The Brain Full of Holes, by Martin Chatterton

Cheese again.
It was always cheese.
Didn’t the Swiss have anything else to put on their sandwiches?
Sheldon McGlone looked at his lunch and shook his head with the air of someone well used to dealing with life’s disappointments.
It wasn’t that Sheldon really had anything against cheese, or dairy products, or the Swiss for that matter. He’d often enjoyed a tasty cheese sandwich back in Australia. But lately it seemed that all hed’ been getting on his school sandwiches was Swiss cheese, chock full of the completely pointless holes that they were so proud of.

Sheldon is a normal Australian boy. His mother has remarried and they have moved across the world to live in Switzerland. Sheldon’s stepbrother, and best friend, Theo (aka The Brain) considers himself the ‘World’s Greatest Detective’ and is acknowledged as a genius. It is The Brain who first notices that the Swiss cheese has no holes. Then Sheldon discovers that his can of Floop has no bubbles. For Sheldon, lots of things are different in Switzerland, but even he knows that something is not quite right. Then Helga Poom arrives. Helga seems to be a female equivalent of The Brain, but to Sheldon’s besotted eyes, much, much more attractive. Helga’s father has disappeared and she needs their help to find him.

The Brain Full of Holes is told in third person, by early-teen Sheldon. Sheldon is carried along in this wild adventure with his step-brother and the gorgeous Helga. The Brain Full of Holes is full of humour, including multiple puns and absurdities. Each character is like a House of Mirrors exaggeration of reality. The Brain is pale and skinny with a large head, Sheldon is bumbling and always playing catch-up to try and understand what’s going on. Fortunately both Brain and Helga are happy to show their extreme intelligence by providing detailed explanations on what’s going on. But Sheldon, the viewpoint character, has a part to play too as this adventure spirals to its particle shifting conclusion. Recommended for upper-primary to lower-secondary readers.

The Brain Full of Holes

The Brain Full of Holes, Martin Chatterton
Little Hare 2008
ISBN: 9871921272288

This book can be purchased online at Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereveiws.