Review published on August 6, 2018.
Jack lives with a hateful uncle, submissive aunt and vicious cousin, and takes refuge in a local junkyard with its friendly, father-like Mr Mudge and horses he adores. His mum is in prison for theft, protesting her innocence; he’s never met his dad.
Events conspire and he unwittingly runs away from his uncle’s home, with a Shetland pony, Boadicea, who… speaks to him!
Boadicea is a rather fine creation, especially when voiced by the author (Audible edition listened to), and she and Jack soon hit it off. The ‘talking horse’ element is nicely worked in, and isn’t actually the focus of the story, which I was glad about – Jack’s family is the plot.
I may have preferred Edmondson’s first (Tilly and the Time Machine) but this grew on me and I loved the last quarter especially, some wonderful warming scenes and madcap escapades.
Reads like a less manic Walliams or less subversive Dahl, retains the feel of the importance of family. Some good baddies, Jack is a resourceful and determined young protagonist, and the world of the animals is an enjoyable one to spy on.
Very readable, I’m planning on listening with my seven year old shortly. I’d recommend this (audio or written version) to ages 7-12.
Katy Noyes 4/3
Junkyard Jack and the Horse that Talked by Adrian Edmondson
Penguin Books Ltd B07DYCXJSJ audiobook Jun 2018
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