Book Jacket

 

rank  Editors Pick
word count 23932
date submitted 14.04.2012
date updated 22.01.2014
genres: Fiction, Children's
classification: universal
complete

Speedy McCready

Debbie Roxburgh

Light-hearted children's book looking at how families might have to create their own electricity when the National Grid starts to fail.

 

A light-hearted children's book which considers a world where families create their own electricity by using government- issued exercise bikes and treadmills. An hour on the bike buys you time to watch your favourite television programme or play on the XBox.

Ten-year-old Dillon invents a way or harnessing the energy created by his pet hamster, Speedy McCready, as he runs in his exercise wheel. His idea wins a national science competition making him a national hero. He even gets to meet the Queen and the Prime Minister.





 
rate the book

to rate this book please Register or Login

 

tags

children, corgis, electricity, hamster, humour, national grid, science, villain

on 1 watchlists

354 comments

 

To leave comments on this or any book please Register or Login

subscribe to comments for this book
HarperCollins Wrote

After a shock announcement that the National Grid can no longer support ‘luxury’ uses of wired electricity such as TV’s and games consoles, 10-year-old Dillon McCready is not happy about having to exercise for his power. Using his interest in science, he comes up with the idea of getting a helping hand from a hamster. Dillon builds a brand new type of connector to harvest the energy that Speedy McCready his new pet hamster generates from his running wheel. With the intention to expand the empire, the McCready family decides to get Speedy a female friend in order to create an empire of hamsters and sell the extra electricity they create, setting up their own grid. But Dillon’s science teacher Mr Peabody comes across the diagrams for the connector and wants to steal the idea. He plans to submit it to a popular science magazine. When Peabody manages to get hold of the connector and Speedy, he thinks he’ll be able to show the world that he is better than Dillon. But he didn’t account for Speedy who sabotages Peabody’s plans.

Strengths:
I adore the concept; it is brilliant and touches on several key issues affecting modern day families: the amount of TV and technology used by children and the lack of exercise. The growing zeitgeist of geek-chic is reflected in the narrator and his love for all things science. These all hit on extremely relevant themes for today. The storyline keeps a good pace to keep interest so the plot is a great strength. It starts off at a great point and gets straight into it.

Weaknesses:
Unfortunately, despite having an excellent premise, the book doesn’t quite live up to its potential.

The dialogue is quite stale and predictable. And, there’s quite a bit of it, so this has a negative effect on the overall reading experience. The dialogue needs to add more insight into the characters’ relationships with each other than it currently does. It could also to feel more natural, because at times it feels a bit robotic and disjointed from what the reader might expect a certain character to say. Even though this is a children’s book, with fantastical elements, there’s still space for naturalism when it comes to interactions; this is one way that readers are drawn in.

At present, there is also a lack of character background, particularly where Dillon is concerned. I wanted to have a better understanding of Dillon – of where his love for science comes from, of how he feels towards his sister and his parents, of what was his relationship like with his science teacher before incident. A bit more background on his character would make it more believable when he comes up with the idea for the hamster. It would be good if mum and dad were a bit more prominent in the story as well.

Conclusion:
This is an amusing and entertaining story, and one that I think children would enjoy. It is particularly comparable to ‘Stuart Little’ by EB White, especially as Speedy feels like part of the family and tries to protect them. However, ‘Speedy McCready’ needs work where writing and characterisation are concerned, to bring it in line with the great plot to make it more inclusive of the reader.

L_MC wrote 395 days ago

Hi Debbie, the title of this children's story has always appealed and finally got round to reading some of it tonight.

I read the first ten chapters and I could see this being something I'd buy for my children and that they'd enjoy. Having chinchillas who love to keep the whole house awake running on their flying saucer wheel at night, they'd certainly appreciate Speedy's powers to generate electricity.

It's topical, it's got a fun family dynamic, it's got the clever kids saving the nation and a nasty bad guy in Mr Peabody. Seems to me all the essentials are there and I think it would appeal to both boys and girls.

I'm very late in reading this and you're close to getting your medal so all that remains is to say, good luck with the review.

