This book pretty much picks up where the first book left off in the ongoing story of Louis’s life as a 12-year-old trying to fit in at school and negotiate parental expectations, while furthering his career as a professional comedian. It isn’t absolutely necessary to have read the first book, but as events that occur in this slice of Louis’s adventures are impacted by what has gone on before, I recommend you do so to get the best of out of the book.
The strength in Johnson’s writing is that he addresses a lot of the major concerns most 12 year olds are experiencing – so this isn’t children’s story where adults are somehow airbrushed out of the picture. Indeed, much of the humour and impetus in the story comes from Louis’s interaction with his parents. I love the fact that as Louis pours out his thoughts on their behaviour to his diary, we get to see their actions through his own take on the situation – while also understanding as adults what is going on in their lives and what is driving them to behave the way they do. So this is a book to be read on two levels, depending on which generation you are. It’s cleverly done and as a result is a funny, yet compassionate look at family life in the 21st century, as Johnson presents us with a father suddenly fragile as he is confronted with his own middle age at a time when his position at work comes under threat.
Louis’s take on his father’s attempts to stay young and cool goes from amused tolerance to utter horror, when his father starts using the latest phrases on Louis’s classmates and overhauls his wardrobe. Meanwhile, Louis is having problems of his own, as the new school doesn’t seem to be working out all that well – to the extent that his much-hated former school is starting to look like a cosy haven…
I thoroughly enjoyed this light-hearted look at what is actually a fairly gnarly subject and am looking forward to seeing what Frances makes of it. Very highly recommended. 10/10
I could hear my.9 year old son laughing loudly from.his bedroom reading this.. he loved the Series. He completed the entire set of the Rick Riordan books (seriously he read each one) so we were looking for something interesting but also lighter and funnier. This series is great & one book can be finished in 2 to 3 evenings of bedtime reading. Great stuff !
These books have got my 11 year old reading - she actually seems to be enjoying them - and is getting through them in a couple of weeks - rather than a book lasting her 6 months! Well done Pete Johnson!
My Parents Are Out of Control is, without a doubt, the funniest children's book I've read since Marcus Sedgwick's Raven Mysteries series. It had me laughing out loud every other page thanks to it's mix of sarcasm and deadpan humour - two of my favourite things!
Twelve-year-old Louis is a comedian, he's excellent at telling jokes and constantly makes everyone around him collapse in fits of laughter. Everything's going great until his parents start revisiting their youth, using words like "safe" and "wicked" and wearing clothes a couple of decades too young for them. I'm sure we all agree that would be an absolute nightmare! Louis has to try and put a stop to this before his own reputation is destroyed - but how?!
Louis is a larger than life protagonist, one I'm sure lots of kids will identify with and wish they could be friends with. He's easy going and maybe a big too smart-mouthed for his own good, as he often finds himself in sticky situations with teachers! He's the kind of boy I would have been friends with when I was little, someone fun and who doesn't take life too seriously.
I really, really enjoyed this book. I love books for younger readers that are funny - I don't think there's anything better than kids reading a book that will make them laugh. Pete Johnson has written a great book here and I'm glad I have it a read. Obviously I'll now have to get a copy of the first book in the series to catch up with Louis and his comedy adventures.