Book Jacket

 

rank 1262
word count 23104
date submitted 11.03.2009
date updated 06.01.2011
genres: Fiction, Children's, Comedy
classification: universal
complete

The Bloodcurdling Bug Eyed Jawbreaker

Maureen Lynas

Don’t pull that face or it will stick. Oops, too late.

 

I'm not active on Authonomy at the moment but feel free to read my book if you want to.

It was absolutely clear: Warning – Do Not follow these instructions. But Junior Extreme Face-puller Gurner Gobbit went ahead and pulled the Bloodcurdling Bug Eyed Jawbreaker anyway. Now his friend is petrified and Gurner’s face has stuck. Can he put things right before his arch rival Gradley Aardacre arrives back with the polliss? It’s down the mines for Gurner if he can’t fix this.


Cover Illustration, Katherine Lynas

 
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tags

, alternative, boys, cartoony, children's, comedy, face pulling, humour, petrify, silly, whacky

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102 comments

 

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mn73 wrote 1810 days ago

Oh, this is so funny and unusual. I work in a library and can see an audience of kids screeching with laughter at this. It's such a witty idea and I can't wait to see how it unfolds. The title and cover are spot-on too. On my shelf.

ML Hamilton wrote 1820 days ago

Maureen,

Oh my goodness, the silliness of this is classic. Wonderful fun! I don't have anything I would suggest changing.

On my shelf,

ML

Patty wrote 1826 days ago

LOL! This is good stuff. Just the right tone for children, and just the right pace. I don't really have any important criticism to make, other than that I think you should polish this and send it off to agents. Check my other reviews to see that I don;t say this an awful lot. I'll stick this on my shelf for a bit.

Klazart wrote 1828 days ago

Hi Maureen,
Firstly, I'm sorry I've taken so long to get to this. I've read the first three chapters and you know what, it was MY loss. I'm stunned, I really am. This is possibly the most original story I've read on Authonomy. I'm not going to talk about how the writing is polished, and I have no helpful critique to give you, or about how this flows so smoothly, carrying the reader from page to page. This is just one of those few books on here that is special. I really have very few words to describe how impressed I am, and I've read some pretty good books in the last few days. This really stands out among the best.

Would I buy this for myself? Probably not. But if there were any young boys in my family, I would buy it for them in a heartbeat.

I have no clue about what children's fiction is like these days, so I can't comment on the marketability of the idea. I know I would have loved reading it while I was a kid, and really enjoyed what I've read thus far today. But I really hope this gets out there.

Best of luck,
Honestly,

Vineet.

Andrew W. wrote 1831 days ago

The Blood Curdling Bug-Eyed Jaw Breaker

Hi Maureen, Wow, simply, wow. What fun, what glorious, anarchic fun, Roald Dahl for the 21st century this is, loved the play on words at the beginning, Do, Do Not, Do...the characters are larger than life, the writer delivers in a seemingly effortless way that we don't notice because it is so focused on delivering this weird and wonderful story, will be backing shortly - best of luck with this, best wishes - Andrew W.

talespinner wrote 1203 days ago

Hi Lostock
This was a surprise as I thought the book had gone into the authonomy dungeon for forgotten about books! I must see how you delete something from the site. I'm very happy you liked it enough to put it on your shelf but please don't spend your valuable time critiquing this. It's is an old draft and I have moved on a lot since I put this up, although it did prove very useful as it got me an interview at Harper Collins - Yes they do actually check the site and contact people! it didn't get me a deal but definitely helped me as a writer. So thank you for the offer but go do something fun instead :) You may be pleased to know that you were spot on with the age range comment, it's exactly what the editor said.
Maureen

This is such a good, original idea. At first glance, and i do need to read it all of the way through admitedly, I believe you have an idea that would fly off the shelves. However, at first glance again and I will read it properly, I think you may find that some of the language and some of the ideas are challenging for *that* age range of children. What age range you may ask ? Well, face pulling is an idea that will appeal mainly to 6,7,8 year old children, in my experience by 9 or 10 they might want a more 'Rick Riordan' type of book. Consequently i'd wonder if the richness of certain ideas is a little challenging for 6 or 7. Do they know what a miner's hall is ? Is it sufficient to simply describe it as a hall ? Does the description of the reporters outfit give them anything ? Its what an older reader would want to know, but in trying to get into the mind of my son when he was 7, I think he may have prefferred to skip forward to the action and the funnies. I'm not sure. Its something i'm sure other people are better equipped to help you with and to research with you.
I just wanted to say well done really, but also thought it best to have a go at some constructive feedback.
Such a lovely idea, I think you are onto something with this.

