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  • Margaret

Emily Sparkes and the Competition Calamity

Emily Sparkes has dealt with the Friendship Fiasco and is feeling pleased with herself (although her new BF does have a distressing obsession with timekeeping). However, things take a problematic turn when she accidentally enters her mother into the Mum in a Million competition. Emily inadvertently gives the impression that her mother is good at baking, sewing and looking tidy when in fact she shines at wading around in the mud, drinking tea and forgetting to buy chocolate mini rolls. When her mother is shortlisted and a camera crew turns up at her house, Emily fears that public humiliation is inevitable.

It doesn't help that her Uncle Clive's pet rat is on the loose in the house, nor is it useful that her gran's obsession with Neighbourhood Watch is spiralling out of control. Still, surely Emily's friends Chloe and Zuzanna can be relied on the make a constructive contribution? Together they make a plan. Can they turn Emily's mum into a cake-baking domestic genius in time? Emily's stress levels rocket, and as the school Harvest Festival draws near and her mother threatens to give an embarrassing speech (presumably while wearing wellies) Emily starts to feel the situation is beyond redemption. But maybe her mother isn't so cringe-making after all? Possibly she might even save the day in the end, despite her unpredictable dress sense.

Emily's adventures are never less than entertaining and touching. Warm, well-written and great on how it feels to be 11, this is a fab summer read.

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