Right kids, listen up. Crime is no laughing matter and it is definitely not funny. Now, just put that thought aside for one moment because when Tom McLaughlin’s writing a story about it then crime is bursting with laugh-out-loud fun and hilarious hijinks.
In a very English part of England live the Goodfellows. They are what you might call the perfect family; the children win school prizes and captain sports teams, the parents work hard and volunteer to help the community. Their not so exciting lives takes an unexpected turn when a meal in a pizza restaurant results in the family winning an all expenses paid trip to New York. A dream holiday of sight-seeing, shopping, delicious food and New York experiences awaits. But no sooner have they gotten off the plane than they mistakenly identify themselves as ‘goodfellas’ and are soon up to their necks in crime and danger…
A case of mistaken identity at the airport leads to an ordinary family trying to cut it as badass gangsters in this brilliant comedy crime caper. As the Goodfellows cross paths with the goodfellas there are misunderstandings aplenty, unexpected twists and hastily thought up plans are needed as events quickly snowball creating confusion and mayhem for all.
The holiday of a lifetime this may not be but it is certainly a memorable one - largely for all of the wrong reasons. In a madcap sequence of events the hapless Goodfellows find themselves partaking in a not a robbery, in possession of stolen diamonds with their fingerprints on them, holding a briefcase of stolen cash, appearing as ‘WANTED’ on TV, associating with a mafia boss and his crew and participating in the most ridiculous of car chases.
Guided by Michael’s knowledge of the gangster shows he has watched and the video games he has played, the Goodfellows might just be able to return the diamonds, explain the mix-up to the police, keep themselves out of jail and avoid any number of deaths by gangster, namely swimming with the fishes, disappearing in a concrete mixer or vanishing in the freezer. But with notorious crime boss Big T hot on their tail it won’t be easy!
Told over ten very enjoyable and entertaining chapters and with lots of brilliant illustrations, McLaughlin’s lively story-telling will keep readers hooked. Big T and his associates provide the perfect opportunity for some great reading aloud in your best gangster crime boss voice and I would enjoy the book with some good old gangster food to properly get into character - pizza or a serving of spaghetti and meatballs would be my choice.
With huge thanks to Barrington Stoke for this brilliant story!
Recommended for 8+.