Wednesday 7 August 2013

Crazy Relief Teachers: Mr Jackpot and the Stash of Cash

Crazy Relief Teachers: Mr Jackpot and the Stash of Cash by Matt Porter (Celapene Press)
PB RRP $12.95
ISBN 9780987367723
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

The third book in the Crazy Relief Teachers series is just as outlandish as all the previous ones. Mr Jackpot, the game show host of Stash of Cash, is the new relief teacher to Grade 6B at Outback Creek Primary. The class is convinced that he has come to splash cash around to the most deserving, as this is what he does on his show. They get excited, especially Steele who dreams of getting new goal posts to replace the old rusted ones that were removed long ago so they can practice footy and take part in the Outback Creek Cup.

But the class’s first impression of him is that ‘his brain has spun up bankrupt’, for the challenges he sets out are as corny as the jokes and games they become part of. But in the Crazy Relief Teacher tradition, the class joins in the fun amidst endless, clever game show puns.

But there are surprises. Mr Jackpot invites the grumpy and long suffering Mr Thompson, whose house borders with the school oval, and who is always complaining about the footy being kicked into his yard, to appear on This Was Your Life. As in every situation, there are always two sides to every story. The content of the show reveals unexpected facts about Mr Thompson and family, and brings about a surprising resolution to Grade 6B’s goal post dilemma.

There are lots of laughs to be had, and the impressive word play at which Matt Porter is a master, keeps the reader cackling as they speed through the story.

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