Featuring illustrations by Robin Boyden, Get Me Out of Here! by Andy McNab and Phil Earle is a humorous novel written for middle grade readers. The plot revolves around eleven-year-old Danny Mack’s desire to attend what he believes will be an epic, adventure-filled school field trip with mountaineering, kayaking, and zip-lining. However, the trip costs more than his mother can afford. So, in order to raise the $150.00 participation fee, Danny undertakes a series of “get rich quick” schemes.
His best friend Thomas Jefferson Raffles (aka Giraffles), who is always willing to stick his neck out for a pal, helps Danny to realize he’s not cut out for the barber business. Even Danny’s dog-walking business turns into a minor disaster.
Although Danny eventually secures the funds to participate in the Wild Out experience that the field trip promises, the trip itself delivers unexpected surprises. These begin when one of the chaperones gets sick at the last minute. Because the school is desperate for a replacement, they accept the services of Danny’s eighteen-year-old brother, Dylan.
The surprises continue when the group arrives at the camp site where there are no motels, no indoor plumbing, no restaurants, and no cell phone service. The sixth graders will have to literally live in the wild outdoors under the guidance of Geraldine Farquaharson-Smythe, aka Gerri, “a woman old enough to be a caveman’s grandma” (195) and who runs the camp like a drill sergeant or a Survivor show host.
At camp, Danny’s nemesis and arch-enemy, Dylan harasses his brother incessantly. In Danny’s estimation, Dylan is a “power-crazed meathead with only one friend, who happens to live in a mirror” (148). Because of Dylan’s efforts to make Danny’s life miserable, Danny ends up nursing a rashy rear and riding over rapids as his kayak writhes like a rodeo bull.
And that’s not the worst of it, as other challenges ensue. Despite her age, Gerri can out-climb the sixth graders and pushes them until Danny feels like he has lost his life force. Although he used to think he was a Jedi, Gerri’s cyborg-like energy and Dylan’s torture leave him feeling greener than Yoda. Before the adventure ends, Danny’s dream to be a freerunner is put to the ultimate test.
While McNab and Earle have written a novel that doesn’t skimp on the laughs, it is also one about friendship, perseverance, and pluck.
- Posted by Donna