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For Tad Spencer, only son of a fabulously wealthy businessman, every day is like Christmas. Until he makes the mistake of wishing he was someone else. The next morning he wakes up as Bob Snarby, trapped in a cruel and squalid funfair world inhabited by hopeless criminals, mysterious fortune tellers, and—worst of all—the murderous Finn. But he's there for a reason, as Tad discovers when he begins to untangle a secret that will introduce him to the most unexpected enemy of all....
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Anthony Horowitz has been writing since the age of eight, and professionally since the age of twenty. In addition to the highly successful Alex Rider books, he is also the writer and creator of award winning detective series Foyle’s War, and more recently event drama Collision, among his other television works he has written episodes for Poirot, Murder in Mind, Midsomer Murders and Murder Most Horrid. Anthony became patron to East Anglia Children’s Hospices in 2009.From Booklist:
Horowitz’s full-scale assault on the attentions of middle-grade boys continues with this tale of swapped identity. Tad Spencer, a rich kid with little to complain about, one night wishes he was someone else. When he awakes the next morning, he finds his wish has come true. Much to his dismay, though, he’s switched places with Bob Snarby, the son of two slovenly carnival workers, and soon falls into the life of an uneducated miscreant. He eventually discovers that his old family’s wealth is built on the abhorrent practices of his father’s so-called “charity,” and sets out to take down the empire. There’s a knowing wink at one point in case readers happen to be familiar with the classic film Trading Places. While Horowitz won’t be accused of subtlety in either character or plot here, like that film there are a few underhanded elements of social satire that creep in alongside the more obvious condemnation of rampant greed. Mostly, though, Horowitz’s name-brand promise of cartoonish action will attract his audience, and they’ll be mostly pleased with this foray. Grades 5-8. --Ian Chipman
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