ulf stark- gecko press
things start going wrong for 12 year old simone when her mother decides they are to sell their apartment, and move to the country with the 'hat-idiot' aka ingvar, mother's boyfriend with a receding hairline and a complex about such hairline.
things get worse when, after the farewell party (practical because it meant you could get rid of a whole lot of things you didn't want to take with you), they move to the new house and discover they forgot the dog.
things get even worse after that. on the hunt for kilroy (the dog), mother finds kilroy and viciously harangues the nasty man that stole him. a battle ensues, and it is on their hasty (but victorious) exit to the car that simone (now out of earshot of the nasty dog stealer) must point out to mother that it the dog isn't infact kilroy, and another hasty getaway is necessary.
apparently mother is not much good at recognizing dogs. or people either, for that matter.
then things begin to go totally and completely avocado shaped when the new teacher leaves the 'e' off simone, and simone becomes a boy, simon (of course, it would be far to embarrassing to clear up, straight away, the gender mishap).
simon then gets into a bunch of mad adventures involving ducks, late night lake swimming, scalped beehives and carefully arranged cotton wool.
i really, really loved this book. i particularly loved grandpa, who rocks up at the new house wearing long johns, purloined high heels, hospital nightshirt flapping stylishly, snorting happily through the strands of hair in his nostrils.
actually, all the characters are really great, mostly eccentric (fruitloops), but even the non eccentric ones (dipsticks) are beautifully created, with curious little details that bring them to life very vividly.
it'll make you laugh, make you cry. it'll change your life! *
it really did make me laugh. and i cried, but it was the good type of crying.
*say it in a drunk, irish accent. or just go watch black books. bernard! bahahah.