Book 26 – The Thing With Finn

Book – The Thing With Finn
Author – Tom Kelly
Year – 2007
Genre – Children’s

I have always been of the opinion that the phrase ‘Never judge a book by its cover’ is a load of rubbish – well, when specifically relating to books at least.  I say instead ‘Feel free to judge a book by its cover, so long as you read it and then make an informed opinion afterwards, because at the end of the day, at least you will have a good looking book on your bookshelf, even if the book itself is a load of crap.’  And therein lies one of the many reasons I don’t invent sayings.

The Thing With Finn is a book that I judged by its cover.  As you can see above, it is a pretty funky cover which looks fun.  The copy I bought was also swayed by the part of the cover that said ’75p’, but the fact remains that I could judge this to be a fun book just by a glace at the front of it.

What I didn’t expect from the cover was for the book to be quite moving.  The story is written from the point of view of a ten year old boy called Danny.  From the beginning we learn that things have never been the same since ‘the thing with Finn’, and that Danny is having some very definite issues – culminating in his destruction of a stuffed otter sitting in the window of an old man’s house.  We follow Danny as we learn what has happened to him, and as he struggles with his feelings on it.

From a description like this, it feels like it could be a dark, Piquolt-esque book, but the style of writing is unmistakably that of a ten year old boy.  More time is spent talking about farts, weeing and the joys of Cheesy Wotsits that dwelling on anything sinister, and the juxtaposition of this with the growing realisiation of his situation is fantastic.

Aimed at kids, this is definitely a prime example of the kind of book that trancends age, and would appeal to most adults.  Yet another example of the wonderful vein of amazing children’s literature that is out there, and many adults are yet to touch.


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