Alex Sparrow and the Really Big Stink


Alex Sparrow likens himself to a superhero. He deflects the blows of  tormentors deftly, he considers. He steps stealthily, barely casting a shadow. Readers are quick to realise that Alex is rather deluded. His goldfish has more sense…

When Alex responds to an internet popup from a Professor inviting him to purchase a lie detector, everything changes. The fizz bang in his ear initiates a superpower that enables Alex to decipher lies. There’s an unfortunate side effect however in that Alex becomes ‘Alex Sparrow and the Really Big Stink‘. Can you imagine how intolerable that might be in a crowded school playground? Alex is overwhelmed! Why has he been singled out?

When Alex discovers another at his school who has been targeted by the Professor, the new, oddly formed pair are perplexed at their choosing and their mission. Before long they realise that it may have something to do with the grotesque Miss Smillie of the ‘smares’ (glaring smiles). She’s a leading proponent of a new programme at school called PALS. However, something peculiar happens to the children who become involved with PALS. What is going on? Surely unearthing the truth can’t be the responsibility of two bickering Year 6 children, a goldfish and a pigeon? It seems that way!

‘Alex Sparrow and the Really Big Stink‘ is a truly original, captivating, funny and very school-scented (sorry Alex) story that absorbed this reader hugely. Now onto its sequel… ‘Alex Sparrow and the Furry Fury’!


Alex Sparrow and the Really Big Stink

Jennifer Killick

(Firefly Press)

Rather like Alex Sparrow, I have arrived at this superb title rather the wrong way round. I didn’t reply to an internet popup. Nor am I deluded about friendships or super heroics. However, I read Jennifer Killick’s Mo, Lottie and the Junkers ahead of ‘Alex Sparrow and the Really Big Stink’. I was absorbed by that title; it is one of my books of the year. Now…
That popup? Promising an amazing lie-detector? Alex follows it through. The amazing BANG that follows is repeated whenever he hears a lie. Not only that, but it seems like each lie is accompanied by a really big stink. Alex is so overwhelmed that he takes to wearing an embarrassing hat, for in crowds, such as school, the stench of lies is too much to take.
Why has Alex been sought out by a mysterious Prof? Could it be that there’s another, also at his school, whom the Prof has granted some exceptional power? Why? What does this Professor have in mind for them? And why their school? Alex and Jess are hardly PALS for starters…


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