Welcome to our Anniversary Blog by resident blogger Jake Hope. Jake will be reading and reviewing all of the past CILIP Carnegie Medal winning books during the anniversary year. We are also asking shadowers to "Adopt a Book" and join in reading and discussing the anniversary titles in their shadowing groups.
"He’s slimy and creepy and revolting. He makes me absolutely sick. I only have to glance in his direction and I want to throw up."
Kitty Killin’s sheer disgust at her mother’s new boyfriend Gerald Faulkner leaps off the page in Anne Fine’s dark comedy, Goggle Eyes, set in a modern blended family. More than just a story about the changes that occur in Kitty and her sister, Jude’s, family, the book is a deft exploration of the way influence and control can be wielded. Set in the 1980s, Kitty and her family are campaigning for nuclear disarmament, but the measured Gerald – holder of the uncharitable moniker Goggle-Eyes due to his thick glasses – is less that certain that their heartfelt but somewhat chaotic approach is likely to gain results.
Fine’s writing is astutely observed cutting below layers of social convention with scalpel-like precision. There is much on offer to think about and to chuckle over as spirited Kitty recounts her tale, from the impact that decisions about the world children and young people grow up in affects their future – both on a small-scale within the family and, on a larger-scale, according to the politics of the country.
One of the exceptional qualities in Goggle-Eyes is the way that it is a story about a story unfolding... This places readers firmly at the heart of the narrative, encouraging us to measure our own lives against what happens to Kitty and finding ourselves wondering ‘what if’...