Life of Riley, Beginner’s Luck by Simon James Green

Written by Simon James Green
Published by Scholastic UK

Riley has been cursed by a fortune teller, after an unfortunate sneezing episode. He is convinced that a terrible curse is the reason behind all that goes wrong in his life.

There are some hilarious, laugh out loud moments involving glue, flooding bathtubs and dive bombing seagulls. It all happens to Riley- until Brad arrives. Brad is the glossy new kid in town and Riley is keen to be his friend.

In a moment of clarity, Riley remembers the fortune teller, before the curse, saying that “a young man will have a huge impact on you”. Now Brad is the good luck charm to Riley’s misfortunes, or so Riley believes.

Is it just coincidence that nothing bad happens while Brad is around? In order to prove his theory, Riley all but stalks Brad to ensure his safety. With some elements of a more mature book, it is easy to forget that Riley and Brad are only 10.

Simon James Green has created a brilliant middle grade book full of hilarious disasters that plaque a young boy. He is a charming, endearing character and one I was rooting for throughout the book.

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