Muddle and Win (Muddle & Win) Hardcover – 30 Aug 2012
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"Hear the name John Dickinson, and you expect something intriguing and original. And with this fascinating book for younger readers, you won't be disappointed. ...Stories don't have to be quick and easy to be enjoyable, and there's nothing wrong with expecting your readers to reach high. This book is touching and funny and provocative, and we promise you ― it will be well worth any effort you put into reading it." (The Bookbag)
"This is one of those books that takes figurative meaning literally. And you end up with a whole lot of light-hearted silly good fun. But parallel to this, Muddle and Win also explores concepts of good, evil, truth, and ideas (just some of life’s itsy-bitsy philosophical questions). At times, I thought the storyline was aimed at 10 years or younger, but the language structure (and maybe some of the ideas) is aimed at an older reader. There are bits for everyone in there." (WeSatDown blogspot)
"Muddle & Win is bonkers, but in a good way! I was hurled into this fabulously imagined world that was brilliantly fun, silly, witty and wonderfully written and put together. I immediately fell in love with brave little Muddlespot... The storyline is engaging and is perfectly paced, it is one of them one-sitting books that I love so much. I really haven't come across anything like Muddle & Win before and I think everyone should read it themselves to experience the full on punch of silliness it packs into every page." (Carly Fiction Fascination blogspot)
"It's a brilliant, funny story about good and bad which is so well written that even slower, less capable readers will probably get through it in a day or two. I really enjoyed the story and think that so many pre-teens will too, its a great, fun read with a brilliant serious message underneath it all." (Raimy Rawr ReadaRaptor blogspot)
"It’s funny, and it’s scary, and it’s very, very sharp in its observations of human nature. ...It's a huge relief to come across such an intelligent, thought-provoking book for children." (Kath Langrish Steel Thistles blogspot)
A mind-bogglingly funny story about the battles and adventures inside our own heads.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
The thought that everyone has a Lifetime Deeds Counter is very interesting and I suppose introduces Karma to children in an easily accessible way. It will certainly encourage thought about how our actions affect others and indeed ourselves. Every action has a consequence - a very good lesson for everyone to learn.
This book is sure to appeal to all ages (adults included). It is clever and funny, with the right mix of mayhem and message. Highly praised and recommended.
The story reminded me rather of John Connolly's books for children in which the forces of good and evil are unleashed on an unsuspecting population and find themselves changing because of their proximity to humans and their all too human foibles which suddenly make the black and white of heaven and hell a rather more greyish, in the middle kind of thing.
In this story, Muddlespot, a lowly cleaning demon from the reaches of hell, is sent to try and infiltrate the mind of paragon of virtue Sally Jones. Muddlespot is not sent because he is clever. He is sent because he is expendable. He has no idea what he is doing, and when, entirely by accident, he makes Sally less than perfect, all hell, quite literally breaks loose.
This is very funny in places, and is an easy, fast paced read. It would be great for eights and ups who are looking for humorous, adventure stories with a bit of bite.
Discord is a theme at the heart of `Muddle and Win' and it is to be found on earth, in hell, and even in heaven. Apart from Sally and her family, amongst various demons and devils, or angels and seraphims, are 2 special agents - Muddlespot from down below for bad, and Windleberry from up above for good. They struggle to influence Sally, but her conflicts are within herself. `Muddle and Win' is a cunning morality tale, introducing principles of karma as the balance of an individual's actions through life.
However `Muddle and Win' is also highly imaginative and full of humour - with an entertaining and enjoyable plot, plus engaging and endearing characters. It is well written in short chapters, use is made of different fonts to emphasise wild exploits, and in places twin columns cleverly indicate different perspectives. The target age group for young readers is unclear - but it appealed to me as a granddad - and I award 5-star rating.
You know how you can read a book and even though you weren't really expecting to, you loved every second? When it's one of those books that has that magic, that spark, that just reminds you so much of when you were young and innocent and everything was absolute magic? Muddle and Win was that book for me. I'm not going to say it'll be that way for everyone or that it's a perfect, flawless read, but it just had a spark I've not seen in kids books for ages. It's funny, witty, quirky, exceptionally written and just so amazing. Kids and parents alike will gobble it up. It's the best kids fiction I've read since Roald Dahl and Lemony Snickett.
"The object of Mission Alpha was..."
Just like any good story, Muddle and Win is about the battle between good and evil. In this battle, just one person could tilt the balance. This person is Sally Jones, who has thousands of Good Deeds and nada Bad ones.
Sally is definitely Good. But she needs to be Bad, Bad, Bad if Hell is going to have a shot.
That's why Muddlespot, a wart-turned-imp-turned-Agent-of-Evil, is sent to turn Sally Bad, to stop her streak of endless good deeds and maybe throw in a few naughty ones.
If he fails? Well, it will be Very, Very Bad for him and the cleaners will have a verrryy tough job getting rid of his body... bits.
His job isn't helped by the presence of one of Heaven's best, Agent Windleberry, an angel in Ray-bans and a tuxedo, who is determined to keep Sally exactly as she is - Good.
Let The Battle For Sally Jones begin...
I've never read anything by Dickinson before (I don't think...) but from the moment I saw this book in all its marvellously odd glory, I knew I just had to read it. And from the very first page, I knew it wouldn't let me down.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is the size of this book that makes it for the older child rather than the content. I have also read muddle earth from the same series and like that, this book is too wordy for... Read morePublished on 5 April 2014 by I am probably a human
An angel and a demon are sent to Earth to battle for Sally Jones' soul. It sounds pretty serious stuff but this book is a lot of fun. Read morePublished on 4 Dec. 2013 by J. R. Atkinson
I really found it difficult to get into this book. As far as I could tell, the action takes place within one Sally Jones, who is "good". Muddlespot is a sort of imp(? Read morePublished on 2 May 2013 by T. Walker
Sally and Bobbie are twins - one can't do anything wrong, and one can't to anything right. When, downstairs, in Pandaemonium, they see that her Lifetime Deeds Counter is showing... Read morePublished on 4 Jan. 2013 by Both the Macs
"Infiltration has occurred." Shock, horror in Heaven! On Earth one of its greatest successes, ultra-good schoolgirl Sally Jones, is being targeted by an envoy from Hell. Read morePublished on 18 Nov. 2012 by Mr. D. L. Rees
Muddlespot has been sent on a mission of great importance: to turn Sally Jones to the dark side. For an overgrown wart that cleans up entrails, his promotion to special agent was a... Read morePublished on 17 Nov. 2012 by Hannah @ My Book Journey
Muddle and Win:
Muddle is Muddlespot, an ex-wart, ex-cleaner sent up from the depths of Pandemonium to try and do what so many others have failed to do before:... Read more
Sally Jones is Good. Unusual enough in a fourteen-year-old, but it's more than just being nice and behaving well all the time. Read morePublished on 15 Aug. 2012 by Book Gannet