Lostock wrote 1203 days ago

This is such a good, original idea. At first glance, and i do need to read it all of the way through admitedly, I believe you have an idea that would fly off the shelves. However, at first glance again and I will read it properly, I think you may find that some of the language and some of the ideas are challenging for *that* age range of children. What age range you may ask ? Well, face pulling is an idea that will appeal mainly to 6,7,8 year old children, in my experience by 9 or 10 they might want a more 'Rick Riordan' type of book. Consequently i'd wonder if the richness of certain ideas is a little challenging for 6 or 7. Do they know what a miner's hall is ? Is it sufficient to simply describe it as a hall ? Does the description of the reporters outfit give them anything ? Its what an older reader would want to know, but in trying to get into the mind of my son when he was 7, I think he may have prefferred to skip forward to the action and the funnies. I'm not sure. Its something i'm sure other people are better equipped to help you with and to research with you.
I just wanted to say well done really, but also thought it best to have a go at some constructive feedback.
Such a lovely idea, I think you are onto something with this.

Paolito wrote 1759 days ago

This brings back memories of ear wiggling (I'm a champ), tongue twisting (2 styles; the tube was easier for me than the turnover), thumb against wrist, a flexibility test (as a result of which I now have arthritis in my thumbs according to my doctor) and a host of other games we used to play as kids. For this reason, I think you've got an absolute winner here.

Not sure about your pitch, however. I'd make it a bit clearer without losing the voice. When you're into the story itself, everything quickly becomes clear, but with the pitch, you don't have that luxury.

BTW, I'm still laughing. Shelved enthusiastically.

Cheers,
Sheryl (In All The Wrong Places)

eva alexander wrote 1784 days ago

this is so much fun! and so original, as i'm sure others have told you.
i could just see myself reading this to a class of 7 year olds and them LOVING it, and then going out at break time and trying the faces themselves! pure genius!
deservedly on my shelf and i shall be buying 30 copies for my class when it comes out in paperback!
best of luck with it!
eva

Babyeddieuk wrote 1801 days ago

Why isn't this book doing better?

mn73 wrote 1810 days ago

Oh, this is so funny and unusual. I work in a library and can see an audience of kids screeching with laughter at this. It's such a witty idea and I can't wait to see how it unfolds. The title and cover are spot-on too. On my shelf.

Pat Brehony wrote 1811 days ago

Maureen,
A great read. Will appeal to lots of young readers out there.
I could find no gremlins, to coin a phrase.
Well done.
Pat.

Pat Brehony wrote 1820 days ago

Hi Maureen,
What an enjoyable read! If James Joyce had written a book for children this would have been it. I love the language and the fantastic characters. It is the kind of book that would have fellow passengers on the train staring at this chap shaking with mirth in places.
Wishing you every success at the publishing houses.
Regards.
Pat

ML Hamilton wrote 1820 days ago

Maureen,

Oh my goodness, the silliness of this is classic. Wonderful fun! I don't have anything I would suggest changing.

On my shelf,

ML

Pat Brehony wrote 1823 days ago

Hi Maureen,
This has gone on my bookshelf. Good stuff.
Regards.
Pat

Pat Brehony wrote 1823 days ago

Hi Maureen,

Having read the first two chapters I know that this is the type of delicious writing that appeals to younger readers. I am going to get stuck into the rest over the coming days. Meaningful comments to follow.
Regards.
Pat.

Lyra wrote 1824 days ago

Hi Maureen! Wow I love your book sooooo much. Never have I seen an idea like this!!!! It is fab!!

Lyra

Martin Horton wrote 1824 days ago

Maureen, this is fantastic. Really. This is, even for a jaded 37 year old doctor, laugh out loud funny. Perfectly pictched for children, easy (but not patronisingly so) to read, with splendid slices of naughtyness. I felt like building a paper airplane and throwing it at my wife!

Thanks for this, on a personal level, because it made me remember all the things (It feels like it is aimed, primarily, at boys) I did when I was at school, and all the eye-rolling when my parents or teachers told me ridiculous alarm stories.....LOL.

Very, very good. This will get published, without a doubt. It's unique.

On my shelf.