John Lovell wrote 399 days ago

CHIRG Review of chapters 1-7

I first read Speedy when I joined the site, reflecting back I remember leaving a very small comment (noob mistake) and I'd actually not read many books before reading it so I'm not sure if I actually appreciated how great this actually is.
The strengths are the lively high pace of the story, the colourful characters and the language you use. At no point does it feel like you're insulting a child's intelligence which for this age group is done too often. It's kind of a break from traditional stories with mentions of E-Bay, XBox's and the television programs. These are the things kids are familiar with so using them as part of book will just help them connect to it so much more.
Dillon's creativeness as a character in the first seven chapters is great, and his attitude feels natural when he doesn't get to beat his highest score. This would have been seen as a negative part of the story but the fact Grace has been going on that bike for ages makes for a funny sequence.
It's a fine start to the story, it's not complicated, easy to read and will hold any child's attention whether they were reading it themselves or having the story told to them.
I'll try to get a review of chapters 8-14 done in the next couple of days.

Chapters 8-14 happened tonight.
Okay so the story progresses pretty quickly which is very cool. You've obviously thought of the attention span of the target audience and there's always something happening. What the story needed was an antagonist and it has the perfect one for the story - Mr Peabody. I'd say he was a little unexpected which makes it even better, and his sidekick wolfgang will be scary from the eyes of little hamsters.
There's a few funny parts, such as Speedy's thoughts when they're talking about getting another hamster. Dillon's natural behavior when things aren't going his way is spot on and Grace is still perfect for her support role. The names behind the offspring are very fitting and give each of them that bit of character.

Chapters 15 - 22
The story was able to hold a 29 year old walking dead and elder scroll fans attention in one sitting!
Whilst I think others have given you credit for the idea, I don't think you've received enough for how far you've stretched your imagination. Stan and Mitch's arrival was very good with Peabody in the background. At around the same point you've started to give him his first name which makes total sense because we've stopped seeing him as the teacher he's supposed to be. Very glad he gets what's coming to him.
The family feel of the McCready's is admirable, mostly shown at 10 downing street. When Mr McCready adds that adults don't like the food too will make many people chuckle. It's funny that they enjoyed the queens company but not the PMs. Kind of fitting too with the circumstances of the story.

Overall, a face paced, enjoyable, not too serious children's book which I'm sure would be enjoyed by many. As long as it stays on the top 5, I wish you best of luck with the HC review.

John

Jue Shaw wrote 425 days ago

Ha ha ha, Debbie. This is genius! I haven't read a children's book for years, and if this is what they are like these days, I'm missing out. I laughed out loud at the though of wiring up gran and grandpa to the battery store, and Speedy the hamster is brilliant! I'm up to chapter 7 and this has really brightened up my day. I'm going to let my 8 year old grandson take a look at this, he's an avid reader and loves all things remotely science, so I'm guessing he will love it. Great, flowing, writing with a very current storyline. Brilliant!

S.J. O'Hart wrote 451 days ago

I really like this book - the idea is genius, and the way it's delivered isn't far behind. It's like a humourous take on dystopia, for children; it doesn't sound like it should work, but it really does! I love all the characters, the realistic way the friction between them is described when one of them has to work for the others to enjoy their TV programmes, the odious prime minister, etc. What I love the most, though, is the fact that everyone tries to come up with ways to save themselves from any extra effort, even to the point of harnessing the power of a pair of knitting needles! Very clever, very engaging and lovely to read. I'll make a point of reading the rest of it as soon as possible.

Aspiring author wrote 496 days ago

What a fantastic story line. As a mum I would immediately be drawn to it. Extremely well-written, very funny and thought provoking for both us and our children. The image of granny with her knitting needles had me giggling for ages. Then I thought, " I'm not really the target audience", so I asked my son, who is an avid nine-year-old reader and Xbox player, to see what he thought. He loved it and spent the rest of the evening trying to come up with other ways of generating energy. As a budding footballer he thought he could attach the wires to his foot while he practiced kicking the ball on the garage door, that way he'd improve his football skills while I did the ironing! So congratulations, I think your on to a winner
Have a good weekend
Aspiring Author

philthomas wrote 195 days ago

Hi Debbie what a review one of the best I have seen if you take note of what the review says and act accordingly you will have a best seller I wish you all the best with speedy Phil Thomas SHAME.

