 9781742991504
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. Adolescent. Family relations.Michael Gerard Bauer is one of my favourite authors and once again he has produced a highly entertaining and positive book that is sure to appeal to his readers. Maggie Butt is faced with the Pain, the man her mother is dating. She is determined that he won't take over their lives and finds it very hard to put up with his weird sense of humour. Then there's the formal that she needs a date for, the geek Cyber Boy in the library and old Bert Duggan at the nursing home that she has to talk to and life seems pretty dismal. Add a bedraggled cat named Sir Tiffy and things begin to move along.
Laced with humour, puns and Macbeth quotes, this novel lifts the spirits as Maggie Butt navigates through the stormy waters of adolescence, gradually moving from being very self absorbed to gaining an understanding of the needs and emotions of those around her. Written in the first person, the reader gets to know Maggie really well as she describes her life at home, and her encounters with the Pain. Her attempts to strike up a conversation with Bert, a very difficult man at the nursing home, are very amusing as are her attempts not to become attached to the cat Sir Tiffy, the origin of whose name will bring some wry smiles when it is revealed. I read this book in one sitting, enjoying the light hearted way that it was written. It would be a thought provoking and fun book to use as a class novel or literature circle novel.
Pat Pledger