Martin.
(My House on the Fjord)

Patty wrote 1826 days ago

LOL! This is good stuff. Just the right tone for children, and just the right pace. I don't really have any important criticism to make, other than that I think you should polish this and send it off to agents. Check my other reviews to see that I don;t say this an awful lot. I'll stick this on my shelf for a bit.

mikegilli wrote 1827 days ago


Couldn't wait. Couldn't stop reading, had to back the brilliant BUG !
Where can I get a copy for my kids?

Suggestions.
I imagine you'll have it illustrated, but it hardly needs it,
I would keep the illustrations to a minimum.
I would add more domestic details, the crockery, the cup of tea,
the gaudy curtains, the neighbours dog, the..... anything at all....Maybe
would make it even more real and riveting.
It could also easily be given a period setting..it's a bit Wallace and Gromitt!
The aches and pains etc. make it real, you could add to this.
You could widen this world, with judicious references, schools banning it, international playoffs,
whatever, and set the scene for a sequel.

That's all...really it doesn't need much reworking, you cracked it already!

best of luck with it.....Mike


Babyeddieuk wrote 1828 days ago

I love this - it's like reading a lost Roald Dahl novel. The character names and use of language are fantastic! I'm deifintely shelving this one!

Ed (Mutant Toe)

Klazart wrote 1828 days ago

Hi Maureen,
Firstly, I'm sorry I've taken so long to get to this. I've read the first three chapters and you know what, it was MY loss. I'm stunned, I really am. This is possibly the most original story I've read on Authonomy. I'm not going to talk about how the writing is polished, and I have no helpful critique to give you, or about how this flows so smoothly, carrying the reader from page to page. This is just one of those few books on here that is special. I really have very few words to describe how impressed I am, and I've read some pretty good books in the last few days. This really stands out among the best.

Would I buy this for myself? Probably not. But if there were any young boys in my family, I would buy it for them in a heartbeat.

I have no clue about what children's fiction is like these days, so I can't comment on the marketability of the idea. I know I would have loved reading it while I was a kid, and really enjoyed what I've read thus far today. But I really hope this gets out there.

Best of luck,
Honestly,

Vineet.

Odysseus wrote 1830 days ago

What a fabulously funny book. I can just see children (and adults) loving this:

‘Dear Norbitt
Many congratulations on winning the Chuddersfield Championship last week. The face you pulled was outstanding. Much funnier than Mr Tarbuckle’s whizzing eyes, which in my opinion is a bit overdone now. It was pure genius to make your tongue swing to the ticking of the grandfather clock, at the back of the Miner’s Hall. My head was still swaying in time ten minutes later!
I’ve been right behind you all the way through your extreme face-pulling career,...

And so now we know what is a “The Bloodcurdling Bug-Eyed Jawbreaker”!!!

As for “I’ve petrified Peet”, well the rest of us are just rocked with amusement.

Gurner Gobbit, Gradley Aardacre,Beady Arc Aturr,Mr and Mrs Picklethwaite, and the rest...what a wonderful collection of names and characters.

“Why didn’t they write that on the instructions! Why didn’t they put a warning on it... What sort of idiot keeps something that another idiot could accidentally find? And USE!”

I think a lot of children will be delighted that “they” didn’t and that one idiot did keep something for further use.

“‘Steam him,’ said Graicy. ‘Iron his face. Hang him upside down in a vat of boiling oil. Shake him.’... ‘Scare him"
Gurner’s eardrums almost exploded. ‘Stop it. Dad, tell her to stop.’

Children are going to find this an absolute hoot of a story.

Funny, creative, and fresh. Backed.

Philip Gilliver wrote 1831 days ago

Hi Maureen.

I was basically going to put all this stuff down here but I see Andrew has beaten me to it. Fun yes, loads of fun. reading this brought the mischevious little boy out it me. (I never was one so I think the world is well overdue.) Roald Dahl? In the nicest possible way, yes this is wonderfully Dahlesque! Definitely one for litte boys with thoughts of sticking gum on his teacher's chair or putting superglue on the toilet seat just before granny goes in there.

Love this, goin on my shelf!

All the best.

Phil (Dreamspiller)

Paul Samuel wrote 1831 days ago

Maureen, just a great sort of Roal dahlish childrens book. Well done. shelved on mirit

Paul S (Poppy Skiffles and the wood twixie)

Andrew W. wrote 1831 days ago

The Blood Curdling Bug-Eyed Jaw Breaker

Hi Maureen, Wow, simply, wow. What fun, what glorious, anarchic fun, Roald Dahl for the 21st century this is, loved the play on words at the beginning, Do, Do Not, Do...the characters are larger than life, the writer delivers in a seemingly effortless way that we don't notice because it is so focused on delivering this weird and wonderful story, will be backing shortly - best of luck with this, best wishes - Andrew W.

