Grandpa’s Great Escape

Written by David Walliams, Illustrated by Tony Ross

Jack and Grandpa are best friends and Jack is the only one who truly understands his grandfather. Grandpa “wears his slippers to the supermarket, serves Spam a la Custard for dinner, and often doesn’t remember Jack’s name and calls him Squadron Leader.” Yet, Jack loves to listen for hours to Grandpa’s stories of his adventures during WWII. Grandpa’s mind is slowly being taken over by Alzheimer’s disease and he spends more and more time in 1940s England where he served the RAF as a heroic Spitfire pilot. This causes unending exploits that finally cause Jack’s Mum and Dad to send him to Twilight Towers Rest Home much to Jack’s dismay. For Twilight Towers is not the caring home for the elderly as it appears. And Grandpa thinks it is Colditz Castle, the most heavily fortified prisoner of war camp there is! Jack realizes he must get his Grandpa out of this horrible place and plans a breakout. Will they succeed? Find out when you read Grandpa’s Great Escape. The subject matter of Alzheimer’s disease is handled with sensitivity, heart and humor. Jack’s love for his grandpa is so touching and sweet. Yet, there is much British humor throughout the whole story making it delightful. Readers will love Grandpa (Wing Commander) and Jack (Squadron Leader), as well as a host of colorful characters and wild situations. It’s been said that author David Walliams is the heir to Roald Dahl and after reading this book I can see why. His British wit and humor are so like Mr. Dahl’s and Tony Ross’s illustrations are the perfect match to add to the humor of the story. I really liked this book and think it would make a great read aloud too!

Review by Renee Larsen, Hillside Elementary Media Center
Rating: ★★★★½ (4.5 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 5-8 or anyone who loves the style of Roald Dahl

Grandpa’s Great Escape
Written by David Walliams, Illustrated by Tony Ross
Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers
437 pages
Release Date: February 28, 2017 (USA)
A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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