This book is fun, especially for adults who have read and enjoyed all the really old-fashioned children's classics; books like Pollyanna, The Secret Garden, Anne of Green Gables, The Bobbsey Twins etc. The story satirises these old fashioned tales delightfully, with a family of very knowingly self-ironic children. Despised and neglected by their parents the children devise a plan to get rid of their parents, not knowing of course that mother and father have already hatched a plan to get rid of the children.
You'll find here the bossy controlling boy child, the undermined (and not allowed to play boys' games) girl, twins with the same name, an abandoned baby (project for the children), a rich benefactor... and so on. I really love the old children's classics, but also thoroughly enjoyed this take-the-mickey tale too.
My hesitation is in recommending the book for children. Taken on one level it's quite an engaging read, is funny and travels at a good pace. However, there are a lot of literary allusions and in-jokes which the majority of children today won't get or understand. True, there are probably a good number of girls out there who might have read Anne of Green Gables or The Secret Garden, but the majority of jokes, or references to children's classics will pass by or confuse (or dare I say bore) many children. I certainly haven't met a child recently who's read 'The Bobbsey Twins' books. There are so many really good contemporary children's books around these days that fewer and fewer youngsters are picking up the classic stories. Try it with children (aged 10+/-) but I'm not convinced it'll be a hit.
Still, a funny and clever read for adults who love the classic children's stories. I enjoyed it enormously.