Nicky Jones wrote 1831 days ago

This is such fun, Maureen. I can imagine you writing it and chuckling away. Sandblasting.... genius!
For a while I though, eow, but then the humour took over and I got into the it big time. Shelved. Nicky.

kellymarie wrote 1832 days ago

Shelved today! It's fun and different. I know lots of kids that would adore this. My friends daughter would love it. Good luck with the book. Definitely appealing to adults too. Kelly Vodka & Eggs on Ice

J.E.Wyatt wrote 1832 days ago

My god, I haven't read a children's book for years now....

What a refreshing read!

spc wrote 1833 days ago

This is fantastic. I like to back humorous writing and this starts them laughing young.

pialia wrote 1833 days ago

Maureen:

I think the story is suitably icky to impress your target gender and age group. It's quite funny and wierd enough to stand out. I suspect it will go far when it hits the printed page.

Jeanne

Keefieboy wrote 1833 days ago

Barmy, mad, insane and silly. Can't fault your writing at all. Shelved.

m.a.putman wrote 1834 days ago

Eeeeeeewwwwww...... You will delight little boys everywhere with this. I'm laughing as my stomach churns... Maybe you should put a warning on the cover 'Not for the faint of heart, queasy of stomach...
It has to go on my shelf.

MAP

Sensoo wrote 1834 days ago

Wonderfully written. It wasn't my cup of tea, but I read the whole thing wishing I had a print version to read to my younger siblings. Doing the voices and being grotesque would be fun. I can't give much con-crit on a children's book. I liked it and I'm pretty sure my younger brothers would love it. (Farts, rats, pulling faces...yup).

On my revolving shelf eventually.

Val-Rae Christensen wrote 1835 days ago

This is really fun! Did I already say that. And for some reason it reminds me of Mark Twain, though don't ask me to extrapolate. I'm horrible with American Lit. Best of luck. Shelved.

JasonDiggy wrote 1835 days ago

Great children's book. Highly imaginative. Will appeal to your target audience (and their parents). Well done!

Michael
The Last Coming out Story

Sangay Glass wrote 1836 days ago

Absolutely adorable! If my girls were younger, I would have loved reading this to them as we snuggled on the couch.

Sangay Glass wrote 1836 days ago
Joseph.dm.miller wrote 1836 days ago

Maureen,

Here is my review of your first chapter:

I liked it! Your hook is intriguing and your narrative voice is solid. I really liked the beginning with the "Do not... do" sequence... very well done. The whole first chapter does a great job of building to the end where the last couple lines really bring it all home (especially the "exclusive when it all goes wrong" bit). You definitely have a writting style that will appeal to kids and I'll keep my eye on this book.

There was one thing which concerned me about the beginning... Gobbit and Norbitt have very similar sounds and so for a moment I thought the letter was addressed to Gobbit. It was my own fault, but if I made it others might. When similar sounding names are introduced near each other it can be confusing. I'd suggest making the two names very distinct to make sure the reader knows the letter is not addressed to him. Alternatively, you could save Gurner's last name for later. However, this is just a suggestion.

I only noticed one typo:

"he knew the words off by heart" should probably be "he knew the words by heart."

Best Wishes,
Joseph

Heidi Mannan wrote 1836 days ago

Hi Maureen,
I absolutely love your imagination. Onto my shelf you go!

sestius wrote 1836 days ago

Hello, Maureen - saw you in the fora and thought I'd drop by. What a hugely inventive read. This reminded me of the thrill I used to get when the new Roald Dahl book was delivered to my school as a child. The same great childishness combined with that ever so slightly sinister edge that could be found more obviously in 'Tales of the Unexpected'. Lovely stuff. Here are my random thoughts, as they occurred:

- "warning - do not follow these instructions": from the start we know what kind of book we will be getting. Priceless;
- loved all your character names;
- you need to be consistent with your use of hyphens and capitals in all your wonderful face-pulls: you have "Bug eyed", "Bug Eyed" and "Bug-Eyed". Go with the latter, I think;
- "face[-]pulling" / "gut[-]churning": similarly, need the hyphens;
- some lovely phrases and wording: "faster than a kipper could swim" was my fave, along with the spectacular hiding place for the instructions;
- great chpt endings generally, but particularly so in chpt 3. You capture the moment of 'oh shit' perfectly.

