Title: Beaky Malone World’s Greatest Liar
Author: Barry Hutchison
Illustrator: Katie Abey
Published: June 2nd 2016
Publisher: Stripes Publishing
Genre: Middle Grade, Humour
Length: 185 pages
Source: Paperback ARC from Publisher
Book Blurb (via Goodreads):
Dylan Malone, aka Beaky, has a habit for telling porkies – every time he opens his mouth, out pops a whopper… But then, his long-suffering sister shoves him into the truth-telling machine at Madame Shirley’s Marvellous Emporium of Peculiarities. Now Beaky can’t tell a lie – not even a teeny-weeny one – and a truth-telling Beaky is even worse…
The first title in a bran-new illustrated series. Beaky is the funny and endearing central character who ricochets from crazy caper to another. Expect madness and mayhem at every turn with guaranteed laugh-out-loud moments from one of the UK’s finest comedy writers for young people.
I was super excited when I first heard about this book. It sounded hilarious and the cover instantly drew my eye. Even though it’s targeted at a much younger audience, I found this book to be a riot from start to finish. Poor Beaky just doesn’t catch a break!
Beaky Malone is the best at lying. It just comes naturally to him. So when his sister drags him into a mysterious shop after a family trip goes horribly wrong and dares him to enter the ‘truth-telling’ machine, Beaky doesn’t expect anything to happen. Only it does, and now he can’t lie! Struggling to get his sister and best friend to believe him, while figuring out a way to get his lying ability back, Beaky causes more and more chaos with each word that comes out of his mouth.
This story was one of those books that I wish had been around when I was a young reader. I used to spend all my time as a kid in the library, reading stacks upon stacks of books, and I know that I would have loved this book just as much then as I did now as a twenty-six year old. I wish that it was longer, because reading it as an adult meant I flew through it far too quickly!
Beaky’s relationship with his family is strained due to his constant lies and when his ability to lie disappears altogether, it pushes his family over the edge. Causing nothing but grief for his Aunt and Uncle, who are staying with them for a few days, Beaky struggles to convince his sister that he isn’t just telling another lie and that he can’t actually say anything that isn’t true.
The classic ‘boy who cried wolf’ story definitely springs to mind with this one. Poor Beaky had told so many lies that no one would believe him now and his desperate attempts to fix things only succeeds in making things worse.
Exploring the consequences of lying and the hurtful aftereffects that it could have, Beaky Malone is an important lesson wrapped in hilarity. With an eclectic cast of characters, all making up Beaky’s family, this is a fun-filled, dramatic, disaster of an adventure that is a joy to read whatever age you are.
About the Author
Barry lives in Fort William with his partner, Fiona, and their two children, Kyle and Mia. He enjoys reading comics, eating seafood and writing about himself in the third person. His biggest fear is that someone will someday discover how much fun his job is and immediately put a stop to it. His second biggest fear is squirrels.
*Picture and Biography from author’s website