Not just rescuing ISBN: 9780749741631
Published by Egmont, 2002
Joanna and Ralph have been sent for the summer to their aunt in Bournmouth. Aunty Nell Bly, as they call her, is not keen on children, but she is very much 'into' rescuing animals. Joanna would be 'into' boys if they had shown any interest, but so far they haven't. Ralph has a physical disability that means he must use callipers and a wheelchair - possibly cerebral palsy, though this is not mentioned specifically. The story is written through Joanna's eyes, but we learn a great deal about 13 year old, intelligent, sometimes arrogant Ralph - particularly his hatred of SAS (stupid automatic sympathy). 'Interestingness,' says Joanna. That's what he's really into. 'Well, and a ramp or two would improve his life.' The story has a wonderfully jaunty lilt, sometimes slightly marred by a stylistic tendency to be unclear, and we enjoy the various animal rescue escapades, the very real relationship between Joanna and Ralph with its inevitable tensions, Joanna's finding of her white knight in a spotty vet's assistant, and Ralph's night out with the boys. The problems of being disabled are treated naturally and without sentimentality. A good read.