Book Review,  Reviews

Sammy Feral’s Diaries of Weird – Eleanor Hawken

“Friday 3rd April 
Hi, I’m Sammy Feral. I’ve never had a reason to keep a diary – until now. Today my world did a complete 180. I’ve lost my family, narrowly escaped death and discovered that werewolves are more than just a story made up to scare kids…”

Sammy’s family are in trouble. Having been bitten by a werepup, they have all be changed and Sammy is on his own. Not for long though, Donny appears as if by magic and lets Sammy know that there is hope, but no known cure. With his dad growing fur and his older sister baying for blood, Sammy is on a race against time to develop a cure. Sammy must develop a cure, save his family and stop the evil that lurks nearby before he really does lose everything. 

This was brilliant! I wasn’t sure about it when I first saw it; an unsolicited review copy sent by the publisher that I had never heard of or seen around, how was I to know it would turn out so good! 
Targeted towards the middle grade market Diaries of Weird was brilliant for any kid with a wild imagination. Not many books could convince me that werewolves are real and there are people out there who can talk to animals and bend forks to wrap around each other. I loved the idea of the story and how Donny just appeared – its explained in the book don’t worry – to help Sammy out. I loved the characters and how well developed they were without being overbearing. REd was definitely my favourite even though she was so snarky! The story is mostly about Sammy’s family being turned and what he can do to help them but there are other pressing matters such as the closure of the Zoo that the Feral’s own and the relationships between Sammy and his friends and school. 
I thought the book was just scary enough without being so scary that it will give the younger readers of the 8 to 12 age brackets nightmares! The idea of wolves are terrifying and the thought of losing your family to them even more so, but Sammy steps up and tries to save the day… and I love him for it. Sammy is a strong character with a lot on his plate but he manages to sort everything out, not very well but still. I think he’s a brave young kid who can do anything when he sets his mind to it and will probably be a good role model if it weren’t for his flunking classes and getting detentions!
The book is interspersed with illustrations which really made me laugh and feel like I was part of the story, like I really was witnessing it. I loved the character profiles Sammy did in his diary and how each person really came across the way he said. I love the diary format too and Sammy has it nailed with a lot of references back to the point and a very easy structure for younger readers to follow. The writing is captivating and exciting whilst not being too old or young for Sammy’s voice and I really could believe a 12 year old would talk the way Sammy did in his diary. Sammy Feral’s Diaries of Weird is really a great middle grade book for Halloween and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for him next year in ‘Yeti Rescue.’ 

Sammy Feral’s Diaries of Weird was published on 6th September by Quercus. My copy was sent to me from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

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  • Cliona

    Fantastic review 🙂 My 11 year old brother read this and really loved it too, so I thought I might read it… but it’s great to know that someone with alike book tastes to me liked it though – now you’ve totally convinced me! 😀

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