Book review

Not Just Rescuing by Helen Flint (2002)

Here's a light-hearted story about how things can go well, for a change!

Joanna and Ralph foresee a difficult summer ahead when they agree to spend their holidays with their Aunty Nell Bly in Bournemouth, while their parents are away working. Aunty Nell Bly, apparently, has a reputation for liking animals better than teenagers. But actually, it doesn't seem to take too long for everyone to understand each other:

So, I must have fallen asleep because when I awoke it was morning and Aunt Bly was in my room standing near my bed bellowing, 'What a spectacular mess. And you've only been here ten minutes. I though you were house-trained. And are you ever getting up?'
Ever? I checked my bedside clock-radio. It was 8:30 a.m. - yes, that's a.m. - on a non-school morning. I had imagined a leisurely day, perhaps poking the odd lettuce leaf towards a furry-snouted rabbit or two while gazing at Neighbours, and then I had thought 'muck in' about 7 p.m. - but now, so early?
'It's only 8.30,'I said.
'Yes, some animals have only been awake for a mere eight hours.'
'Lucky them. Oh. I mean, what's the emergency?'
'The local police phoned because a swan has been injured and they can't capture it. I'm not very good with swans myself, such vicious animals when angry. So I need company. No, help.'

As it turns out, Joannna is rather good at dealing with vicious swans. Well, why shouldn't she be? She's lived with her brother all her life, and he can be quite difficult too:

... Ralph never was a real child, just a precocious brain on misbehaving legs.

Joanna's reward for being a willing helper in her Aunt's animal rescue plans is that she enjoys her holiday, and successfully falls in love with the vet's assistant!

What does the vet's assistant make of Joanna, and her mad, wheelchair-bound brother? You'll have to read the book - but I can tell you that this is a lively story and I think you'll enjoy it.

What can I read next?

Helen Flint has written two other books:

  • Not Just Dancing
  • Not Just Babysitting

If you enjoy the light-hearted approach to real life, you might like to look at any book by Anne Fine. Anne Fine has written many books for all ages, so make sure the book you choose is right for you before you start:

Or you might like something by Jacqueline Wilson. Jacqueline Wilson has written many books for all ages, so make sure the book you choose is right for you before you start:

Not quite so light, but another account of growing up, you might enjoy this one by Nicky Singer:

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