Book review: The first Charlie Merrick book saw him and his team of “misfits” in a tale that was essentially about football, with a theme of friendship running through it. This time, as the title “Charlie Merrick’s Misfits in I’m a Nobody, Get Me Out of Here!” suggests, the story is more about survival in the wild, although it still had the friendship theme running through it.
Therefore the book is more suitable for girls than the first book given the move away from football. Indeed whereas in the first book Charlie says “FOOTBALL – it’s all I ever think about” in this one there is a point where he refuses a game of football leading to his friend Jasmine remarking, “No time for football! OK, Where’s the real Charlie Merrick?”
Anyway the story of this book is that North Star Galaxy Under-12s football team are going to a football camp but when they arrive they realise their manager has accidentally signed them up for a survival course instead. With all soccer camps’ places being filled by that time they decide they may as well stay and do the survival course.
There they are split into squads of fours with the other kids and compete against each other on bushtucker-like trials and spending time out in the wild. The competitive nature is taken up a notch as Charlie has made a secret bet with a member of another squad that the losing squad all need to jump off “the Leap of Doom” at a place called Devil Falls.
The book is set up to be narrator Charlie’s notebook of his time at the survival camp (all the children were given one) and, as Charlie is a budding cartoonist, there are pictures to accompany the text, pictures that tell bits of the story, as well as things like survival tips and squad profiles that help to break up the text which is of benefit to young readers. The text itself is in a child friendly font too as it is made to look like it is handwritten rather than a typed font.
The book features an excellent crescendo, just like the first one, and there are funny moments along the way. Readers of all ages should enjoy.
Publication date: 4 June 2015
Amazon UK link (£6.99): Charlie Merrick's Misfits in I'm a Nobody, Get Me Out of Here!