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  • Margaret

I Swapped My Brother On The Internet

On a scale of one to ten, exactly how annoying is your brother? At least a nine, am I right? In which case, you are urgently in need of, the website that solves all your irritating brother problems by swapping the offending family member with someone else. Someone... better.

Jonny has the world's most tiresome bro (Ted — he's conceited, gives wedgies and keeps calling Jonny 'loser'), so Jonny fills out the form and then waits for his new, perfect, non-rubbish brother. What could possibly go wrong? Then the brothers start to arrive...

A merboy. A boy raised by meerkats. A doppelganger. A boy who isn't a boy at all, and — my absolute favourite — the ghost of King Henry the Eighth. Henry's love of jousting, feasting, archery and the ladies makes him an entertaining if challenging brother: 'Hey, nonny nonny!' he cries. 'Come along, young squire! Be a man!' Chaos is unleashed and soon Jonny is wondering if this whole brother-swapping idea was such a great idea after all.

Is it too late to sort it all out? Can Jonny regain Ted (who suddenly seems much less annoying)? And what's going to happen to all these other (weird) brothers who are now following him around?

So full of gags that it will cheer up any gloomy January day, this book also contains some warm and humorous lessons about family relationships and the importance of filling in online forms correctly if you don't want to be given the ghost of a long dead king as your brother. Jo Simmons (the author of Super-Loud Sam, a favourite of ours for slightly younger readers) has produced a brilliantly funny and deftly silly read for ages 8-10. The year is off to a cracking start. Hurray!

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