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Review of The Amazing Mind Of Alice Makin by Alan Shea

by - October 18, 2010

Twelve-year old Alice is growing up in a grey world of old bombsites, in post war London. It's a tough life made harder by her difficult step-dad. Alice's escape is her imagination, which always brightens her day. But when a new boy called Reggie starts school, her mind begins playing tricks on her. She seems oddly drawn to him and whenever they are together the world becomes a more exciting and colourful place. A place where imagination appears to become real: where a bubble-gum machine can suddenly explode into a thousand coloured balls, a handful of fireworks become the greatest show ever, and a row on the lake becomes a terrifying adventure. It seems that together, they can do extraordinary things, but what is their story, and how will it end.

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I loved this book. It's quite a quick read but completely enjoyable. Alice is a funny, quick-witted character with an over-active imagination. She likes to write a lot which gets her into a lot of trouble with her Step-Dad. Personally I would have encouraged it. Alice is the narrator of this book and she talks in short, sharp sentences which is rather cute and helps capture what it's like to be 12 years old.
There is one scene in it where Alice and her friends are at the bonfire and all of a sudden fireworks are going off. I thought that scene must have been amazing to a lot of people as it was just after the war and that much noise and colour wouldn't have been allowed at night in the war.
The story slowly builds towards it's magical ending and never really tells you whether there's true magic or not, it lets you decide for yourself, which is the way it should be.
Personally, I'm with the Indians.


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