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Return To Groosham Grange Paperback – 1 May 2003
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"A first-class children's novelist." The Times Educational Supplement; "Horowitz has become a writer who converts boys to reading." The Times; "As entertaining and suspenseful as the first book." The School Librarian; "Anarchy, entertainment and magic... Anthony Horowitz continues to write with huge appeal." Literacy and Learning
About the Author
Anthony Horowitz is a popular and prolific children's writer, whose books now sell in more than a dozen countries around the world. He has won numerous prizes for his books which include Stormbreaker (shortlisted for Children's Book Award) and its sequels, Point Blanc, Skeleton Key and Eaglestrike about reluctant teenage MI6 spy, Alex Rider; Groosham Grange - the prequel to Return to Groosham Grange - Winner of the Lancashire Children's Book Award; Granny (shortlisted for the 1994 Children's Book Award); and the Diamond Brothers Trilogy - The Falcon's Malteser (which has been filmed with the title Just Ask for Diamond), followed by South by South East (which was dramatized in six parts on TV) and Public Enemy Number Two - to which three more short novels, The Blurred Man, The French Confection and I know What You Did Last Wednesday, have been added. Anthony also writes extensively for TV, with credits including the hit series Murder in Mind, as well as Foyle's War; Midsomer Murders; Poirot; and Murder Most Horrid. He lives in north London with his family.
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Although not quite as good as its predecessor, there remains a lot of mischievous humour (David's father with more hair in his nostrils than on his head; matron Mrs. Windergast, burnt at the stake in 1214 and 1336, nowadays avoiding barbecues). Elsewhere the book at times proves disconcertingly OTT, especially in Margate.
Addicts will not mind, Anthony Horowitz still providing much to provoke both shudders and amusement.
Return to Groosham Grange is typical of his work, if a little bit more off beat than usual. This hilarious adventure is the sequel to Groosham Grange, and follows David - now enjoying his life as a student at the extremely unorthodox school, and battling to win the school's highest (and only) honour, presented to the most outstanding student - the Unholy Grail.
But all is not well, as the school has been infiltrated by someone who wants to destroy it.
Children aged about 8 or 9+ will love this story. At times it is so wacky that it might be a bit too much for teenage readers, but it is still good fun, with a fast and enjoyable plot.
My one reservation - and the reason I will not be lending it out - is that it basically inverts ideas of good and evil. Witches and vampires and werewolves are not exactly evil, but the Christians certainly intend it.
That is not to say I think children should not read this book. In some senses it is a perfect book to challenge our ideas of what is good and what evil means. But I think it is a book that perhaps requires a bit of discussion to round it off, as it is aimed at an age that is used to more didactic learning, and it would be a shame if the actual message that sinks home is that Witches are good and Christians are evil.
David Eliot who is 10 years old has been at the school 1 year. In his first year he and his two friends, Jill and Jerry tried to escape from the school a few times but failed. Now all three friends think it is better than home. At the moment there is a tournament going on in the school, the prize is a golden cup, called The Unholy Grail, which has magical powers that nobody knows, David Eliot is in first place, but a new student called Vincent is catching up. Could Vincent be cheating because he has only just arrived at Groosham Grange and he is less than 50 points behind David? Vincent has been slipping away each night, but only David knows. To find out who wins the unholy grail this is the 2nd Book in the series. The first book is called Groosham Grange. If you adventure and mysteries than this is the book for you.
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