Thursday, 27 March 2014

Review: Circus of Thieves and the Raffle of Doom by William Sutcliffe

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children's
Format: Paperback / eBook
Released: March 27th, 2014
Rating: 9/10

Amazon summary:

Hannah's life is boring, boring, boring! Then Armitage Shank's Impossible Circus comes to town and Hannah's world is turned on its head when she meets Billy Shank, his astonishing camel, Narcissus, and a host of other bizarrely brilliant members of the circus. But all is not as it seems; Armitage Shank, evil ringmaster and Billy's surrogate father, has a dastardly plan that could end in catastrophe for Hannah's dull little village and it's up to Hannah and Billy to stop his stinking scheme before it's too late…


Circus of Thieves and the Raffle of Doom is one of the best children's books I've read in ages. It had me laughing out loud right from the beginning (very embarrassing when I'm sat in the staff room at work) and was funny all the way through. The overall tone is fantastic, the author's voice is spectacularly funny, and I loved every page!

This book features some great memorable characters, most notably Fizzer the animal and clowns Hank and Frank. The paragraph describing Hank and Frank is my favourite from the whole book, and I hope they're included even more in the next instalment. They're kind of like the Chuckle Brothers but in a circus! Hannah and Billy are brilliant too, though they don't quite shine as brightly as some of the secondary characters.

Circus of Thieves and the Raffle of Doom manages to engage the reader by referring to them directly. This is unusual but effective - I found myself nodding along and concocting answers as if I was actually being spoken to. I really loved that and the way it makes the reader become more involved; it's a good way to get us all hooked!

This book is all about a circus, the crazy people in it and the animals that provide much of the entertainment. It's illustrated by David Tazzyman and touches on themes of friendship, family and mystery. I enjoyed this book so much more than I thought I would and I can't wait for the second book. There are so many unanswered questions and no doubt many more secrets to be revealed!

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