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The Exploding Life of Scarlett Fife

The Exploding Life of Scarlett Fife Book 1

Published: 13 May 2021

Paperback / softback, 240 pages

Recommended for age 7+

By Maz Evans

Published by Hachette Children's Group

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Scarlett Fife has BIG FEELINGS. And when she has BIG FEELINGS, they explode out of her like an over-squeezed stress ball. Scarlett's in big trouble after a BIG FEELINGS episode leads to a runaway hamster getting into the vicar's trousers at her aunty's engagement party.

If she loses her temper ONE MORE TIME, she's going to miss out on her trip to Mega Awesome Sicky Fun World, the best theme park on the planet. But feelings are like slime in a party bag. No matter how much someone tells you to keep it in, it'll always find its way out.

And very soon, Scarlett notices that every time she pushes her feelings down, something explodes. Like ... really, properly explodes.

It might be her teacher's slimy green smoothie. A huge pot of purple paint. Or a massive pile of elephant poo at the zoo.

And let's hope Scarlett doesn't get mad at Aunty's wedding - that wedding cake is HUGE ... Laugh-out-loud action for every child and parent who has ever lost control of their feelings - this is sparkling, heartwarming and beautifully illustrated throughout by the fantastic Chris Jevons.

Maz Evans talks to In The Reading Conrer about her new novel Vi Spy, a hilarious spy adventure. Listen to the podcast here.

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Reviewed by Erin Hamilton

The Exploding Life of Scarlett Fife is a rather emotional roller coaster of a book- for Scarlett Fife. Though she is only 10, Scarlett has big feelings that bubble in her tummy and make her scream, shout and have almighty tantrums. From not getting the class’s pet hamster to injustice, to William U- all of these are guaranteed to have explosive ends!

Scarlett is loved by many and all want her to learn to control her temper so she is taught to take deep breaths, to pretend to blow out candles and to talk to teddy bears…though not all of these help when those tummy bubbles rise to the surface.
When things literally start exploding around Scarlett as the bubbles rise, she worries about what will happen to her. Learning to control her emotions is the only thing she can do.
This entirely heartwarming tale features strong emotions that are perfectly normal…it is learning to understand them that is tricky. Knowing what makes us angry can help us to know when we need to calm down and remove ourselves. A self help guide for children with anger issues is held within the pages of this book with hilarious moments!

With the pandemic affecting children in different ways, schools have become even more aware of the need to protect the mental health of their students. While we can use Scarlett Fife as an example of how to understand our emotions and reactions, she also provides humour that is so important for children. Laughter is said to be the best medicine after all. Maz Evans has this enjoyable style of writing that allows characters to float off the page and into your world. Scarlett and her emotions felt so real and I felt her anger, her frustration, her sadness and her joy at every event, though I am glad to have missed the exploding poo event!

2021 shall be known as the year of Maz Evans. With Vi Spy being published as well as The Exploding Life of Scarlett Fife, there is no better time to be reading Children’s fiction.
As a class read aloud, I can picture the giggles, the learning along with Scarlett and the benefits of understanding our roller coaster of emotions.

"I am a Reading Advocate for a trust of schools based in Suffolk. I went from being a full-time primary teacher to a librarian when my love of children's literature really took hold. It is now a full-time job reading and sharing high quality children's books with my schools, colleagues and students. When I am not reading, I am spending time with my family and friends."