Stig Of The Dump
Stig of the Dump by Clive King is a delightful children?s novel. Many children have imaginary friends and Barney?s grandparents think that is precisely what their eight-year-old grandson Barney has. However, Stig, a stone age boy who lives in the nearby rubbish dump, is only too real. Barney first encounters him when he falls into the dump one day during a visit to his grandparents; each ensuing visit then leads to Barney and Stig having another adventure. These adventures create the structure of the book and, though technically a novel, each chapter forms a short story in itself. Thus, the book is excellent for the young reader whose concentration span does not stretch to a novel. Though the hero is eight, this book is perhaps a little difficult for an eight-year-old to read on their own and would be better suited for a child of ten. However, for younger readers, it makes an excellent book for reading with a parent.Though the book could be read by either sex, it is mainly a book for boys. A constant theme of the story concerns the uses Stig makes of the items thrown on the dump; from old tins to broken umbrellas. The inventiveness of the cave boy is sure to appeal to children who delight in making up imaginative uses for the mundane. All the other elements that appeal to children are here too: the secret friend the adults don?t believe in; the robbers foiled by Barney and Stig; the bullies put in their place by Stig; humour (the chapter about Barney and Stig?s hunting trip is hilarious); the author?s playful use of language and, of course, the happy ending.British readers may be familiar with Stig of the Dump because of the well-known children?s TV series. The novel is perhaps less well known, but is much more rewarding.