The new book by David Walliams has become a bit of a ‘thing’ in this house. We all look forward to it and can’t wait to read it and meet the new characters. We have read them all and each one is enjoyed and discussed at length and because of the thought-provoking nature of the books, there is always something to talk about and I love that about his books. I also look forward to them because my youngest son is a very capable but reluctant reader, yet he enjoys the David Walliams’ books.
I asked the boys what they loved about his books and the responses were mainly that the books were easy to read and that they were really funny. They also added that a lot of the books made them think too and that they showed how life for some children wasn’t always easy.
Like all of David Walliams’ previous books, The Midnight Gang takes its readers on a journey with a mixture of gentle humour and moving scenes with exaggerated characters which all create an adventure story that you don’t want to put down. And don’t forget Raj, of course, he is in there too.
The Midnight Gang is set in a hospital; Lord Funt Hospital, London’s finest hospital. Tom wakes up at Lord Funt Hosptial after a cricket ball hits him on the head at his boarding school. With parents who work abroad and a general loathing for his boarding school, Tom quickly finds he prefers life in the hospital and is fascinated when he sees the other children on the ward disappear as nearby Big Ben strikes midnight. Where are they going? What are they doing?
Lord Funt Hospital is a huge maze of possible adventures and apart from occasionally bumping into the Dilly the cleaner, the children have free reign to make their otherwise sad lives more exciting with the help of the grotesquely ugly but extremely kind Porter. The Midnight Gang is made up of a group of children who are all long-term residents of the hospital and rather than be miserable that they are trapped there, they have made their mission to make dreams come true and the lengths they go in the dead of night have some quite hilarious consequences.
The adult characters in the book are like caricatures, exaggerated and extreme such as the mean, power-hungry, chocolate -stealing Matron and Porter who does anything he can to make the lives of these children better. And Raj. Raj makes an appearance in The Midnight Gang as he is in hospital following a stapling accident. As with all of David Walliam’s books, there is a subtle undercurrent of serious themes which might not be picked up by younger readers but there is warmth, sadness and scenes that will make you think and others that will make you laugh out loud.
It is a simple story but so effective and it will delight readers young and old. We loved reading it. It will make the perfect present.
We received a complimentary copy of the book courtesy of HarperCollins Children’s Books through the BritMums Book Club.