My son is 7 so a bit too young to read this book by himself but certainly not too young to appreciate it. This is a real adventure story and the hero, Oliver shows a lot of character in dealing with his obstacles. The style is quick and accessible and although it is 200 pages the print is quite large. Make no mistake though this is a well plotted and dramatised story and quite unlike anything else we have read recently.
The first chapter is a bit slow with perhaps too much description but from about chapter 3 the story starts moving, introducing the Seawigs and the baddie in chapter 5. I really don't want to spoil the story suffice to say that all is not what it seems and there are scary moments and funny bits and some genuinely original ideas.
It is a testament to the quality that having had a Harry Potter book read to him prior to this, my eldest son got into this one so quickly. He wanted more Harry Potter or something he knew so resisted this one a bit but it won him over in two chapters over two nights. I hope this book is a success
[Update] 6 Months on and I have read it again to my 5 year old who has loved it and the 8 year old has listened in with just as much joy as the first time. This really is the best kids book I have read in years