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Sixteen year old Cuckoo, as she calls herself, has had a hard time. Her mother walked out on her, and she’s spent time in a psychiatric unit. She’s just out of there when the book opens, and Patterson makes excellent use of the diary format to tell her story, giving her a great teen voice - sarcastic, funny, super-observant. There’s more heartbreak for Cuckoo to come: her much-loved foster mother dies, and her best friend attempts suicide. She’s resilient though, and pulls through with the help of her close friends aka the Freakshow. It’s an uplifting, feel-good story, and the combination of Cuckoo’s voice, short chapters and regular cartoon comments on the action make for particularly easy reading. Recommended. ~ Andrea Reece
In James Patterson's first highly illustrated 'diary fiction' story for teens, the mega-bestselling author's most endearing and original teen heroine ever proves that everyone can use a helping hand once in a while. Margaret 'Cuckoo' Clarke recently had a brief stay in a mental institution following an emotional breakdown, but she's turning over a new leaf with her 'Happiness Project'. She's determined to beat down the bad vibes of the Haters, the Terror Teachers, and all of the trials and tribulations of high school by writing and drawing in her diary. And when life gets really tough, she works through her own moments of uncertainty through imaginary conversations with her favourite literary characters. Cuckoo's also got a nearly impossible mission: she, along with her misfit band of self-deprecating friends (who call themselves 'the Freakshow') decide to bridge the gap between warring cliques and 'bring the Nations together'. Not everyone is so willing to join hands and get along, but Cuckoo never stops smiling...until one of her closest friends, pushed to desperation by a Hater prank, decides that enough is enough.
|Publication date:||13th August 2015|
|Publisher:||Arrow (Young) an imprint of Cornerstone|
|Suitable for:||11+ readers, 13+ readers|
|Genres:||General Fiction, School Stories|
James Patterson is one of the best-known and biggest selling writers of all time. He is the author of some of the bestselling series of the past decade: the Women's Murder Club, the Alex Cross novels and Maximum Ride, and he has written many other number one bestsellers including romance novels and stand alone thrillers. He has won an Edgar award, the mystery world's highest honour. He lives in Florida with his wife and son, seen pictured here. Best known for his thrillers he also writes for children and is passionate about encouraging children to develop a love of reading. ...More About James Patterson