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Smile! [Paperback]

Geraldine McCaughrean
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 July 2004
A magical and uplifting tale. When Felix's plane crashes, he finds himself in a small remote village. The only thing he has salvaged from the plane is a Polaroid camera with ten remaining pictures. At first the villagers are suspicious, but they soon enter into a mission to find the ten most important subjects for the photographs. And each photo that Felix takes seems to have a magical effect .

BLGeraldine McCaughrean is the winner of the Carnegie Medal, the Whitbread Award, the Smarties Prize and the Blue Peter Book Award.

Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; 2004 Edition edition (1 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192719610
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192719614
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 493,241 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

It's 35 years now since I first got published, and 50 since I found out how writing let me step outside my little, everyday world and go wherever I chose - way back in Time, to far distant shores, towards my own, home-made happy ending. Not that all my books are an easy ride. I write adventure, first and foremost, because that's what I enjoyed reading as a child. But since I have published over 160 books now, there are all manner of books in among that number - gorgeously illustrated picture books, easy readers, prize winners, teenage books and five adult novels.
The White Darkness won the Printz Award in the USA, which, for as Englishwoman, was the most amazing, startling thrill.
Then there was Peter Pan in Scarlet - official sequel to J M Barrie's Peter Pan, written on behalf of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children. I won the chance to write that in a worldwide competition, and because Peter Pan is loved everywhere, my book sold worldwide too. I can't say I expected that when, as a child, I dreamed of being like my older brother and getting a book published one day.
These days I have a husband (good at continuity and spelling) and a daughter who is an excellent editor. But she's an actor. So, naturally, I have turned my hand to writing plays. (So many actors, so few plays!)
My Mum told me, "Never boil your cabbages twice, dear," which was her way of saying, "Don't repeat yourself." So I have tried never to write the same book twice. You'll find all my novels quite different from one another. The only way you can find out which ones you like and which you don't is to read them, I'm afraid.
I have also done lots of retellings of myth, legend, folk and fairy tales, and adapted indigestible classics such as El Cid, the Epic of Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, Moby Dick, Shakespeare and the Pilgrim's Progress.
Something for everyone, you see, my dear young, not-so-young, eccentric, middle-of-the-road, poetical, sad, cheerful, timid or reckless reader.
All they have in common is that they all contain words. If you are allergic to words, you'd best not open the covers.

Geraldine McCaughrean has written 167 books and plays for both adults and children. The books include Peter Pan in Scarlet, one of the most talked about and successful children's titles of 2006.

Geraldine McCaughrean has won the Carnegie Medal, the Whitbread Children's Book Award (three times), the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, the Smarties Bronze Award (four times), the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award and the Blue Peter Special Book to Keep Forever Award. She has also had more titles short-listed (six, including one winner and one Highly Commended) for the Carnegie Medal, than any other author, the latest being The Death Defying Pepper Roux.

Product Description


...the writing is so luminously graphic...this is a children's book...Adults chancing upon it should feel grateful that Geraldine McCaughrean believes young readers deserve work of this depth and quality. (DAWN)

Book Description

A gorgeous younger novel from the highly-acclaimed and best-selling Geraldine McCaughrean

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Tribe" for the junior reader! 8 Dec 2007
A photographer, Flash, crash lands in a remote place with just a Polaroid camera as a companion. He is found and taken to the local dusty village which has been pretty much untouched by the outside world. There are just ten photos left on the camera and Flash wants to use these "magic pictures" wisely. What subjects should he choose?
It's a simple idea, put together with flair and humour. Beautifully written, with a scattering of pictures (the "photos" Flash takes), the language and imagery is totally in keeping with the story and mood of the book, creating depth and dimension.
As well as being a good story for the newly confident reader, "Smile" will also inspire them to consider the alternative perceptions of people who live a different way of life. The story could encourage, for example, the reevaluation of wealth and beauty. The momentary nature of photos also highlights the ephemeral nature of youth and life, the passing of time.
Written more simply than many of McCaughrean's novels, this is great for Key Stage 2 (7-11) and I am putting it with a digital camera for my seven-year old daughter this Christmas to off-set some pink glitz.
A great story, and a delightful introduction to cultural anthropology!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful 12 Sep 2005
This book is perfect - a brilliant notion, brilliantly executed. It's a kind of parable about what's important and what isn't. It's as clear and profound as a Borges story but it's also very funny when it wants to be and has a great adventure story setting. It would be a brilliant detonator for classroom discussions. But I read it in the dentist's waiting room and forgot to be worried, so it works as a mood altering drug too.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars WHAT A BORING BOOK 24 Mar 2006
By A Customer
At first you havn't got a clue whats going on, and it just isn't really interesting at all, it may be just a tad bit babyish for me. Younger children may enjoy it but i certanily didn't. The story had no main story-line, and it was basically just about taking boring photo's. Some of the humour was quite good, but it wasn't gripping or actually interesting. I don't recommend this book for people who enjoy gripping and read worthy books. If you are quite have the patience to read this book then go ahead, but DO NOT by this book if you want a REALLY interesting book!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Hard to believe, flat narrative 7 Jan 2007
By Ashley Waring - Published on
This book is about a man (NOT a boy, as one reviewer states) who survives a plane crash in a remote village. He finds a tribe of people who speak English, yet do not know what cameras or photographs are. In each chapter he decides what photograph to take (he has 10 left on his poloroid). The characters are flat, there is no conflict to move the story forward, and the ending is just too easy. Not until the final photo is taken does the man remember he has a family back in London. Then, conveniently enough, a helicopter appears, litteraly a Deus ex Machina, to save him. Then the author tries to make things fun by suggesting the whole tale has taken place in his imagination.
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book 12 Sep 2009
By S. R. Jones - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I loved the book. I thought the lesson or big idea in the book was great. I used this book in my 4th & 5th grade literature groups. Although, they could read the book they had a difficult time grasping the big idea. They didn't seem to enjoy it as much as I did. So maybe it would be more appropriate for higher level students.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gentle story of survival and change. 10 Dec 2006
By Midwest Book Review - Published on
Geraldine McCaughrean's SMILE! tells of a boy who survives a plane crash in the wilderness to find himself alone with only a camera. His visit to a remote village, where people have never met a photographer or seen a photo, changes not only his life, but those he encounters in this gentle story of survival and change.
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