- Written by Kathy Weeks
- Fully illustrated by Aleksei Bitskoff
- Published by Hodder books
When you first see the book the cover stands out, it’s bright pink and very modern.
Then you read the back of the book hooks you in, you find yourself with a silly grin on your face knowing that you really need to read this book.
When you open the book you discover that the book is in form of a diary. We meet and follow Harper Drew, a young girl who lives with her parents and two brothers.
It’s the start of the summer holidays, and even before they have left the family are having issues, now some of them we will all relate to, like missing the car ferry.
This is a laugh out loud page turner, that will keep you hooked and will make you laugh until your sides hurt. You could totally believe that this is written by a young girl, for the record I loved Harpers dad and can see a little of my husband in him.
This book is perfect for fans of The Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Tom Gates.
As soon as I saw the format of this book I knew my daughter would love it. She has always requested those titles that are similar in style – DOAWK series by Jeff Kinney, Tom Gates’ by Liz Pichon, and Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell – and this having the fully illustrated styling like those mentioned popular series, and a female lead character meant that she would likely find the content and context of this book relatable on a more personal level. I offered her up my copy of Harper Drew, and she devoured it, and said she wishes this was available years ago as this has always been her book style preference, and there is far too little choice available with a girl character narrating the story. Not any more, she is a Harper Drew fan from this moment on, and cannot wait to see what comes next in this brand new series.
I also offered up extracts of this book to my son, and he too loved the content, pondering over the crazy antics that can be found inside such as that of Harper’s dad deciding to help grandad extract his wobbly tooth via the string to a door handle method, and the carpet getting subsequently covered in blood! He also loves that Harper has a brother that is obsessed over hair products, and refuses to take part in things you might think boys would jump at the chance of doing, like wading through a lorry load of thawing fish, because his hair might smelly! Oh, and then there is the mention of him buying half, yes half, a skateboard! Needless to say there were many laugh out loud moments.
From friendship drama, and those things children are notorious for experiencing such as hoping they get invited to another child’s party, or the stresses of hosting their own, their are so many things in this book that children will recognise in a scenario sense, and also the emotional aspects too – especially in relation to self confidence, and the need to believe more in yourself. Harper gives ratings for things in each diary entry, including family members – and all of it is just hilarious! There is also the family’s holiday to France to enjoy, and it gets off to a bad start before they have even left their home town when they lose Harper’s little brother James briefly in the local supermarket whilst purchasing French themed cuisines to take with them! It is an unmissable trip for those looking to enjoy non stop hurdles, hiccups, and mishaps.
I agree with Helen, the character of the dad is one that you can’t help but love, especially with his banter, as he is a huge fan of using word association, which makes for some cringe worthy scenes within this book, and that he has been sneaking off to learn to swim in preparation for their family holiday. He is adorable. My favourite character has to be Mum, as I have a total appreciation for her love of using bleach products to clean everything – even the bottle of bleach!, and her dropping maths puzzles into every day activities with Harper is another thing I too have done, and continue to still do with my children.
I can see this being an incredibly popular read with children of all ages, and would definitely recommend purchasing multiple copies for school libraries because just as soon as word gets around about how exciting and entertaining the world of Harper Drew is there will be endless requests to be able to borrow and enjoy it. I love that siblings can share the story at home, with the adventures of Harper and her siblings making this engaging for all, and that parents sharing this book with their children, like I have, will find their are aspects to it that even they enjoy, related to, and laugh about all the way, and what more could you want when enjoying a book?
Be sure to grab yourselves a copy, available from all good booksellers now, and check out the rest of the blog tour via the information on the banner below.