Outside in World | Browse Books
Use our Book Finder to search for books by Title (or part of the title), Author, ISBN, Age Range, Keyword, or Continent/Country. Then simply click the magnifying glass to start your search.
‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Fruitloops and Dipsticks
by Ulf Stark
Age Range: 12+
Simone is unhappy with her life. She has to move house and school to follow her impulsive artist mother who is moving in with her new boring boy-friend, Ingvar on the other side of town. To make matters worse Simone’s flaky mother has forgotten her daughter’s twelfth birthday; their dog Kilroy is left behind and subsequently goes missing, and Grandpa has run away from the care home and turns up on their doorstep. And this is just the start of everything!
Simone’s relationship with her mother is volatile – most of the time she is embarrassed by her. It is her Grandpa who teaches her to embrace life. Simone and Grandpa share a special bond. ‘We’re a family of eccentrics and bores, what we call fruitloops and dipsticks’. Grandpa explains. ‘Your mother is a fruitloop, like me. My mother was a fruitloop. And I know they’re not easy to live with. Then there are a whole lot of dipsticks. They may be easier to get on with but they are not much fun!’
On the first day at her new school the teacher mistakes her for a boy and that’s when the trouble really starts. Simone becomes a rebel channelling her anger into an elaborate lie. She decides that life as a boy can’t be that difficult but of course it leads to a lot of farcical situations in this comedy of errors; from finding herself stuck in the shower room with a group of boys, trouble over a stolen handbag and fending off a girl who has a crush on her. Simone quickly discovers that life is exactly as Grandpa has described it: full of fruitloops and dipsticks.
Fruitloops and Dipsticks is a funny and heart-warming novel from the award-winning Swedish author Ulf Stark. His ‘Percy’ books have already demonstrated his wonderful humorous storytelling and this book is no exception. Stark shows Simone to be at times quite streetwise, but also captures her innocence with a deft humour. There are several themes in throughout this novel including identity, dysfunctional family life and adolescent sexuality. There is also an unmistakable Scandinavian flavour: such things such as two girls kissing (albeit it by accident) and nudity is presented in a perfectly natural way but almost tongue in cheek. There is pathos too – Simone’s missing dog, her Grandpa's grief over the loss of his wife and his final illness at the end of the book.