Two Weeks with the Queen by Morris Gleitzman

Two Weeks with the Queen by Morris Gleitzman

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This isn't at all the carefree story implied by the title and cover artwork--terminal cancer, AIDS, gay-bashing and death are treated tenderly here, in appropriate middle-reader fashion.

Colin Mudford, an Australian boy, suspects that his parents favor his younger brother, Luke. When Luke collapses suddenly and is hospitalized, Colin wistfully imagines he has a malady of his own. Yet upon hearing that Luke will die of cancer, Colin sets out to find a doctor to cure him. Sent to live with relatives in England, Colin first tries soliciting the Queen's help, then approaches hospital physicians.

He eventually meets Ted, a gay man whose lover is dying of AIDS. Colin and Ted support one another through a difficult time (including Ted's assault by homophobic thugs), which enables Colin to shed his self-centered ways and allow a brave, resourceful and loving person to emerge.

Gleitzman's liberal sprinkling of humor prevents the novel from becoming too dark.

Recommended for readers aged 8-12 Years

Paperback / 128 pages