Max China wrote 387 days ago

Hi Debbie,

Never put off 'til tomorrrow what you can do today. So, here I am reading a little of Speedy...
Beautifully written for the benefit of children, it is an enchanting and entertaining tale that will delight children of all age groups, from the very young right through to young teens - if they would but admit it - and of course the parents of children who find themselves reading Speedy as a bedtime story for the little ones that have not yet reached reading age.
I cannot find anything to criticise at all. Your medal is richly deserved. I have read four chapters and on the evidence of those chapters before me, I judge that it should be made available in primary schools throughout the land at government expense -immediately!
Good luck with editors.

Max

singfam wrote 389 days ago

Congratulatiosn! :-) good luck with the review! You'll do great! :-)

Tottie Limejuice wrote 390 days ago

Hmmmm, I settled down on a rainy afternoon to read the first couple of chapters of Speedy McCready. Got thoroughly engrossed, so promised myself another couple. Then another. And now here we are, I seem to have read the whole thing and loved every minute of it.

I love its rather quirky eccentricity It is terribly British, makes me wonder if it would be widely received in its present form and it's so delicious it would be a crime to mess about with it. It reminds me in the best possible way of some of the best comic characters from the glory days of the Beezer and Dandy.

There are some insignificant errors in spelling and punctuation on which I won't even bother to dwell as the whole thing is so delightful they barely signify.

I wonder how timeless it will be? I know Strictly seems to go on and on but might children in the not too distant future have no idea what it was?

I love all the intricate details of each character, Mr McCready's large feet, Gran's whizzing knitting needles. Might the infernal PC brigade take exception to Grandpa being doped with sherry in a children's book? One can never tell in these days when triangular flapjacks are banned as dangerous weapons.

I absolutely loved it, high starred it and am happy to back it.

Lots of luck - you deserve to do well with this one.

Tottie Limejuice
Sell the Pig

Eftborin wrote 390 days ago

Debbie,
I had to return and read the first few chapters again. Even the second time around, laughter tears are flowing. Worse than the first time; I'm visualising the royal family on their bikes/treadmills along side the corgis. Brilliant and deserves to be published.
Pat

peeps wrote 391 days ago

Thoroughly enjoyed reading your book Debbie, it's a joy to read, well done. High Stars and bookshelf for you - very best of luck. Peeps x

I.L.Books. wrote 391 days ago

I read chapter 1 and it seems to flow well, it also captivates the imagination which for children, is a must. This should get to number 1 easy.

High Stars

I.L.Books.

Roto wrote 392 days ago

I have read a handful of chapters and love this book. It feels homely, innocent, full of good clean humor and I love it!

You have my backing and highest stars!

Well done Debbie, all the best in reaching the desk:)

Elisa
Keep Running.

Roto wrote 392 days ago

Debbie, I love your book!!!!!

I have only been able to read the first few chapters and have to go, but I have put it on my watchlist to come back to!!

I laughed out loud at Mr. McCready asking incredulously if he would have to peddle to watch top gear or match of the day:) Love the hamsters involvement and I could really imagine children loving this story, as well as adults of course!

Well done Debbie such a heartwarming and enjoyable read so far.

Elisa
Keep Running

Angelika Rust wrote 392 days ago

Debbie,
I've so far read the first ten chapters and will be back for more as soon as I can find the time. It's brilliant, delightful, charming, everything. Does the name Diana Wynne Jones ring any bell? I bet you two would have gotten along.
I'm backing you, with all my little might. Hope you make it to the editor's desk this time.
Just one little typo I saw in chapter 5: at one point, it says exercise patters instead of patterns. Didn't see any other mistakes or any other negative thing at all to point out to you.
fingers crossed,
Angelika

