28 August 2013

Review: Mason Wilson and the Dead Bird Debacle by M P Jones

It’s the end of term, and Mason Wilson has been assigned an unusual homework project for the holidays: research a conspiracy theory. Normally he’d just leave it until the last minute then cobble something together from Wikipedia, but this project is different: his teacher will submit the best project to the competition being run by a national newspaper—a competition which has a GBP 20,000 prize, a prize his family needs.

Mason knows that to win the prize he’s going to have to do something special, so he starts researching. Two ideas catch his attention: why do you never see dead birds, and what is the secret ingredient in Coola Cola? He decides that might be too difficult to find out, and when he sees a strange cat in the neighbourhood with a bird in its’ mouth, he decides to follow it …

There were quite a few English jokes that foreigners (or children) might not get, such as Clifford Machs, the public relations guru. I enjoyed the writing style and the characters, there was just the right amount of humour, the plot was well thought through, and the story had a clear Christian message without being preachy.

Children, especially boys, will be intrigued by the mystery of where dead birds go, the idea of the secret ingredient in Coola Cola … and the slightly disturbing way in which the two come together. Mason Wilson & The Dead Bird Debacle has echoes of Roald Dahl and new children’s fiction such as Diary of A Wimpy Kid. It’s enjoyable Christian fiction for 8-12 year olds who enjoy the slightly quirky nature of an English setting.

Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review.

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