Glad to see you climbing the charts so swiftly. I shall assist with a moment on my shelf. If you could spare 5 mins and drop by my own particular nonsense, 'Pistols', you'd be a most welcome visitor. Would love to hear your thoughts. Best of luck with 'Gurner' - sestius

mumu wrote 1838 days ago

Hi Maureen,

What a wonderful, refreshing, marvelous read. I am young again reading it and I want to pull a face and scare my husband silly.

You have a winner! Don't ever stop trying to get it published.

I'm wondering if you might take time to read my book. It is losing ground fast and I don't know why.

Best to you,

Muriel

Bren Verrill wrote 1838 days ago

There's some outstanding observational detail in this which I think is what makes it stand out. I'm not sure what age range you've got in mind, but I'm guessing 9-11. One of the keys to success here will be finding an illustrator worthy of what you've written, someone like Nick Sharratt, the illustrator for Jacqueline Wilson's Tracy Beaker novels. I really enjoyed it. You economise on the detail, but you've got such an eloquent way of writing that it never feels stinted. Bookshelved with pleasure.

Andrew Foley Jones wrote 1839 days ago

still on shelf - love this

Gayle Williamson wrote 1840 days ago

What a great story. Gruesome to say the least but what a lot of fun. My boys are going to love this and so will many others. I've only read up to ch 3 put look forward to reading on. Selved!
All the best,

Regards,

Gayle ( The Granny Mafia) :)

bluestocking wrote 1840 days ago

Well YAY. Fun! I enjoyed this so much!! It's got something of the charm of the great Roald Dahl stories like 'The Twits' but also it's got its very own wacky, ghastly, delightful humor. Wow will little boys ever love this ... I can just see my brother attempting to act out the Blood-Curdling Bug-Eyed Jawbreaker parts as he reads it aloud.

I read the first five chapters and then I am ashamed to say I CHEATED and skipped to the end because I could not take the suspense any longer. Tremendous wind-up for the finale. I can't see a syllable I would alter. Beautifully done in every way. It's a six!

Shelf-o-rama. Thanks for a lovely read--Maria.

SoulCascade wrote 1841 days ago

Hi Maureen
The first thing that attracted me was this brilliant cover. I just had to take a closer look and then was reeled in by your hook.

Here are my thoughts as I read:
Got sucked in right away. Sometimes reading off of a screen feels hard on the eyes, but with this my eyes kept skipping forward and before I knew it, I was finished with a sentence…then a paragraph…then… well you get my drift. Easy to read and nice flow to your story.

*snort haha ‘face pulling career’

EYEBALL OIL??? Haha man oh man this just keeps getting more interesting

*laugh…snort…chuckle”

ooh and an ominous warning on the perils of face pulling!

I only have one regret about reading this story….that it’s not in stores right now! I wish I could order it for my collection and read it with some of my students (I’m a youth librarian) to get their reaction, I think they would love this. I know I did!

Shelved!
Norma
(The Essence)

madhattie34 wrote 1841 days ago

I can only echo what every other comment has said - this is funny, original, and perfectly pitched for children. It's wacky enough to appeal to young boys, who anyone will tell you are some of the hardest audiences to reach, so very well done. Good luck with this. Shelving.
Hattie
xx

klouholmes wrote 1841 days ago

Hi Maureen, It continued strong with antics and mischief. I'm glad he won the stage in the end (loved the pollen spreading). Shelved! Katherine

Rick Gammons wrote 1842 days ago

Hi Maureen
Will swop with pleasure. This is the fun it looks. I'll watch your progress with great interest knowing I was part of your launching into the literary stratosphere.
Keep asking those questions of yourself and keep writing down the answers.
Rick gammons
(Touching Bottom)

zenup wrote 1842 days ago

Ooh, all the things I love - shades of Dahl ++whacky++ I'm backing this.

readaholic wrote 1842 days ago

It's 'orrible and I love it! Is it just me or does all readers sit in front of their monitor following the instructions? Dislocating the jaw works better after the second glass of red. You are on to a winner with this, ridiculously, amusing and engaging story; kids will relish it. Good Luck

shayzzee wrote 1843 days ago

This is excellent writing!

And a whole story about making a face! Impressive!!! :)

Going on my shelf!

….“Exspth”….lol …made me smile.

RK Jowling wrote 1843 days ago

Gotta love this stuff.

Hope wrote 1843 days ago

Funny, well-written, unique--the marks of a real winner. This is going on my shelf.

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