finished. it's perfect. let me just give you the few typos and grammar errors I found:
chapter 16:
in the paragraph beginning with "Dillon rubbed his hands together" there's a double "how much", which doesn't look as if it's there on purpose.
chapter 18:
after Mr. Peabody goes upstairs, there's the sentence "of course he had was more than happy to allow his dog to eat Speedy once the ridiculous little rodent has served his purpose". one had too many, and I think the has should be a had instead.
during the telephone call, "he was desperate not to miss a word of the conversation he been patiently waiting for". there's a had missing.
shortly before Peabody and Wolfgang go out, "this was the usual sign for the bad-tempered cheat and his mangy dog to set off to the local park for one their walks." we're short an of here.
chapter 22:
"Mr. McCready putting up the last of the streamers". looks like there should be a was.
and when Speedy sits on his little sofa, "if he wasn't a hamster, he would have given a speech". My instinct says "if he hadn't been a hamster".
"Speedy wiped away a hamster tear as he nestled down in his new sofa and recalled the moment two weeks ago Dillon when had taken him up..." when Dillon.

that's all. I really hope you'll make it to the desk. I want to buy your book for my brother's birthday.
hugs
Angelika

L_MC wrote 395 days ago

Hi Debbie, the title of this children's story has always appealed and finally got round to reading some of it tonight.

I read the first ten chapters and I could see this being something I'd buy for my children and that they'd enjoy. Having chinchillas who love to keep the whole house awake running on their flying saucer wheel at night, they'd certainly appreciate Speedy's powers to generate electricity.

It's topical, it's got a fun family dynamic, it's got the clever kids saving the nation and a nasty bad guy in Mr Peabody. Seems to me all the essentials are there and I think it would appeal to both boys and girls.

I'm very late in reading this and you're close to getting your medal so all that remains is to say, good luck with the review.

cnlumbat wrote 396 days ago

CHIRG Review of chapters 1-3

Very polished and enjoyable! You've woven all the quintessential elements of a storytelling that capture children's interest into your book: fast-paced, fun characters, a dash of slap-stick, kids out-smarting grown-ups, light-hearted narrative, etc.

I'm not surprised that you're in the top 5. Best of luck; I have no doubt HC, or another publishing company, will want Speedy for themselves.

Jealous,

cnlumbat
Daniel and the Sun Sword

John Lovell wrote 399 days ago

CHIRG Review of chapters 1-7

I first read Speedy when I joined the site, reflecting back I remember leaving a very small comment (noob mistake) and I'd actually not read many books before reading it so I'm not sure if I actually appreciated how great this actually is.
The strengths are the lively high pace of the story, the colourful characters and the language you use. At no point does it feel like you're insulting a child's intelligence which for this age group is done too often. It's kind of a break from traditional stories with mentions of E-Bay, XBox's and the television programs. These are the things kids are familiar with so using them as part of book will just help them connect to it so much more.
Dillon's creativeness as a character in the first seven chapters is great, and his attitude feels natural when he doesn't get to beat his highest score. This would have been seen as a negative part of the story but the fact Grace has been going on that bike for ages makes for a funny sequence.
It's a fine start to the story, it's not complicated, easy to read and will hold any child's attention whether they were reading it themselves or having the story told to them.
I'll try to get a review of chapters 8-14 done in the next couple of days.

Chapters 8-14 happened tonight.
Okay so the story progresses pretty quickly which is very cool. You've obviously thought of the attention span of the target audience and there's always something happening. What the story needed was an antagonist and it has the perfect one for the story - Mr Peabody. I'd say he was a little unexpected which makes it even better, and his sidekick wolfgang will be scary from the eyes of little hamsters.
There's a few funny parts, such as Speedy's thoughts when they're talking about getting another hamster. Dillon's natural behavior when things aren't going his way is spot on and Grace is still perfect for her support role. The names behind the offspring are very fitting and give each of them that bit of character.

Chapters 15 - 22
The story was able to hold a 29 year old walking dead and elder scroll fans attention in one sitting!
Whilst I think others have given you credit for the idea, I don't think you've received enough for how far you've stretched your imagination. Stan and Mitch's arrival was very good with Peabody in the background. At around the same point you've started to give him his first name which makes total sense because we've stopped seeing him as the teacher he's supposed to be. Very glad he gets what's coming to him.
The family feel of the McCready's is admirable, mostly shown at 10 downing street. When Mr McCready adds that adults don't like the food too will make many people chuckle. It's funny that they enjoyed the queens company but not the PMs. Kind of fitting too with the circumstances of the story.

