I thought I’d get a head start on this year’s Carnegie longlist before the shortlist was announced today (I managed all but one of last year’s shortlist, here’s hoping I’m more successful this year…) The first to catch my eye was Aubrey and the terrible Yoot, for no other reason than it was actually available at my library. That and it was short… 😉
Aubrey is introduced as a rambunctious boy, carefree, full of life and adventure. Free spirited and curious, he even manages to crash two cars long before he’s allowed to drive. But one day his life grinds to a halt as his dad falls under a horrendous spell (depression). After learning about seemingly invincible Terrible Yoot, Aubrey sets out on a quest, with the help of a group of anthropomorphic animals, to save him. But can he succeed?
This had the potential to be either overwhelmingly sad or simplistic and watered down for the audience, but I felt it was pitched perfectly. Don’t get me wrong, there were some genuinely devastating moments. The scene near Christmas where the Yoot finally launches his attack is very hard to read. But, I loved the adventure feel of the story and the moments of brilliant humour. This kind of message is just so important for children to understand.
A pretty solid start. Such a shame it didn’t make the shortlist.