Plot: Dylan is the only boy who lives in a very small Welsh town named Manod. He has an older sister and a younger sister. His job is to keep the logs for their small business, and he is very thorough. All three have come up with different ways to help their automobile business, Snowdonia Oasis Auto Marvel, profit. Many of their ideas just do not work out. However, the day that some strange men in a bunch of white vans turn up out of nowhere do they decide to turn to crime. They discover than the men are from the National Gallery in London and all of the vans are filled with valuable paintings. After a misunderstanding with the head guy, Dylan gets an in with the paintings. Dylan’s dad goes missing and he takes advantage of his in with the paintings to gains some money at the auto shop.
Review: Dylan and his two sisters are trying as hard as they can to make money for their shop, the Snowdonia Oasis Auto Marvel. When some unexpected guys show up in their small town of Manod, Wales things start to turn interesting in town. Turns out the guys are from the National Gallery in London and they are carting loads of valuable paintings up the mountain for safe keeping. Dylan and his sister decide to take matters into their own hands when their father goes missing and result to crime. Boyce has created a piece of art all his own. This story is hilarious from start to end. The chapters are set up as a log book that Dylan is keeping track of so each new chapter starts with the date, whether, and customers who came through that day. Then he goes into the events that occurred that day. Once you pick this book up you will not be able to put in down, or stop laughing.
Reading Level/Interest Level: 4.2/3-6 graders
Similar Materials: The Willoughbys by Lois Lowery
Reader’s Advisory: I enjoyed this book from the very first page. Dylan and his younger sister are hilarious, as is the entire situation they are going through. I love that as the reader you get to hear the thoughts of Dylan and wonder if all young children think the same way, it’s just too funny. Boyce’s first novel Millions won the Carnegie Medal and is said to be quite good, as well.