July 1 2021
Shockingly good stories, by RA Spratt
Title: Shockingly good stories
Author: RA Spratt
Genre/ issues: Middle grade. Comedy. Short stories. Fractured fairy tales
I have to admit, I’d not read anything by RA Sprett before I picked up this gem. I’ve met her, I’ve admired her passion for storytelling and her ability to engage with her readers, and I’ve gifted many of her books to people in my life (including the reader pictured!) but I’d not gotten around to reading any of her work myself. Shockingly Good Stories is an incredibly entertaining collection of short stories – fractured fairytales from Nanny Piggins, previously unpublished Friday Barnes mysteries, and a bunch of other witty, hilarious and entertaining tall tales. It’s perfect for fans of her work, or for those who need convincing that they should really pull that box set they bought last year off their shelf and get stuck into it! (Yes, self, I’m looking at you.)
One of the things I love the most about the writing in this collection is how much Spratt obviously respects her young readers. Some stories deal with some fairly higher-order concepts, including stereotypical gender roles and discrimination. Spratt manages to handle the complexity of these issues with both brevity and humour, without talking down to her readers – there’s an implicit acknowledgment and respect of the ability of young readers to understand and appreciate the nuances of such ideas. I’m definitely a fan, and will be incorporating some of the storytelling tips scattered throughout the book into any future presentations on why stories matter.
This gem is out tomorrow – it’d be a great gift, or a fab addition to your read-aloud story collection.