Published: January 5th 2012, Orion
Pages: 201 pages, paperback
Acquired: Kindly sent for review by the publisher
Summary (from back cover): Martha's decided friends are stupid. She never wants another one. Ever.
So when Opal Moonbaby comes along, with her mad hair and huge violet eyes, claiming to be an alien and wanting to be friends, Martha is definitely NOT interested. But Opal isn't the kind of alien who takes no for an answer...
My review: It's not too often that I read middle grade novels, as my heart belongs to YA, but when I was offered a review copy of Opal Moonbaby I jumped at the chance.
One, I absolutely couldn't resist a story where one of the characters has silver hair and violet eyes and, two, Maudie Smith is a Bath Spa graduate and I'm always keen to try out the word of those who also studied at my dear, dear university.
Martha doesn't want any more friends but how could she resist Opal Moonbaby, an alien who is, quite frankly, mad? She doesn't care for rules and authority, she just wants to have fun and take care of her pet - a mingle named Garnet. What's not to love? After a horrible situation with her so-called friends Chloe and Collette, maybe Opal Moonbaby and her strange ways are just what Martha needs to believe in friendship again.
I've read this comment in a few other reviews and I absolutely agree - Opal Moonbaby really does seem like a classic novel. It's exactly the sort of book I would have devoured as a young girl and it really did have a similar style and tone as some of my old favourites, like the Magic Faraway Tree and, well, anything by the wonderful Enid Blyton, just with updated vocabulary and, of course, aliens.
Opal Moonbaby is such a sweet novel, I was grinning from page one and I'll definitely be keeping this one on the shelf to pass down to my younger relatives when they begin reading. Maudie Smith is a great new talent in the world of middle grade fiction and I'll certainly be looking out for more of her work in the future.
First line: 'A city never sleeps but there is a time, somewhere in the early hours, long before dawn, when it grows drowsy.'
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