Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pee On It: Toad Away

RageMy oldest son was very concerned when he examined the books I had brought home for Reading the Library; in particular his brow furrowed over Morris Gleitzman's Toad Away.  "Mom," X asked quietly, "You do realize that this is the third in a series?" I shocked him by saying airily that I got that, but I was going to read it first anyway.  He backed slowly away from my book pile.

Actually, I quite enjoy jumping into a series in the middle.  If I find a series that has gotten fairly far along before I encounter it, I'll do it deliberately.  After all, if I'm going to invest thousands of pages in someone's story, it had better be good.  Good enough that I'll be hooked even if I missed the first few hundred pages, in fact.  So far, this theory has rarely failed me -- after all, I like rereading books, so if I like something, I'll probably go dig up all the other books and do a full series read. And maybe there will be various ways of doing that -- publication order reread, series chronology read, etc.  For really good series I'll try most variations, and it's interesting to see what differences appear.  Other times it really doesn't matter what order you read things in; Perry Mason doesn't change, and Eve and Roarke move only glacially.

Toad Away belongs to the latter category.  The story is simple enough that the main character establish themselves quickly, and it was easy to see the shadows of back story flickering behind them.  I don't expect the relationship between Limpy and his sister or his friend to change much, and the amusing situations move along rapidly without.  I suspect both my sons would enjoy these books, and probably laugh more at the frequent urination humor, although I highly doubt I'll get them to try this one; the purists would insist on finding book one.  It's a fun little read, with the added gloss of an Australian setting for an exotic twist.

Wow, I just realized that one of the books we got from our book swap with the Australian family was by Gleitzman as well!

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