When 11 year old Dan Hope sees his father for the first time in four years, on TV, he sets out on a quest to reunited his family only to find that he was with his true family all the time.
This is a fun story. Dan’s relationship with his sister, ‘Ninja Grace’, his mum and stepfather, Dave are all nicely don as is his desire to get his father (who ran off with ‘Babs’ from the chip shop) back in his life. He sets out to meet his father while, at the same time, staking-out Dave (his stepfather) whom he suspects of cheating on his mother (just like his father did) I love the way, written in the first person, we see the world through Dan’s eyes including the simple ways in which children often view the world and how the complexities of adult life and relationships pass them by. The end is quite sad in some ways, uplifting in others as Dan discovers that he was with his real dad all the time.
It’s not a story with a clear antagonist, there’s no ‘bad guy’. The reader follows Dan on his journey, wrapped-up in his desires and schemes as these are explored as themes. It’s quite funny in places and Dan Hope is a very likeable character. It would suit more thoughtful children and raises awareness of families and what really matters in a father-son relationship.
Rating out of 5: ♦♦♦♦
Suggested age: 10+