Infectious humour and a touch of science
To most of us, viruses and germs aren’t obvious components to a funny MG novel. But then most of us aren’t Public Health Doctors like Gwen Lowe, debut author of Alice Dent and the Incredible Germs. Lowe describes her job as medical detective work – seeking out and tracking down threats to the public health.
Writers are frequently exhorted to write what they know and Gwen Lowe has done this very successfully, because it’s when Alice Dent catches a cold that her troubles take off. She discovers that it’s no ordinary cold. It’s a Pirus and it infects Alice with the uncontrollable urge to giggle. She also becomes irresistible to animals of all kinds, which makes me hugely envious.
Transported to a dour school dedicated to stripping children of their individuality as well as their bugs, Alice gathers around her a team of misfit friends and helpers who must keep her out of the clutches of the authorities while she seeks the antidote to the Pirus, uncovering some surprising secrets on the way.
There is so much to enjoy in this book. As a lover of the bizarre, the motley assortment of characters and the set up of the school really tickled me, as did the Dahlesque comedy. I’ve got to say it – Lowe’s sense of humour is infectious! (Sorry).
Her knowledge of medical science underpins the whole story, but not in a didactic way. Lowe writes with a light, quirky touch that really charmed me. Both boys and girls will enjoy this story of friendship, teamwork and the power of disinfectant.
PS: I love Sarah Horne’s cover, too. Especially, the smiley germs.
Read My Book Corner’s guest post from the author, Gwen Lowe.