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The Meanwhile Adventures by Roddy Doyle
Published by Scholastic Ltd., 2004

If you’ve read Roddy Doyle’s other two books The Giggler Treatment and Rover Saves Christmas you will know what to expect from this, his third book for children. All your favourite characters are back, Mr. Mack who has become an inventor and his crazy wife Billie Jean Fleetwood-Mack, their sons Robbie and Jimmy Mack, Kayla and her friend Victoria, not forgetting Rover of course.
When Mister Mack gets arrested for supposedly robbing the bank, it is up to Rover the dog and the Mack children to rescue him. As if this isn’t challenging enough, they are also on a mission to find their Guinness-record-breaking mother who is running around the world.

The characteristic fun and originality of Roddy Doyle’s writing shine through but children and even adults will be compelled to stop and work out what’s going on from chapter to chapter that incidentally almost all begin with the word Meanwhile.

Chapters are interrupted by what the author calls Useful Information which is in fact absolutely useless, or with advertisements in newspapers such as The Evening Insult or The Daily Outrage that have no bearing whatsoever on the story.

Nevertheless, readers both young and old will be treated to plenty of laugh out loud lines and great ideas. The key to enjoying this book is, above anything else, expect the unexpected! A little adult explanation might also be needed for young readers who will have no problem tackling the text but who may think the book is the craziest they’ve ever read which is probably just what the author wants them to think!

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