by David Walliams
Ilustrated by Tony Ross
Published in: 2011
Pag Nr: 299
Editor: HarperCollins Children's Books
Ben is bored beyond belief after he is made to stay at his grandma's house. All she wants to do is to play Scrabble, and eat cabbage soup. But there are two things Ben doesn't know about his grandma: she was once an international jewel thief and she has been plotting to steal the crown jewels. Now she needs Ben's help.
I have been promising myself that I will get around to read David Walliams books for almost a year now. I read great reviews about The Boy in the dress and later on of Billionaire Boy. By the time Gangsta Granny hit the shelves Walliams was already being called the next Roald Dahl and since I liked Dahl’s books I decided that I really should check out Walliams books.
Gangsta Granny tells us the story of Ben’s granny who is, as it is to be expected, a typical textbook granny. She is old, with white hair, fake teeth, and tissues up her sleeve… Oh! And stolen jewels from all over the world! Ben doesn’t like to spend every Friday night with his granny he believes she is boring until the day he accidentally finds the jewels and his granny becomes the most interesting person in the world.
Since I was young that I have always enjoyed being around elderly people, I always found them fascinating and wise and I was lucky to have grandparents who loved to tell stories and who always cooked my favourite meals. Unfortunately for Ben everything his granny cooks is cabbage based and that includes her cabbage cake. Ben really can’t get out of his granny house fast enough and I think most 12 year olds would probably feel the same way.
However there’s always a side of our grandparents, and most people actually, that we don’t get to know and when Ben finds his granny’s “dark side” he simply can’t leave her house. This leads to a bunch of misadventures and of course the biggest jewel theft ever.
I loved how the main message of this book was to respect and help elderly people, it was a book that spoke about kindness towards the old and how the young seem to forget that they will be old someday as well. It’s a book that reminds young people that old people were young once as well and that they had adventures as well. It’s a book about following your dreams and about never giving up.
Also Tony Ross's illustrations really help the book come to life. I really enjoyed seeing his drawings of granny and Ben's parents. Specially mom with her makeup out of place.
Another solid 4 starts and a reading that I recommend for 12 year olds! (And 28 years old with children’s hearts).