I was thrilled to host the cover reveal for Jenny Pearson’s debut earlier this year and I am delighted to be sharing my review with you on the blog today. This is genuinely one of the funniest debuts I’ve read in a very long time, the pages whizzed by I went on a remarkable journey with Freddie, Ben and Charlie. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves, first of all you need to understand what three young boys are doing setting off a seemingly impossible mission with only some spare underpants for company. Freddie wasn’t exactly looking forward to the summer holidays but the unexpected death of his beloved Grams and a surprising revelation convinces him he needs to make a journey. He has to find his real dad, the one he’s never met and his friends are determined he’s not sneaking off alone. Unfortunately their super-sneaky journey is not going to plan and they leave chaos and confusion wherever they go. Will Freddie ever find what he’s desperately searching for?
This book is packed with so much humour and so much heart, it really is the perfect balance of storytelling. There are so many moments of pure comedy gold which Rob Biddulph captures brilliantly in his hilarious illustrations. Jenny has a real knack for getting into the hearts and minds of children and the story has a pure childlike quality to it that I really loved. Freddie, Charlie and Ben all have their own battles to fight and insecurities to face, so despite this being an absolute joy to read, it is also has elements that are poignant and heartfelt. I couldn’t possibly choose a favourite scene but I do have a real fondness for the hero of the hour, Sheila, whose intelligence and impeccable timing really saves the day. A real treat of a book that I recommend for everyone from 8 – 100. Guaranteed to put a smile on your face and leave you with a warm glow.
To celebrate the release of this hilarious book, I have a special guest post from Jenny on her favourite miracles…
My Favourite Miracles – Jenny Pearson
In The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates, Freddie and his mates, Ben and Charlie set off an adventure across Wales. Fact-loving Freddie doesn’t really believe in miracles, but during his journey he and his friends set off a chain of events that make people believe a miracle really has happened. Freddie thinks he knows the truth – that miracles don’t really happen but then, in St David’s the most westernest part of Wales, Freddie experiences a miracle of his own and he learns that things might not always be fact or fiction.
I wanted to share with you two of my favourite miracles that have been reported from around the world. I’ll leave it up to you to decide whether or not you think they really happened.
Way back in 1630 AD, there was a guy called Joseph of Cupertino. I think Cupertino must have been the place he lived in Italy. He must have had another surname – surely not everybody who lived there could be called ‘of Cupertino’ – could get quite confusing. Anyway, this Joseph was a friar who could, apparently, spring into spontaneous levitation. That basically means he could hover in the air. Which is pretty cool. Apparently, he first did this during a procession in honour of Saint Francis of Assisi. Which isn’t very cool. A bit showy-offy if you ask me – hovering up there above the crowd. The day wasn’t about you – Joseph of Cupertino, it was about Saint Francis. But Joseph wasn’t bothered about outshining the patron saint of animals, and after that you couldn’t stop the fella from floating about in the air. He even spent a bit of air-time in front of the Pope who was dead impressed. Everybody thought that Joseph’s ability to levitate was a genuine miracle and after he died, he was made the Saint of pilots and astronauts. It must have been quite a while after he died though, because I can’t imagine there were too many astronauts mooching about in Italy in the seventeenth century.
The next miracle I want to tell you about, happened in Akita in Japan and was actually an inspiration for what happens after Freddie, Ben and Charlie spend a night in the church in The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates. If you read it, you’ll understand why!
So, in July 1973, Sister Agnes, who was praying in chapel, heard a voice coming from a wooden statue of the Virgin Mary. As a rule, statues don’t generally speak, so this was a bit of a surprise for Agnes. But that’s not all! She noticed there were drops of blood flowing from the statue’s right hand! Agnes went and got some of her sister pals to have a look – probably to check she wasn’t having a funny five minutes – but they could see it too! That statue’s hand kept dripping with blood all the way until September. After it had stopped, the statue started to ‘sweat’ especially around the forehead and the neck! And THEN two years later, in 1975, the statue began to weep! Over the next eight years the statue was found crying on 101 different occasions. The statue was analysed by a university professor and he confirmed that the blood tears and sweat to be human! Oh. My. Days!
According to Wikipedia a miracle is an extraordinary and welcome event which cannot be explained by natural or scientific laws. But like Freddie Yates, it’s up to you to decide whether you believe in miracles. And to be honest, I think it’s okay to make up your own definition of what a miracle is. I don’t think I really believed in miracles before I had two of my own – my boys, William and Douglas. Oh, and that time the swimming pool vending machine malfunctioned, and I got sixteen Boost bars for the price of one. That felt quite miraculous.
Thanks to Jenny for this interesting and humorous post.
Why not join in with the rest of the blog tour for more reviews and guest posts.
Thanks to Fritha and Usborne for inviting me to join in with blog tour and for sending me a gifted proof copy. ‘The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates,’ is available to buy now online or from your local bookshop.