Sometimes you pick up a book and you just know that kids are going to love it. It could be the cover that jumps out at you or the blurb that hooks you in and makes you want to read the book. Mick Elliott’s new book, The Turners, has huge kid-appeal, from the awesome cover featuring a shape-shifting kid to the promise of killer pigs and snake-men on the cover.
Leo Lennox has an epic problem: it’s his thirteenth birthday and he has just grown a tail.
You’d think that growing a tail in the middle of the school library would be the worst thing that could happen to you, but Leo is about to discover that things can always get worse – and a whole lot weirder. Now, as he discovers an unthinkable family secret, Leo must team up with his infuriating older sister to escape snake-skinned henchmen, ancient shape-shifters and a whispering villain determined to feed him to a pack of genetically engineered killer pigs – all while trying to control his new shape-shifting powers.
The Turners is a crazy, hilarious thrill-ride packed with shapeshifters, weird genetic experiments and family secrets. Mick Elliott drops you straight into the action with the strange, embarassing situation that Leo finds himself in. The story gallops and leaps along, with never a dull moment, as you join Leo and Abbie on their search for answers.
There is something in The Turners to appeal to anyone. There is the mystery of Turners with their genetic anomoly that allows them to turn into different animals, (from rodents and birds to mammals and reptiles), the adventure that Leo and Abbie find themselves on in their search for answers, some delightfully sinister villains, and genetically engineered pigs and hamsters. The Turners is also perfect for those kids who love a funny story. There are some hilarious moments in the story, especially when it comes to turning in to different animals. My favourite part is when Leo interupts his sister Abbie when she is trying to show him how an expert Turns. It ends in Leo being sprayed with sloth urine (I know kids will love this part).
The cover and design for The Turners is brilliant too. The bright orange and green makes the book jump off the shelf and the cover illustration makes you want to find out what the story is about. The title also has a very cool lizard scale effect as well.
The Turners is the first part of a trilogy by Mick Elliott and I can’t wait to see what happens next. It’s perfect for ages 9+ and would make a great read aloud for Years 5-8.