Overall, a face paced, enjoyable, not too serious children's book which I'm sure would be enjoyed by many. As long as it stays on the top 5, I wish you best of luck with the HC review.

John

CJBowness wrote 402 days ago

I just saw your message to someone else. I did take your book off my bookshelf - to make way for others - and I thought you didn't need it to stay there now you're so high. But, having seen your remark, I have reinstated it because it's brilliant.
CJ Bowness
The Accidental Adventurers

bjack wrote 405 days ago

Debbie: Speedy is a great read! You draw the reader in with the little one in chapter 1 who's eager to prove his genius. You prove yours by exciting the reader with a plot with just the right amount of realism, and creative problem solving. It reminds me of competitions we used to do with kids at a magnet school where I taught: Odyssey of the Mind and Future Problem Solving. You've engaged me as a reader, entertained me, and I just know this book will be a hit when others learn about it! bj

Gwyndrid Morgan wrote 406 days ago

Love it, love it. Up to chapter six and will be back. My children will enjoy it, will read some of it to them. We have a hamster called Buster who spends a lot of time racing around on his wheel.
High stars and will put you on my book shelf very soon. (although it does not look like you need my help yet)

Now where did put that battery and jump leads? BUSTER...

Alan Barbara wrote 408 days ago

CHIRG
Hi.
The idea is a gret one and I’m sure children would enjoy reading this. I liked the characters and the way you paused the story to give an amusing detail - Dad wanting to sit on a cushion when he's sitting in the garden chair etc.

I felt that some of the dialect from Grace was quite grown up as she is only 8 and I wondered what made Speedy suddenly like Augusta. In chapter 13, he’s not at all keen on her when she arrives, but the following morning, they are snuggled together.

I did find a couple of errors and there are some commas missing here and there but it didn’t stop me enjoying the story - not sure if these have been pointed out.
She’s generating more energy that any of us do on the bike. – should be ‘than’
It’s moving, cried grace as they stared at batter store – missing ‘the’

All in all, an entertaining story.

Alan.

CJBowness wrote 411 days ago

This is utterly delightful! Brilliantly written - I found myself happily smiling as I read it. I'm not at all surprised it's doing so well. Congratulations.

I have put it on my bookshelf to continue reading later and given it lots of stars.

CJ Bowness
The Accidental Adventurers

Roo Parkin wrote 411 days ago

I loved this, Debbie. The premise is contemporary but hilarious - and you tell the story very well. I would have perhaps liked to hear more about Speedy and Augusta's blossoming romance - I think there's a good opportunity for humour there. I also wonder whether it may appeal to publishers more if Dillon's character is female - a girl with an interest in science is perhaps a little edgier. However, Dillon is a well drawn character, and I found it easy to sympathise with him. Good luck with this, it made me giggle!

PDDennison wrote 412 days ago

Excellent concept for a children's book. Its well written in that there are few grammar errors, the cadence makes for easy reading and the imagery is well described.

lexington_ky_writer wrote 413 days ago

great read...very hi stars. will keep you on my shelf for the balance of the month. Get some sleep....this one will land on the desk. very good work!

Lisa Abraham wrote 414 days ago

CHIRG

Clever concept, well-written, topical and ironic. Well done!
My only query regards the cover - I looked at the cover expecting a story for much younger readers....

Lisa
Great Big Safari Park Stories

Joyce Janes wrote 415 days ago

Hello Debbie
I love your idea of making people work for power. I love they way you write and I am sure children will love it. Can't wait to read it to my grandson who is 9. I will let you know what he says. I am have just read up to chapter 6 and have smiled all the time I was reading. I like the way you write, you move the story along and everything is there for a reason. Great story
Joyce

Desta the Book wrote 415 days ago

The descriptions are vivid and engaging, the story full of humor and ironies. I liked it. I think most kids as well as adults would enjoy this book. What a clever way to inspire the kids to do something for their own health! In my past life I used to write on health and wellness. Getting people to engage in a routine exercise and develop good health habits were always a challenge for the healthcare professionals. How about cutting into the habits that lead to their health problems and challenge them to do something for themselves, the way you have subtly and cleverly presented here. It's great!


bjack wrote 416 days ago

suppose you've read Glenn Beck's Agenda 16 with a similar idea, though definitely not for children. Good luck with your take on the topic! bjack Please see my nonfiction: Job Loss:What's Next?...

bjack wrote 416 days ago

suppost you've read Glenn Beck's Agenda 16 with a similar idea, though definitely not for children. Good luck with your take on the topic! bjack Please see my nonfiction: Job Loss:What's Next?...

