Tuesday 29 November 2016

Shrinking Ralph Perfect - Chris D'Lacey

Shrinking Ralph Perfect 
Chris d’Lacey
Orchard Books
ISBN 9781843626602
eISBN 9781408314432

This book was a really fun read, even though it was a bit predictable. I have read 24 Chris d’Lacey books in just over a year. And this is one of the standalone novels for young readers. The story is entertaining and engaging. My son is just a little young to read it but we have it on the schedule to read together next year. 

From their first meeting Ralph Perfect knows that there is something up with Jack Bilt, when he buys a house on Ralph’s street strange things just keep happening. First a mansion up north has disappeared; a local bully, and also a workman that came to see Jack have gone missing also. But no one else seems to notice the odd things. Jack has fooled Ralph’s mother. Soon Ralph is acting much braver than he actually is. The mini men have epic battles with dust mites, flies and a mad professor.

Jack Built has a plan to get rich, he has a miniaturized house, and a mini crew to work on the house and make it the perfect freak show attraction. But he never expected the local kit to be able to rally the troops and attempt an escape and rescue.

One of the best parts of the book is Ralph’s indignation at three months in a government facility after the ordeal, being tested, poked and prodded. This is how he describes the experience: “Imagine this: being taken to a secret laboratory, deep underground below a moor in Northumberland. You’re locked in a room where cameras watch your every move. Even when you’re sleeping. Even when…yes, that too. You have plenty to eat and are well looked after, but every day, for three months, scientists hook you up to strange machines that make your head buzz while they record any interesting changes in you, scratching out results on rolling charts, in looping graphs, in diverse colours. They put needles in your arms and draw your blood. They take snippets of your hair. They bottle your wee. They monitor your dreams, especially your nightmares.” 

This book is a very interesting read. Not the normal d’Lacey fare, no dragons, no bears and no crows. But still a very enjoyable read.

Books by Chris d'Lacey:
Dragons of Wayward Crescent
Gruffen (2009)
Gauge (2008)
Glade (2009)
Grabber (2010)

The Erth Dragons
The Wearle (2015)
2. Dark Wyng (2016)
3. The New Age (2018)

The Last Dragon Chronicles with David Rain
The Fire Within (2001)
Icefire (2003)
3 Fire Star (2005)
4 The Fire Eternal (2007)
5 Dark Fire (2009)
6 Fire World (2011)
7 The Fire Ascending (2012)
Rain and Fire: A Guide to the Last Dragon Chronicles (2010)

The Unicorne Files
A Dark Inheritance (2014)
Alexander's Army (2015)
3 A Crown of Dragons (2016)

Fly, Cherokee Fly Series
Fly, Cherokee Fly
Pawnee Warrior

Other Books
Henry Spaloosh! 
Shrinking Ralph Perfect
The Snail Patrol
The Table Football League
Riverside United
From E to You
Scupper Hargreaves, Football Genie
The Salt Pirates of Skegness
Falling for Mandy
The Prompter

Picture Books:
A Hole at the Pole
Juggling with Jeremy
A Break in the Chain
Read With Bubble and Float
Dexter's Journey
Frankin's Bear

Contributed to:
On Me ‘ead, Santa
Nice One, Santa
The Usborne Book of Christmas Stories
Heroes and Villains
In the Frame
Midnight Feast

Author Profile and Interview with Chris d'Lacey.

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