The War Next Door
Publisher: Hachette Children's Group
Part of the Storey Street series, Phil Earle's book has all the usual wit, pace and silliness.
The War Next Door turns its focus to Masher, the bully of Storey Street. No one dares stand up to him and that's the way he likes it. But then Jemima and her family move into the empty plot of land next door - which Masher's dad was hoping to make loads of money from - and street war breaks out...
A lot of the joy here comes from Phil Earle's unique way with a funny phrase ('a plan more watertight than a mermaid's bathtub' being just one example).
However, there's a lot of affection here, as we watch Masher's transformation over the chapters. It's very refreshing to see him presented as a rounded character.
Throw into the mix Ogilvie's deliciously detailed sketches, and this is a fun read, indeed.