Hubert Shrubb takes charge: Sue Graves

Good afternoon readers, and happy Wednesday to you all. Something a little different compared to yesterdays ‘classic.’ Although currently reading a number including ‘Of Mice and Men’ which I managed to avoid during English Literature lessons and The Popular Girl by one of my favourite authors Fitzgerald, I am going to be splitting them up with more contemporary fiction. Today another ‘children’s book’ although this one is for an older age group than I normally review however I thought it was a good tale with some good thought behind it. Thank you for Publishing Push for the copy and without further ado onto the review.

When Hubert Shrubb has to leave his expensive prep school to go to the local village school, he feels that his world has collapsed. His new headteacher, Mr Cogsworthy, seems to be as mad as a box of frogs and the kids take delight in mocking Hubert’s posh ways. The only ray of sunshine is Miss Lamb, his teacher. One day, however, the children learn that she must leave the school and everyone is upset, none more so than Hubert. He decides it’s time to show his amazing leadership skills and save Miss Lamb. However he soon discovers this is much harder than thought….

So as the blurb suggests, the book follows Hubert who’s family have recently fallen from their lofty wealthy status and has found himself in the local village school. Not taught Latin and having to bring in packed lunches for their ‘dinner’ Hubert finds himself a little over-whelmed. Whilst finding his feet the other pupils ridicule him and due to this he finds it impossibly hard to fit in. Until he finds Miss Lamb in tears at her desk, with a little investigation he finds she is to leave the school due to a lack of students and therefore a lack of fees to pay her wages. Hubert rounds up the students and together they put together a plan to save the teachers job and pay her wages despite the difficult Mr Cogsworthy.

Okay, so first things first this is a very sweet story revolving around compassionate students fighting for a teacher who may be able to teach them a thing or two. The story is well written and moves with pace, it only takes us a couple of pages to find that Hubert is moving to the new school and then straight into the action at the new school. I liked the notable differences made between the prep school and the local village school, which helped to create contrast between the two bands of student. The characters are well described and although a short story managed to get in a number of good character profiles. Hubert is well to do, but learns quickly and is both polite and respectful of adults, the rest of the children including Angie and Mark although wary of Hubert and his ways are slowly turned to like the main character whilst supporting their own traits.

The plot weaves a little, and has a couple of adversities that the children help to over-come, lead by the sweet natured Hubert. In terms of believability it is a little difficult to believe that a handful of children could raise the money to cover the wages of a school teacher on the backs of their parents and a couple of volunteers however this is only a minor thought. It’s a sweet story but I did think it might be edging towards a little implausible and although children’s books should notably have a moral this one being, I assume, that you can do anything you put your mind too, it did start to push this. However a very sweet story, a quick read and a wonderful challenge for a younger child. Rather lovely.

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