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Chester Parsons Is Not a Gorilla

Narrated by: Neil Gardner
Length: 6 hrs and 54 mins
Categories: Children, Ages 8-10
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Summary

A fast-paced, mind-boggling and hilarious yet thought-provoking listen from the author of The Imagination Box series.

When Chester discovers he can mind jump, his sister Amy wastes no time in putting his new skills to work boosting the viewing figures on her video blog. And when a TV company takes them global, he does his most daring mind jump yet, into the brain of Tito the gorilla. The trouble is, when he tries to return to his own body - it's gone! Has it been stolen? But who would want it, and why? And how come Chester suddenly has the urge to search Amy's hair for fleas?

©2019 Martyn Ford (P)2019 W. F. Howes Ltd

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Sci-fi idea effectively conveyed for children

Claire North's 'Touch' beautifully conveyed a scenario and world where individuals could touch another person and their consciousness would be transferred into this new body. I was reminded of that when seeing the scenario for this children's book, in which Chester one day discovers he can 'mind jump' into other bodies - both human and animal.

With no explanation of course, Chester Parsons, a pretty regular boy, sudden finds he can inhabit the body of other people... his sister... as well as dogs and other animals around him. So what would YOU do if you found yourself with this unique ability? Well, Chester's sister Amy has the idea of using it to help her vlog viewing figures. 'Like, of course'! But when he jumps into a gorilla and can't get back into his body (which has vanished), the race is on to work out what's happened before Chester becomes stuck inside Tito for good.

An inspired idea for a children's book, with some science concepts, science fiction, as well as good old-fashioned mystery/whodunnit notions, a dose of family relationships and a totally bonkers police detective who's meant to be helping them.

It's a little madcap, the central concept has to be just accepted, but it's huge fun to read - I liked the vision of Amy as both the sister and a less-likeable version she uses in her online videos. There is tension as Chester's own personality begin to be under threat.

This works really well on audio, Chester's young voice comes across strongly, he and Amy talking are realistically conveyed by the narrator, as is their detective escort, a very amusing invention. I'll be listening to this with my 8-year-old shortly, I think he'll enjoy the story and have no trouble following it.

I've read Ford's first 'Imagination Box' story and enjoyed that also, and would definitely continue to look out for more by the author. This book I would recommend to ages 8-13.

With thanks to Nudge Books for providing a sample Audible copy.