Small Change for Stuart begins with a rather short boy, by the name of Stuart who moves to the unremarkable little town of Beeton. There, expecting a dreary summer, he discovers a trail of clues that leads to his remarkable great uncle Tony's- a stage magician- workshop. His great uncle disappeared sometime ago and Stuarts only just heard of him. Older readers may be put off reading this book, partly because of its size, its simplistic style and of course the very subject matter of the book. Magic. Well, my response is- don't be. The book can hilarious, simply by capturing the funny little things that make a parent a parent, and Stuart and April's friendship grows far more naturally and endearingly than a few books I could mention, for children and adults alike. For the most part this book is fairly light hearted, yet there are chapters and characters that truly touch you, Jeanie, the blind old woman still in many ways a child, who recounts the disappearance of her sister and one of her only friends Teeny-Tiny-Tony-Horton. The plot is of course for children, and yet adults can still revel in Stuart's curiosity and spirit of adventure (that was a long time beaten out of them with boring things like teaching and accountancy) and the ingenious clues that are set for him. A clever little book, comic, yet at the same time strangely touching, and Stuart's father, a crossword inventor, is most definitely my favourite book character of the year.
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