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Out of This World Paperback – 6 Jun 2013


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Out of This World + Frozen in Time + Dark Summer
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (6 Jun. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192794124
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192794123
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 188,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ali Sparkes MEANT to be a superstar singer and actress by now, but that never quite happened... probably because this was in the olden days before StrictlyPopXTalentIdol. She insists she could have done it otherwise.

After National Service as a Pontin's Bluecoat, a stint in cabaret and then singing in cheesy cover bands Ali finally got a proper job in local newspapers before absconding to the BBC in the late 90s. A bit of local radio presenting and producing followed before she chucked in the day job and started writing comedy stuff for Radio 4 (Woman's Hour & Home Truths) and cooking up children's adventure stories.

Since The Shapeshifter: Finding The Fox came out in 2006, she's found her groove.

Her first stand-alone novel, Frozen In Time, won the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award in 2010 and her books, including the SWITCH series, have been translated into many languages from French to Japanese, Polish to Korean...

You can find out more about her books and her public events at www.alisparkes.com. And for fun and games with SWITCH go to www.switch-books.co.uk.

Ali's involved in assorted exciting projects from new novels to screenplays, theatre and animation... but she maintains that if you were to snap her in half she would read CHILDREN'S AUTHOR through the middle, like Brighton rock. Although it would probably be a bit difficult to read, what with the blood and entrails and all that...

Product Description

Review

"This book does a great job of keeping you on the edge of your seat...Great stuff and I can't wait for more!" (www.thebookbag.co.uk)

"...I found myself drawn into the rapidly moving plot and it was really hard to put the book down." (Armadillo Magazine)

"The book rockets along, and the characters are all really well rounded and leap off the page." (Jo Cotterill blog)

Book Description

Believe the impossible . . .

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Paul Tapner TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 31 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A novel for younger readers - ideal age would be ten and up - that is primarily a thriller with a bit of science fiction as well.

It runs for two hundred and sixty seven pages and is divided into twenty seven chapters.

It's also seemingly a stand alone book and not part of any series or trilogy.

Set in present day Britain, the main character is a thirteen year old boy called Tyrone. or Ty for short. A boy who is smart and who doesn't quite fit in at school as a result, and subject to the attentions of the bullies. His widowed mother works on a cruise ship. And he lives with his easily distracted reality tv and chat show loving aunt.

His best friend is Sam, who runs the local nature reserve.

All this is described in early chapters which are very readable and have a convincing setting. Ty is quite a sympathetic lead character. The whole thing is written from his point of view in third person present tense.

Things change for him drastically when he finds a strange object. It gives him the ability to move things with his mind. All of which comes in very handy when you want to stand up to the bullies. But a friend of Sam's warns him not to attract too much attention, or the authorities might take an interest.

When a sinister man and woman in black suits visit his school, Ty and Sam have to run. Their only chance is to investigate a report of someone who might have similar abilities to Ty's...

There's little sense of jeopardy in what follows, more a case of how resourceful you would have to be under such a situation. But the journey of the main characters is well described and very readable, and the other characters they meet along the way are also very good creations.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. J. Noyes TOP 100 REVIEWER on 18 July 2013
Format: Paperback
This grew on me. I was on the point of giving up when the plot suddenly kicked in and I saw that it was going to be a great little book.

All the elements are there - geeky kid (Tyrone) being bullied, finds strange object that appears to give him special powers, special powers are cool (moving objects with his mind!), people in suits show up...

So it's a little bit of sci-fi, a chase story, there's a naturalist friend who helps Ty on the run, there's shady government-types following, and there's the fact that there are news stories that a few other people have also been able to move objects with their minds.

Fast-moving, Out of this World is a really good outdoorsy read, lots of eating and sleeping in the woods and running from The Man (or Woman). I thoroughly enjoyed the story and will be recommending to 9-13 year olds who are looking for something exciting in the library this summer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By P. Dhinsa VINE VOICE on 16 May 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I got this book for my daughter who is aged eleven. She has read some of Ali Sparkes earlier books, such as the Shapeshifter series. She rated this book as three stars, not because the story was boring or the writing was bad, but I think purely because she found the book to be a bit too boyish for her. I actually think that it's because she's reading books that are really aimed at 11+.

The story is about Tyrone Lewis, also known as Ty. He finds a special stone in the woods and suddenly has magical powers that begin to cause him trouble. He lives with his Aunt as his mother is away working on a cruise ship. It's a good story that will appeal to confident readers who are eight and over.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By H J Mac on 29 May 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this! It's so engaging and incredibly sweet. I'd read all the Shapeshifters first so had wondered about Tyrone and how he got the way he is, he seemed a lovely character in those books, and he really is delightful. There is also another character who we meet later on in the Shapeshifter books, Chambers, and it's interesting to see where he came from as well.

The adventure moves at a pace, introducing some great characters along the way. I really adored Sam, and there's some more foreshadowing there. Even though it's easy to work out where it's heading, it's still really exciting along the way, and there is genuine tension in the plot.
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By Mr. D. L. Rees TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Pity young Ty! The newly fitted brace seems to fill his mouth. Sadistic English teacher Mr. Brading promptly casts him as Romeo, as the class falls about. School bullies later taunt with "Scrap Gob!" whilst advancing with sticks and stones. Suddenly they are fleeing, screaming with fear - all because of a mysterious object Ty found in the woods. It has awesome powers, sought by sinister beings on high. From now on, his life will never be the same - he a fugitive, closely pursued....

Probably it is best not to question too closely certain plot developments, or to worry if some characters are little more than caricatures. Miss Merrill is decidedly OTT with Cruella De Vil tendencies; Aunty Dawn simply gawps at the television whilst feeding her face (the set in the kitchen preferred because it is nearer the fridge).

In contrast, Ty himself is likeable, by no means a wimp. He has a good friend in countryside ranger Sam Garner, ever-resourceful and full of commonsense. Destined to join them on the run are an old age pensioner, a hairdresser and a youth liberally bedecked with studs - the unlikely five to play a crucial part in averting catastrophe.

A fun start thus evolves into something more substantial, its climax exciting. Readers may differ as to whether the visiting alien convinces, but will be delighted at the fate that befalls somebody particularly horrible.

Despite reservations, this proves an entertaining read. Hints of a possible sequel will please quite a few.
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