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Clownfish

Narrated by: Piers Hampton
Length: 4 hrs and 8 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

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Summary

A moving and stunningly original story of friendship and life after loss, from award-winning and much-loved author Alan Durant. 

Dak's dad has been dead for seven days when suddenly he reappears. He's the same in almost every way, with one startling exception: Dad has turned into a clownfish and now lives in a tank at their local aquarium. Dak is delighted by the news - he has Dad back, even if he isn't quite as he was before. Deciding to keep Dad's transformation a secret, Dak visits him at the aquarium as often as he can and ends up spending so much time there that they offer him a job. 

This is how he comes to meet Violet, the owner's prickly but kindhearted niece; when the aquarium is threatened with closure, the pair must work together to save it. For Dak, the stakes couldn't be higher...after all, if the aquarium shuts down, what will happen to the fish?  

From award-winning author Alan Durant comes a surreal, poignant story about family bonds and loss. In parts wry, moving and undoubtedly strange, this beautifully crafted story will stay with you long after the final chapter. 

©2018 Alan Durant (P)2018 Bolinda

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Moving, gently funny story about grief, friendship

... and fish.

A touching premise - Dak dad's has just died. But Dak's grieving process takes a strange turn as he discovers his dad has become a clownfish at the aquarium he used to love. Able to converse with his son, as well as continue to share appalling jokes, Dak visits every day and ends up working there (missing school). He also meets the snarky neice of the owner, and their burgeoning friendship - and Dak's dad - could prove useful as the aquarium comes under threat.

Dak and his situation is poignant, it feels so surreal and yet so normal - talking to a fish - but for me it was Violet at the heart of the book, more so as we saw more of her. She is layered and a very realistic creation. I was keen to see what would happen if Dak ever told her his 'secret'.

You know there is going to come a time when Dak has to face up to his life and what has happened, and it was handled sensitively. This was a great audiobook, as Dak talks to us from the pages, the narrator chosen speaks with a young voice, a guileless pre-teen, and carried me along. I was keen to keep listening and finished it very quickly.

This, I would recommend for class reading and discussion, it would do well read aloud by a teacher, or as part of a book group choice. There are lots of delicate subjects covered, and done well, in a short space of time.

Suitable for ages 10 and above.

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