Review Shout Out: Exit Through the Gift Shop

Moving, meaningful and memorable in so many marvellous ways, Exit Through The Giftshop is worthy of re-reads despite the ending, knowing the ending and wishing for a different with life, there is sometimes no second reprieve but that does not mean it is not worth living the most beautiful life you can while you can. This is Ana's message which is so eloquently told by Maryam Master.

For some time after reading this, I felt unable to articulate exactly how I felt about it or how it made me feel. The comedy is unforced and uplifting. It's a very funny book. The poignancy is stirring and will result in a one or two dampened tissues. It's a gut wrenchingly sad book. The reality is knife-point sharp, a telling portrayal of schoolyard bullying, torment and societal adaptation. It is told with punchy first-person authenticity. The presentation is super engaging, chockers with images, side gags, and witty definitions, it feels like a graphic novel hybrid which in no way impedes its readability. Astred Hick's retro-esque illustrations are side-splittingly adapt and good.

In short, I loved it. And yet, the words to describe Ana's last year of life as recorded by her in an epic school assignment, still evaded me. Her candour, fears, and incredible, big-hearted love of life transcends my ability thus I'm including this review by Kids' Book Review reviewer, Jo Antareau as an accurate and identical representation of my thoughts. Do read this book. Despite the seemingly bleak theme of girl-dying-from-cancer, Exit Through the Gift Shop celebrates the best of goodwill, tenacity, friendship, optimism and reality.

Click on the internal image below for Jo's full review.

Title: Exit Through the Gift Shop
Author: Maryam Master
Illustrator: Astred Hicks
Publisher: Pan MacMillan, $16.99
Publication Date: 27 July 2021
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781760983512
For ages: 8 -12 years
Type: Middle Grade Fiction

Buy the Book: Pan MacMillan, Boomerang Books

Reprinted with permission. Internal image courtesy of Astred Hicks.


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