Review: Rock Star Detectives by Adam Hills

How much fun is Rock Star Detectives the debut children's novel from comedian Adam Hills? (Or should I say, Adelaide's own Adam Hills?) Charley is an international singing sensation, thanks to her superb vocals and the savvy work of her best friend George who has promoted her online. Together with Charley's cousin Sam who acts as her manager, the pair travel from their home in England to various localities in Europe where Charley performs for her fans. But on a trip to Amsterdam there is a problem. A valuable artwork the pair viewed and shared on Instagram has been stolen. And Charley and George are the chief suspects? Can the pair clear their names and find the real thief? 

As you probably guessed from my opening sentence, I had a lot of fun reading this one. Sure I'm a hell of a lot older than the target audience, but sometimes its fun to sit back and read something purely for the fun of it. Charley makes for an interesting character--imagine being an international singing star at twelve--but sorry, my favourite character was definitely George, a budding comedian and social media whizz. There is a bit of diversity in the mix as well--George is in a wheelchair and the plot treats it like a strength rather than something that would make the reader feel sorry for him, which is precisely the way that differences should be portrayed in children's fiction. I also liked the contrast between their lives at a ridiculously, comically underfunded school and their trips to Europe. Charley and George are lucky and they know it, but they still have to contend with attending a school with limited resources, teachers who put their quest for more funds ahead of everything else, and there's an interesting take on bullying. (I like that they're not portrayed as wholly innocent and the way the situation is resolved, though Vanessa's antics did make me giggle.)

Great fun.

Recommended.

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