The slightly skewed life of Toby Chrysler by Paul Collins

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Celepene Press, 2009. ISBN 9780975074244.
(Age 9-12) 'Slightly skewed life' is somewhat of an understatement for Toby Chrysler, aka Milo, who lurches from improbable crisis to improbable crisis in a non stop whirlwind of events. From supposedly murdering his vastly obese neighbour  to hiding a friend in his cellar in order to flush out their parents who have run off together, Milo takes it all fairly imperturbably in his stride, even though he is out on bail for most of the story. But, hey, why let reality get in the way of a good story? This yarn is wittily told and keeps up a cracking pace, so it's easy to just go with it. Milo is fond of a good proverb, care of his best friend and adviser, Fluke, but has a delightful way of misquoting them so they are even more apt, eg, 'When at first you don't succeed, cry, cry again.'(p52). The correct proverbs are listed at the back so this makes the book a good one for parents to read aloud and share with their middle to upper primary school child. Milo and friends have plenty of courage and resourcefulness in their quest to find the two missing parents and it all hurtles towards an even more surprising ending. Some ends are not neatly tied up but it doesn't seem to matter in this fun read.
Kevyna Gardner.