May 7, 2013

Rex Zero strikes again

Rex Zero, the Great Pretender
by Tim Wynne-Jones

Rex's family is moving again. It's just to the other side of town, but it puts him into a new school district. That means leaving his friends James, Buster, Kathy, and Polly, whom Rex has a crush on. But Rex is a pretty resourceful kid. He hatches a plan - continue going to his old school while pretending to be registered at the new school. Unfortunately, this involves a fair bit of lying and eventually stealing. Plus, bully Spew Lessieur is on his tail. 

So you can see that Rex has a lot on his mind. His mother seems to have something on her mind too, but she's not saying. As the story progresses, Rex's feelings of guilt and fear drive him to plot a preemptive strike against Spew. How it all ends is both inevitable and surprising.

Wynne-Jones brings a satisfying end to his Rex Zero trilogy. He has a good knack in capturing the 1960s culture, as well as Rex's confusion over his life's events. He also does a wonderful job of describing family dynamics, with an appealing mix of warmth and eccentricity. A very worthwhile read.

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