Book Review: The Dreables

**** Excellent

Male main character who should appeal to both boys and girls.  There’s a girl character later on, but you never really get into her.  Gran, although not a ten-year-old, definitely rocks by the end of the book.

About 100 pages.

In short: Ten-year-old Sam Jones has about had it with getting shuffled off to Gran’s house whenever his parents go on hiking vacations: she’s superstitious, has tons of nonsensical rules (no whistling after dark), and never has any interest in letting him do anything fun. But one day while they’re on “vacation” together, her car breaks down, and a girl appears in the mist from their radiator, asking for Mother Merryweather’s help.  The Dreables have returned…

This book, a very enjoyable read, walks a fine line on the lesson of being polite.  There are some real stinkers of kids’ books out there that all they do is preach, preach, preach.  This isn’t that kind of book.  While it looks like, in the beginning of the book, that it’s going to be about the value of being nice and polite, it’s not.  If there’s any real lesson here, it’s that sometimes old people are more interesting than your parents, and have awesome things to teach…as long as you can get them to open up.  Despite going off about the value of politeness, Gran isn’t the nicest, most perfect, most trusting soul out there.  She’s a glutton for sweets, thinks Sam is nothing but a brat, doesn’t want to get dragged into saving other people…and doesn’t listen to the animals around her, after making a big stinking deal about how they just “know” the truth about people.  Gran has to learn as much, if not more, than Sam does, and it’s interesting (as an adult) to watch her have to grow and adapt.

Book Description (from Goodreads):

Sam Jones’ holiday with Gran is all baking and cats (yawn). But when she gets a cry for help from her old village, everything changes. Something bad is happening and only Gran can fix it. But when she falls victim to a shapeshifter’s trick, Sam is left alone with just dog, cat and cherry bakewells. Things look bleak..But the Dreables haven’t bargained for Gran’s secret gift to Sam. Cunning…

About the Author (from Goodreads):

RA Jones was born in a mining village in the Swansea valley in Wales where he attended primary and secondary schools. In 1974, he was offered a place at Medical school in London and qualified in 1979. Medicine and a family followed, but writing as Dylan Jones, he published 4 novels in the nineties, two of which were filmed by the BBC. But a growing desire to moves away from adult thrillers is what has preoccupied him of late. He also plans to write contemporary adult novels (urban fantasy) as DC Farmer.

Sometimes all three of his personae will start speaking at once, at which point he lies down in a dark room and waits for the feeling to pass.

RA Jones’s website is here.  You can buy the book from Amazon.

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