BrilliantAges 7 to 11
Roddy Doyle's 'brilliant' Brilliant is a wonderful, heartwarming middle grade tale of friendship and family.
Gloria and Rayzer must save their Uncle Ben. The black dog has got him.
At least, that's what they heard their granny say. And she says it's taken Dublin's funny bone too.
As Uncle Ben’s Dublin business fails, it's clear to Gloria and Rayzer that something is wrong. He just isn’t his usual cheerful self. Gathering all their courage the children set out on a midnight quest to hunt down the Black Dog and chase it away.
Gloria and Rayzer are really brave, but the black dog is really scary – and soon they realize that they can't fight it alone. Before long loads of other children are searching for it too, because the Black Dog is hounding lots of Dublin's adults. Together – and with the help of magical animals, birds and rodents – the children manage to corner the Black Dog . . . but will they have the courage and cleverness to destroy the frightening creature?
The children of Dublin battle a terrible malaise through the use of a special word, and a good dose of magic realism.
This novel is simply brilliant, without wanting to say that I had to say it. Roddy Doyle's trademark dialogue with some really great, entertaining characters for children works wonderfully. . . I expect nothing less from one of Ireland's finest and am so pleased his children's fiction is as wonderful as his adult's.
A sensitive and excellently written portrayal of depression and the effects on not just the individual but those around them. Would be great paired with Levi Pinfold's Black Dog and used as a discussion point.