Kari Prideaux wrote 417 days ago

CHIRG-

Speedy McCready starts with a hook that's hard to beat. Every kid's worst nightmare in this day-no electricity. This makes you want to keep reading. I could not put this book down and as a teacher, I would have Speedy McCready on my classroom bookshelf in a heart beat. I love the title, too. It's so catchy that I would have too pick it up just to find out what it's about.

Some thoughts to consider- The battery store: When you first mentioned the battery store in chapter two, I wasn't sure what it was...but that's probably just lost in translation (England/America). But I also thought that you might want to add a few more instances in the beginning about the battery store. In Chapter 7, you talked about the pointer on the dial moving. It might help to show how important Speedy is by having the dial show up earlier to show how hard it is for the family to create energy.

The other thing to consider-The evil teacher Mr. Peabody: When he was mentioned before Chapter 9 when Dillon's in class, I thought the teacher was nice because suggesting Dillon join the competition. You may want to add more hints that he's much more dastardly in the beginning. Maybe even put in a few more scenes showing how mean he is.

Editing points- I noticed two mistakes, wasn't' sure if you'd want them mentioned or not but in Chapter 8-there is an extra 'and' in your sentence about the grandparents. And in Chapter 18-speedy is missing the y.

Overall, I hope you get this published real soon so I can buy it and share with my students!



Bryon1963 wrote 417 days ago

Debbie, what can I say other than it's a great idea for a book. It seems that everyone has seen or heard stories of a great power outage that stops everything in its tracks. You took that and ran in another direction and made a comical story of it. I usually don't find myself drawn to children's books but this isn't the norm for that category. The story moves easily and has the reader seeing Dillon's ideas could actually work. Definitely a winner, high stars!

Bryon Decker
The Stran's Curse
Dear Mr. Killer

<3George Stark <3 wrote 419 days ago

Debbie,
I have only read the first chapter of Speedy McCready and already I am enthralle. Children's book or otherwise, this is one of the best reads I've had in a while. I did pick up on two minor errors."Apparently there'll be power for the fridge." replied Dillon. The Prime Minister said so."... Surely there should be inverted commas before The Prime Minister. Also, the word "replied" should either be capitalized or the end of fridge should be a comma not a full stop.
Other than these two minor errors I honestly can't fault you work. Rated highly and backed. I hope to see this on the editors desk before long. I'm sure you'll do brilliantly.
Georgie.

<3George Stark <3 wrote 419 days ago

Debbie,
I have only read the first chapter of Speedy McCready and already I am enthralle. Children's book or otherwise, this is one of the best reads I've had in a while. I did pick up on two minor errors."Apparently there'll be power for the fridge." replied Dillon. The Prime Minister said so."... Surely there should be inverted commas before The Prime Minister. Also, the word "replied" should either be capitalized or the end of fridge should be a comma not a full stop.
Other than these two minor errors I honestly can't fault you work. Rated highly and backed. I hope to see this on the editors desk before long. I'm sure you'll do brilliantly.
Georgie.

<3George Stark <3 wrote 419 days ago

Debbie,
I have only read the first chapter of Speedy McCready and already I am enthralle. Children's book or otherwise, this is one of the best reads I've had in a while. I did pick up on two minor errors."Apparently there'll be power for the fridge." replied Dillon. The Prime Minister said so."... Surely there should be inverted commas before The Prime Minister. Also, the word "replied" should either be capitalized or the end of fridge should be a comma not a full stop.
Other than these two minor errors I honestly can't fault you work. Rated highly and backed. I hope to see this on the editors desk before long. I'm sure you'll do brilliantly.
Georgie.

