Ready to discover another great book for this 2022? Take a look…

The Dangerous Life of Ophelia Bottom by Susie Bower

Genre: Children’s Fiction
Publisher: Pushkin Press
Rating: 4’5/5
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About The Book

A refreshingly comic and fast-paced mystery about a girl learning the value of not fitting in, from acclaimed author of School for Nobodies and The Three Impossibles Ophelia Bottom longs for an ordinary life: to have normal, well-behaved parents rather than embarrassing actors, and to live in a house that stays still. Instead, she’s stuck living in a rickety converted van – and having to manage her parents’ often disastrous plays at Bottom’s Travelling Theatre.
When the family are forced to stay in the idyllic town of Stopford, Ophelia’s dream appears to be coming true. But someone is trying to drive the Bottoms out, and there’s the issue of the strange Stopford motto: PLASTIC IS FANTASTIC – DIFFERENT IS DANGEROUS. Can Ophelia discover what lurks behind Stopford’s perfect appearance, before she loses everything that makes her family so special?


My Thoughts

Do you know the quote “Be Careful What You Wish For”? This is a clear view of sometimes what we envy or wish is not really what we want but what we think we want.
This is the story of Ophelia Botton, a young girl who wishes to have a “normal” life with “normal” parents, not two actors that live in a van. So, she thinks that her dream will come true when they start living at the “perfect” Stopford, her family will be normal there! Or will they not?
I love the joke with the word “Stopford” instead of the “Stepford” wife, which means a married woman who submits to her husband’s will and is preoccupied by domestic concerns and her own personal appearance.
Because as an adult I love being different, it makes you special, but I don’t think that when you are young you really appreciate it, so I can understand the need Ophelia has. She doesn’t want to stand out, but at the same time she loves her parents; so this will be the start of the problem… will she follow the rules at the perfect “Stopford”? Or will it make them understand that being different is not dangerous but makes you feel unique?
I have to say that I loved this book; interesting and funny but it’s not only this, it teaches some real and important values to the reader. An adventure that I really can’t wait to read again with my son! Are you really into “The Dangerous Life of Ophelia Bottom”?


About The Author

By the time she hit her teens, Susie Bower had lived in 8 houses and attended 7 schools. This theme continued in her working life: she’s been a teacher, a tour-guide, a typist, a workshop facilitator, a PA and a painter. She formerly wrote and directed TV programmes for children at the BBC and Channel 4, for which she won a BAFTA Award, and she currently writes audio scripts. School for Nobodies, The Three Impossibles and Shoo! are also available from Pushkin Children’s. Susie lives in Bristol.