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Jimbo's big sister Becky has convinced him that is being sent to a school for mentally ill children. But when him and his best friend, Charlie, plant walkie talkies in the staff room to find out if this is true or not, they find out that two teachers, Mr. Kidd and Mrs. Pearce, speak a different language! They track their behavior and a man confronts them, telling them to leave them alone. He also says that if they don't they can do it the "hard way". He then melts a restaurant table with his finger and leaves. Jimbo and Charlie don't do as they are told and then, they kidnap Charlie. Jimbo and Becky then leave to save him which takes them on a mission across outer space; all the way to the Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy! They then rescue Charlie and go back to their normal lives.
Gridzbi Spudvetch! was published in 1992 by Walker Books. As mentioned in Boom!, Gridzbi Spudvetch had many faults. Mark Haddon admitted that 'no one could pronounce the title and know what the story was about until they read it', and also mentioned that the book was 'full of references to floppy disks, cassette players and Walkmans'. The book went rapidly out of print.
The book would have stayed out of print, but over the years several people commented about how much they loved the book. Alison Williams, the teacher of Lilac 4 from SS Philip and James Primary School in Oxford, said she had been reading the book to her children and how much they loved it. To prove this she sent letters from the children to Mark Haddon, which were all kind and funny and very complimentary. With some inspiration Mark Haddon made a new edition, which was published in 2009 under the title Boom!. The book is dedicated to them.
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