Review Blog

Dec 27 2019

The Taylor Turbochaser by David Baddiel

cover image

HarperCollins, 2019. ISBN: 9780008334178.
(Age: Mid primary - Upper primary) The Taylor Turbochaser is an action packed story of escapism and camaraderie. This book turns stereotypes on their heads. The central character, Amy, is a petrol head like her father. She is also confined to a wheelchair. This does not diminish her love of cars, speed and rally driving. She is a natural.
When a complication hits, Amy, Jack, her 14 year old brother, Rahul, her friend and inventor of crazy devices and Janet (all quirky characters) head off on a crazy road-trip in the ingenious contraption, The Taylor Turbochaser. This machine seems to develop a personality of its own, something like Chitty, Chitty Bang Bang.
All the elements children like, e.g. escaping from parents (who are likeable) and a police chase in a cross country dash from England to Scotland exist in this book. It could be read as an auditory experience because it's full of onomatopoeia and great interchanges between the characters. Hilarious conversations pepper the action as the children work together falling into scrapes and ingeniously escaping.
Of-course there is cow poo and farts and all the rest of it.
The Taylor Turbochaser would make a great read aloud for mid to upper primary ages. The teacher would not have to read much before children would be lining up to borrow it or begging to have it read as a serial. Serious themes such as dealing with disability underlie the fun.
This book is a romp that demystifies disability and celebrates friendship, resourcefulness and family togetherness. Children need fun books like this.
Wendy Jeffrey

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