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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 30 September 2014
I bought for my son, who is almost 10, after he had shown it to me at a school book fair and said they had read an excerpt from it, well, what can I say...I was laughing so much at one chapter I got told off by my son as he couldnt understand what I was saying, I honestly had tears running down my face, mainly because its almost true life. My son has global developmental delay, and is also dyslexic, so classed as a non- reader, but I was really struggling to find a book for his age group that would keep his attention, had a few great illustrations to help him and one that I could enjoy reading to him each night, he had grown out of his other books, (and I had read them so many times was loosing the will to live!) - this book, and have also bought Mr Stink, is just brilliant, for kids and adults alike, there arent many books that can achieve this, and am looking forward to reading them all!!
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on 21 November 2011
This is a great story. I really like Walliams's work for children, and I am very impressed that a man with no children (yet) is able to really "get" what children like and what they laugh at. All his stories seem to have a slightly maudlin quality at some point, which is a bit cringe-worthy, but this is a great story for the 6 to 10 year old range, and so are all the others he has written. I recommend the audio-books because Walliams reads his own work really well. We are now hoping that he writes a story specifically about Raj the marvellous shopkeeper who pops up in all the books.
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VINE VOICEon 22 August 2015
When I started to read and critique the David Walliams stories, I thought that Mr Stink and Gangsta Granny were good places to start. I was first drawn in by their Roald Dahl connections because the titles reminded me of The Twits and George's Marvellous Medicine.

At first glance you may think that Wlalaims might be riffing on George's Marvellous Medicine. However he changes gear and nods to The Witches, Fantastic Mr Fox and Danny the Champion of the World.

I don't intend to give the plot away so I will keep it brief. This story is about a boy named Ben who sees that his grandmother is more than her cabbage-based diet and Scrabble games. When she tells him that she was once a jewel thief, the scales fall from his eyes and the plot gathers pace. Both boy and grandmother plan a jewel heist to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London.

This makes for a wonderful, madcap and exciting story. However, after reading the book, I noted that I was none too happy with the way the story was presented. For one thing, I felt that the the first half of the book devoted too much time to the parents' obsession with the Strictly Stars Dancing TV show. As such the pace moved too slowly, with too much flab and filler I also felt unhappy that the grandmother's cancer diagnosis and Christmas-period death at the end made the book end abruptly. (Curiously enough, here in Singapore, I was reminded of the death of my grandparents when reading these pages, but thankfully not from cancer.) As such the seams in the plot seemed to want to split. Personally, I would have liked Walliams to focus his story on the jewel heist rather than on the peripheral episodes. Comparing this to the poaching expedition in Danny the Champion of the World, that story is tighter and more focus, whereas Gangster Granny is a bit looser.

I'm not out to impinge on the enjoyment of children. I assure you that I am open-minded towards these books, imagining myself as a child reading them for the first time. I pay close attention to the structure of the storyline. Despite Walliams' wonderful writing, the storyline lets the book down, at least in this case. However the love between the boy and his grandmother is potent and clear.
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on 19 November 2011
Another SUCCESS for David Walliams. Perfect to engage those readers who hate reading. My Class have been caught, 'hook line and sinker' with his books. Ideal for guided reading and audio listening skills in class. My whole class are now looking forward to the next book by David Walliams because they are so caught up with this author's way of writing that captures young minds instantly and is a 110% encouragement to read. Recommended to all class teachers for english and guided reading.
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on 27 October 2011
Great book for my 12 year old Grandson, he thinks his Nan is the best!Good stocking filler, viewed David Williams on Jonathon Ross show when he read a short preview, and decided there & then to Purchase Gansta Granny as soon as it came out, when he's read it I think I might borrow it.Great Author.
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on 17 July 2015
I read this as a bedtime story over a few nights with my child, aged 5. Ben thinks his granny is a boring old lady, who only likes playing scrabble and eating cabbage but he's about to find out that he has under appreciated Granny. Could she possibly be a gangster? Or even a gangsta?!

This was a read which my child enjoyed. There were a few gross references, to breaking wind mostly, which are always a winner with children. It's a good book to read aloud, but be prepared to do some voices, because it works much better if you're willing to put some effort into it!

I thought that the writing was along the lines of Roald Dahl, however unlike Dahl's writing there was a moral to this story, which surprised me a little bearing in mind David Walliams' comedy! I would give a word of warning that there is quite a sad event in this book, which may be a little upsetting for more sensitive children.

One aspect of the book I enjoyed was the references to the Tower of London and the Crown Jewels which really interested my child (educational opportunity!). We'd certainly try another David Walliams book.
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on 27 January 2014
Gangsta Granny is the perfect book if you want a laugh. The book grabs my attention so i can not put it down. I couldn't wait to read the next David Walliams book. I am 10 years old but i have enjoyed thease books since I was 9
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on 2 December 2014
Judging by the artwork, blurb and reviews on the cover, I thought this would be a good book for my son to read. It all suggests fun and silliness. I hoped he'd find it engaging and entertaining, also that it might encourage him to read more. Sadly, he found the inclusion of cancer and death a bit too disturbing. I was so stunned when he brought this to my attention that I had to read it myself. I would understand more if these issues were addressed in a way that might be helpful, educational or reassuring but this just isn't the case. Towards the end of the book, the protagonist is told that the granny he's grown to love has cancer and that it's so advanced she'll die before Christmas: and she does. I see books as a form of escapism and am sad that my child had to read this: particularly when his own grandmother has been undergoing cancer treatment for the last few months, My son and I just found the cancer/death element (and the way it was written) sad, disappointing and inappropriate.
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on 6 November 2011
this was a brilliant book the had my sides splitting and then my tears rolling (both of these not litretly) david waliams books are the only books that actually make me laugh out loud.
verdict: wonderfull book.
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My first recognition of David Walliams was as a comedy actor on TV, then I was very impressed by his cross-channel swim, and by his increasing involvement in other physical events and support of charities. I can now add to my admiration the writing of children's books - after a sneak read of `Gangsta Granny' which is to be a Christmas stocking-filler for one of my grandchildren. It is most attractively presented with superb dustwrapper, endpapers (hardback) and illustrations, and inside the same techniques of spoofs and caricature are evident as in `Little Britain' for which David Walliams was a co-writer.

`Gangsta Granny' is essentially an outrageously funny story, but it is spiced-up with emotion and poignancy and there is sympathetic consideration of the elderly, illness and death. Behind a storyline appealing to children with straightforward language and dialogue there are personal interjections by the author to influence behaviour - not least to encourage readership, but also dealing with preconceptions and intolerance, and the bringing about of transformation of attitudes and relationships. However narrative skilfully avoids preaching, and with up to date references to TV programs and personalities it remains a slapstick story for kids.
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