My2Cents wrote 420 days ago

A simply brilliant and charming tale expertly told. I found it very creative and would love for my own children to read it. Well done!
Ken Spears

D. S. Hale wrote 423 days ago

This is brilliant, Debbie! I love it. Your dialogue is believable, and gosh, it made me think! The grids are getting old, and we're always afraid of brown outs and power outages. What if your story comes true in the not so distant future? I love your characters. You have honed your story to perfection. You appear ready for the desk! I am excited for you! I am putting you on my WL, and hopefully I can squeeze you into my shelf next month. I've already made so many promises! If by some terrible luck you don't make desk next month, I will definitly have room the next month. Crossing my fingers for you, girl!

Sincerely,
Donna
Jessup and the Teleporter

Itsacatlife wrote 423 days ago

Hi Debbie,
I've read almost a half of the book and the ending. I like the idea - very modern, light-hearted and inspirational for youngsters. There's educational element there, too. It flows very well, is interesting and funny. I would recommend it to any kid.

Michelle Richardson wrote 424 days ago

Debbie, I am certain this will be a huge hit with children of all ages.
As a teaching assistant in a primary school, I know children really love books
with humour, as well as ones that treat them with respect - this seems to do both.
Well done - I loved it. Highly starred.
Michelle Richardson - 43 Primrose Avenue

KirkH wrote 425 days ago

This is such a cute story. I love the title and the cover. It was the synopsis that wanted me to read more. It's written more for a British audience but I can easily imagine an American spin on this as well.
Had to back it and all the best
Kirk
"Aethunium"

Jue Shaw wrote 425 days ago

Ha ha ha, Debbie. This is genius! I haven't read a children's book for years, and if this is what they are like these days, I'm missing out. I laughed out loud at the though of wiring up gran and grandpa to the battery store, and Speedy the hamster is brilliant! I'm up to chapter 7 and this has really brightened up my day. I'm going to let my 8 year old grandson take a look at this, he's an avid reader and loves all things remotely science, so I'm guessing he will love it. Great, flowing, writing with a very current storyline. Brilliant!

Richard P-S wrote 427 days ago

Great idea. I've read two chapters and love it already. Good pacing, too. I think it probably needs a quick once-over for commas etc, but that's my only criticism. You should get this off to an agent, you know, especially in the current climate. I reckon you stand a really good chance of getting this published, because the market for it is now. R

J. A. S. Gorsky wrote 427 days ago

I enjoyed this fast paced read. I got to the part where the pensioners took offense, then needed to beg off for some house cleaning, I look forward to talking to my children about this book and finishing it up. Thank you for sharing, a gem I am glad I did not overlook!

Judith

Lyn4ny wrote 427 days ago

I've only read chapter one so far but what a great concept. It's captivating and interesting while inviting the reader in. I really like this one. It's very creative and well written. The flow of course, is great and you can follow easily which is necessary for children. I will be continuing reading on soon. Wonderful storyline here. High Stars from me and your on my WL. Thanks for sharing this one with us!

-Lyn
Forty-Four Footprints Following Me
-Surviving Manic Depression- My Story & The Real Truth on Managing It

Painted Pony wrote 432 days ago

Debbie,

I have just read the first three chapters of your delightful story. This reads just like a published book I would pick up in the library. It is a smooth, simple, yet intriguing story - I found no problems or errors, just a good story ready to be published and enjoyed by anyone of any age. I can see why this book is so highly ranked. I have one book on my shelf currently that is at number 5. As soon as his book makes the desk, I will place yours on my shelf to help give that extra nudge towards the desk. So glad to have read this and to have "met" you here - will be back sometime in the future to continue! Best of luck, I can see this getting published easily! Ruby

Asif_w wrote 432 days ago

a very novel and funny story. I enjoyed reading the first 3 chapters. Such an unusual scenario. A delightful story and made me smile. Hope this story goes far. Will read more over the coming days.

Sabina Frost wrote 433 days ago

Here for the read, as promised. :)

First off, I really like the idea. We all rely heavily on electricity these days, I know myself I wouldn't last long without it, so seeing that taken away is a bit of a nightmare scenario. Your writing is practically flawless and easy to follow, and it felt as if the chapters flew by, because I was curious to see how they would manage. I'm out of time right now, so I'll leave my real-time comments and hope they'll be helpful.

