By David Walliams
Published by HarperCollins
David Walliams is a man of many talents. He is an award-winning comic theatre and television actor, best known for writing and performing in the smash-hit TV series Little Britain with his good friend Matt Lucas. Walliams has also written radio scripts and newspaper articles and appeared on the stage and on television in serious acting roles.
Walliams made his youth fiction debut a couple of years ago with the sparkling The Boy in the Dress. The book proved he was not just another celebrity hoping to sell a novel on the strength of his name alone. It was laugh-out-loud funny and slightly ridiculous, but also threw up a few serious issues for young readers to think about.
Billionaire Boy is written in the same vein. It is witty, funny and preposterous, with one or two serious thoughts lurking underneath the comic surface at the same time.
Twelve-year-old Joe Spud is the son of a billionaire. He has everything any young teen could ever want - and more. He has at least 500 pairs of designer trainers, a 100-inch flat-screen TV is every room in his house, his own skateboard park and personal football training from top soccer players. Joe is one very indulged and spoilt young man. But he's not happy: young Joe has no friends.
He is a pupil at one of the most expensive private schools in the world, where his life is a misery. All the other rich boys make fun of him because of way his dad made his billions. Spud Senior made his fortune manufacturing toilet paper.
Money might buy young Master Spud his own Formula One racing car, but it can't buy him happiness, so he and his dad decide to do something about it. Joe is enrolled at a local secondary school where no one will know who he is.
Everything starts well, and soon he is building a friendship with a boy called Bob. But when Spud Senior arrives at the school one day in his private helicopter, Joe's cover is blown and things take a nosedive to disaster.
In Billionaire Boy, Walliams does what he does best - he makes you laugh. He is a natural wit, very good with words and at seeing the funny side of things that might make other people cry. This is another charming and funny book from someone who really enjoys the comic potential of storytelling. Walliams pokes fun at money, teenagers, teachers and at everyone who thinks wealth will make them happy.
Billionaire Boy is a joy for both kids and adults who want to forget being grown up and spend a bit of time laughing at things only children are supposed to find funny. Enjoy!
John Millen can be contacted on MillenBookshelf@aol.comcom