Monday, December 8, 2014

Book Review by a 10 Year Old: Zachary Mackerel: Meanie in a Bottle by Kate Poels


I had always hoped that my eldest son would be a reader - I didn't want to push him but I got so much pleasure from books as a child that I really wanted him to experience that too. Thankfully, he adores books as much as I do, and has been known to buy 10 at a time from a market or second hand stall.

His favourite authors are Jeff Kinney, David Walliams, Roald Dahl and R.L. Stine. I find it difficult sometimes to find new books for him, he isn't really into fantasy or sci-fi. When I heard about Zachary Mackerel: Meanie in a Bottle, I was delighted because it sounded like something he'd love. The author Kate Poels was kind enough to send us a hard copy for Shane, and he read it over a couple of nights.

Here is Shane's Review:

"It was the best book I've read, ever. It was exciting, funny, and heart warming, I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fiction. It is about a girl who finds a small bottle & there is a really mean genie inside, but when she uses the wishes bad things begin to happen. She must do something fast."

When I asked him if he wanted to elaborate any more he said:

"No, I can't give any more of the story away because the ending of any book is the best part and if I gave that away nobody would bother reading it because there wouldn't be any suspense".

So there you go.

Here's the official blurb from the book:

Maisie Gable is a fairly ordinary ten-year-old girl. 

Mr. Bumcheeks is the mosquito-like bully of a teacher who always picks on her.

Joe Hopkins is the teacher's pet who torments her at every opportunity.

And Zachary Mackerel is the foul-mouthed, cantankerous purple genie about to change their lives.

With filthy habits, gruesome personal hygiene issues and a fearsome potty mouth, Zachary Mackerel may not be the vision of a picture book genie. However, he does have his uses. through him Maisie finds that wishes are not always a blessing but, when they are used wisely, great things can happen.

I read the book too, I didn't think it would be fair to review unless both of us read it. I thought it was funny  - it's aimed at children so my 10 year old thought it was HILARIOUS, especially the fact that the teacher was called Mr. Bumcheeks. One scene in particular involving Mr. Bumcheeks and Kazoos had him howling so much that he cried laughing. It's 154 pages long so it's not intimidating for a child. There's no bad language in it really, the odd "poo" but nothing rude, nothing I'd be worried about a 10 year old reading. 

It's a great addition to our bookshelves and I'd recommend it as a book choice for 8-12 year olds this Christmas. 

You can buy it at here 


  1. Kids are seriously the greatest. I am STILL telling my boyfriend stories about the little girl I used to babysit for a year ago.

    rae of love from berlin

  2. Awww, this is adorable! I love when children are into reading, it's such a great hobby to have and it gets such a bad name for being boring. I've had people say that books are 'real' presents and that they'd be disappointed if their children got books as presents. I personally couldn't get enough of books as presents!


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