Chapter1
- ’the P.M.’s hand was shaking badly (at this point)’, the last part is superflous
- Personally, I think the story is developing too fast here. We get no real sense of who the characters are or how the world works before you ‘drop the bomb’ on them, and this takes away some of the delivery of the story.

Chapter 2
- The first sentence here reads a bit awkward to me, maybe it would read better with ‘Two weeks later, Mr McCready was eating his words’
- When Dillon is thinking that Grace usually is clever for her age, you use italics – which suggests inner monologue – but keep past tense, which doesn’t make sense if it’s inside his head.
- Wait, so it isn’t just the exercise bike that generates power, but knitting and tapping your foot too? How does that work? I’d like this explained better.

Chapter 3
- I’m actually surprised that the mother is so lenient with Dillon for not doing his part of the bargain with his sister. My mother would have stomped up the stairs and demanded that I work my share.
- ‘end of (this) bed’, should probably be ‘his’ bed
- I thought the mention of the corgis would give them the idea, not the grandparents…

Chapter 4
- It conflicts that he ‘muttered’ and ‘sat bolt upright’, because one is relaxed and one isn’t
- Actually, I would have liked to know about the hamster before, maybe that he still keep it in his room, and hearing the wheel feeds his idea. Otherwise, it comes off as a bit of a coincidence that he suddenly remembers when the reader didn’t have a clue. If you get what I mean?
- ‘tell them to let me know and I perhaps I can offer a little help’, cut an ‘I’
- ‘kept him awake at night so had probably blown the chance’, missing a ‘he' before 'had'

Overall, this is a fun and unique children's story that I'm sure will do well once it's published - and I don't see why it wouldn't be. High stars and I wish you best of luck with this! :)

Sabina Frost
Annie Get Your Ghost

palynch wrote 437 days ago

Hey Debbie,

CHIRG-Loved the humourous angle on what would be a very serious situation. I am sure any kid who reads this will spend a lot of time bugging their parents for a hamster of their own. Hopefully, they won't try and attach wires to their grandparents anyway :)

Patrick Lynch
The Spirits in the Shadows

amor87 wrote 448 days ago

CHIRG REVIEW
Debbie,
Here are my thoughts over SPEEDY MCCREADY. First off, let me congratulate you on number 13! I know it takes a lot of work to get to that spot. I will say from your long and short pitch, I am already expecting a comedy. Your short pitch had me laughing, imagining a bunch of little hamster running the entire power grid. I also love the idea of a book about an environmental issue that is being aimed at young kids. What a way to raise awareness for the issue and get kids reading! As I go through, I focus mainly on my thoughts as a reader, and steer away from the grammar.
CHAPTER 1
I like how we are presented with the main problem(power outtages) right away. This is going to grasp the target age group’s attention, which is a lot shorter than the average adults! I like Dillon, I think he is age appropriate, but I do think it is odd that the parents believe it is all a joke. Perhaps this is me being form the States? I don’t know, there just seemed to be something off about the ending. Perhaps this is what the parents say, but they actually are concerned, but don’t want to worry Dillon. After reading the first chapter, I could really see illustrations going along with this. Is that something that you are planning on including? This is vaguely reminiscent of Beverly Cleary’s work, I can only imagine the type of predicaments that Dillon is going to find himself in, especially trying to get the hamsters to create power! Good luck on your final push to the desk!

A

S.J. O'Hart wrote 451 days ago

I really like this book - the idea is genius, and the way it's delivered isn't far behind. It's like a humourous take on dystopia, for children; it doesn't sound like it should work, but it really does! I love all the characters, the realistic way the friction between them is described when one of them has to work for the others to enjoy their TV programmes, the odious prime minister, etc. What I love the most, though, is the fact that everyone tries to come up with ways to save themselves from any extra effort, even to the point of harnessing the power of a pair of knitting needles! Very clever, very engaging and lovely to read. I'll make a point of reading the rest of it as soon as possible.

authordonna wrote 453 days ago

I love this! Great writing:)

authordonna wrote 453 days ago

I love this! Well done:)

authordonna wrote 453 days ago

I love this! Well done:)

Frith wrote 457 days ago

Very good, placed on my shelf.