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The Boy Who Swam with Piranhas
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About the Author

David Almond is the acclaimed author of many award-winning novels for children such as Skellig, Kit's Wilderness and My Name Is Mina, and has more recently collaborated with artists Polly Dunbar, Dave McKean and Oliver Jeffers on fiction for younger readers. David's books sell all over the world, and in 2011 he was the recipient of the auspicious Hans Christian Andersen Award. He lives in Hexham, Northumberland; for more info visit www.davidalmond.com

As a picture book creator Oliver Jeffers has been the recipient of some of children's books highest accolades, including the Nestle Gold Medal for Lost and Found and the Irish Picture Book of the Year for The Incredible Book Eating Boy. Other award-winning titles include The Way Back Home, which was shortlisted for the Kate Greenaway medal. An animated film of Oliver's book Lost and Found won a BAFTA for Best Animation in 2009. Oliver was born in Belfast but now lives in New York City. This is his first book for Walker; for more information about his work, visit www.oliverjeffers.com

Reviews

A life-affirming voyage of self discovery - with a fabulously fishy twist - from master storyteller David Almond. * The Bookseller *
A homely but equally zany tale * The Telegraph *
Funny and unusal with wonderful characters * The Bookseller *
A beautiful story * Reader's Digest *
Out of the ordinary comes the extraordinary, and visuals and text merge together to tell a truly magnificent fishy tale. * INIS Magazine *
Often funny, occasionally poignant, but always subtle and never naive, this is a terrific read. * INIS Magazine *
There's no mistaking the hallmark Almond tenderness and the willingness to work with the common things in life, which animate the book from start to finish and make it good * Guardian *
Atmospheric, poetic, beautiful * Irish Times *
Fun, magical and enchanting. . . will appeal to readers of Roald Dahl * My Book Corner *
Dahl-esque adventure. I thought I knew David Almond through his book Skellig. But this is more like the best work of Roald Dahl than standard teen fiction . . . Oliver Jeffers' illustrations work as a brilliant accompaniment to this funny book * The Teacher *
Its message hits home: give a child belief in himself and there's no limit to what he can achieve * The Daily Mail *

As he did in The Boy Who Climbed to the Moon, Almond strikes a lighter, more whimsical note in the story of orphan Stanley Potts. After Stanley's guardian, Uncle Ernie, is fired from his job, the man quickly rebounds with "big, big plans" to build a fish cannery in his home. When ambition and greed prompt Uncle Ernie to dip his fingers into Stanley's bucket of pet goldfish, an infuriated Stanley leaves home and joins a carnival. He is working the hook-a-duck stall when he is discovered by Pancho Pirelli, a man renowned for performing the death-defying act of swimming with piranhas. Pancho, on the verge of retirement, is looking for a replacement, and Stanley might fit the bill. Reinventing oneself can be dangerous, disastrous, or fortuitous, as this proudly silly tale (and Jeffers's equally blithe spot art) illustrate, and there will always be members of the establishment (in this case, DAFT, the "Departmint for the Abolishun of Fishy Things") trying to prevent the realization of dreams. Bold, imaginative, and funny, Stanley's bigger-than-life escapades will tickle imaginations. Ages 9-12. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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