Illustrated by Rob Biddulph.
Published by Usborne, 2020.
The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates is an incredibly funny book – proper laugh-out-loud funny. Jenny Pearson has the perfect grasp of what will entertain her intended audience and she delivers it with panache and a lightness of touch.
It’s the summer holidays at the end of Year 6 and 11-year-old Freddie and his two best friends, Ben and Charlie, embark on a journey across Wales to find the dad Freddie has never met. It’s a madcap adventure involving an onion eating competition, superhero costumes, a miracle sheep called Sheila, loo-exploding potato-and-pear turnovers, and a spot of breaking and entering. The boys get themselves into a series of scrapes, eventually finding themselves on the run! Their attempts to be inconspicuous fail in spectacular fashion and it seems as if nothing is going to plan. There’s a lively cast of supporting characters too. My particular favourite is the formidable Phyllis – experimental cook and crazed driver.
While the jokes come thick and fast, this is also a moving and heartwarming story with important messages about what family means. The book also deals sensitively with grief, divorce and body image.
I loved the realistic portrayal of the friendship between Freddie, Ben and Charlie. Their laughter, arguments, frustrations and fierce loyalty rang very true. Each of the boys has their own emotional issues to process; I enjoyed reading a book that explored pre-teen boys’ emotions and showed the boys themselves being aware of their feelings and discussing them with each other.
The Super Miraculous Journey of Freddie Yates is riotous good fun and Jenny Pearson is definitely one to watch. I expect we’ll be reading lots more terrific books from her in the future.
The final version (I received a proof copy) will be illustrated throughout by the fabulous Rob Biddulph.
Suitable for children aged 8+
Thank you to Usborne for sending me this book to review.