The Day My Family Disappeared

Publisher: Barrington Stoke

Bob is the fifth child in a family of creative geniuses: not only is his mum a nature poet, and his dad a banjo-maker, but his brothers and sisters are all exciting things like opera singers and street dancers. Bob, by contrast, enjoys Hula-Hoops and making terrible sculptures out of mashed potato.

Yet, when his family all mysteriously disappear one day, it’s up to Bob to figure out what’s happened to them, and to everyone else in town who also seem to have disappeared. Heading to a nearby festival where he suspects everyone might have gone, Bob thinks back to his favourite wilderness survival TV shows and packs some essentials, ready for an adventure. After some close encounters with ravenous sheep – and after failing to get the local policeman interested in the fact that everyone in town is missing – Bob finds Farmer Munty’s farm. Will he find his family, and what has been going on at the Green Yon Gathering?

This very funny short novel for younger readers is a great story which wastes no time in hooking the reader in. Yet, as well as making us laugh, Jo Simmons also brings us a story about how it feels when you don’t fit in, and takes Bob on a journey of self-discovery to find that he too has talents and skills, just like everyone else in his family.

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