Rex Zero, the Great Pretender
Written by Tim Wynne-Jones
Publication Date September 01, 2009
Commended, Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Books: Historical Fiction
It's September 1963 when Rex is blindsided by some unexpected news. His family is moving again -- just to the other side of the city, as it turns out, but it might as well be the other side of the moon as far as Rex is concerned. In desperation, he secretly starts taking public transit back to his old school -- a plan that works just fine until he runs out of money.
When his sister Annie catches him stealing change from his mum's purse, sisterly blackmail becomes another problem. Not only that, but Rex has got on the bad side of Spew, the hockey thug bully from his old school, and Spew and his sidekicks Puke and Dribble are out to get Rex -- and they know where he lives. Rex ends up using his wits and lively imagination to get himself out of his pickle, with some sobering and surprising consequences.
Selected for the Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Books: Historical Fiction 2010
Selected for the Resource Links' Year's Best 2010
Tim Wynne-Jones is one of Canada's foremost writers for children. The author of over thirty-five books, he is a two-time winner of the Governor General's Award, as well as a two-time winner of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award and of the Arthur Ellis Award. He is the recipient of many other prizes at home and internationally including the Edgar Award and the Vicky Metcalf Award for a Body of Work. In 2012 he was made an Officer to the Order of Canada. He lives in Perth, Ontario.
"Genuinely wholesome, packed with affectionate humor, tension and joy." Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
"...an entertaining picaresque tale of what life might have been like for a particularly imaginative every-boy in Ottawa nearly a half a century ago." Quill & Quire
"...funny, wise and true...Wynne Jones is a dab hand at depicting the bizarre logic and comfortable strangeness of family..." Toronto Star
"...shot through with affectionate humour...[The Rex Zero series] are Canadian Classics, recommended for youth and adults alike...Wynne-Jones depicts the mayhem that is family life and growing up with comic spirit and ebullient vigour...has the gift of using plaing short words in an extraordinary way, jolting into life the slightest of details with little words...often hilarious..." Toronto Star
"Perfect pacing, brilliant dialogue and characterization, and a hero of whom almost anyone would want to be a friend are just a few of Wynne Jones's trademarks as a novelist, and The Great Pretender wears all of them in full fig." Globe and Mail