Archie’s Unbelievably Freaky Week
A fabulously funny follow-up to ‘I Don’t Believe It Archie!’
“A copy should be kept in every classroom for independent readers to enjoy or to read aloud with a class as shared fun.”
Archie is an accident waiting to happen. He can’t help it. In just one week at school, he is accused of murder, gets trapped in the staff cloakroom without any clothes, and somehow manages to turn himself into a dog. Not to mention the poisonous spider and the Health and Safety Inspector who gets a toilet stuck on his head…
Thank goodness Archie’s best friend Cyd is always there to sort out the mess.
Information, Resources & Reviews
Examples of Teaching Resources to be found at The Teaching Library
Rewrite the events of Mr. Halibut’s accident from his point of view.
Archie finds a spider in a bag of bananas. Find out about different types of spiders and write a report about one of them.
Archie takes Mr. Halibut on a tour of his school. Can you draw a map of your school and add notes to show people the different features?
There are many more ideas like these for all aspects of the curriculum at The Teaching Library
The book’s about Archie, who seems to have a knack for attracting the surreal. We follow him for a whole week while his teacher is away poorly, and watch his adventures with five different supply teachers. I particularly like Miss Hurrell, who has a neck tattoo and enjoys wrestling. Always by Archie’s side is his best friend Cyd to help sort things out.
Chapters are split into days of the week and so it’s a series of adventures within a book. Everyone loves a good series, and whether it’s on TV, book or film, we tend to get hooked. This series of adventures will engage children and keep them reading right to the end, and we know that for many children reaching to the end of a book seems an impossible task. Because of this, it’s a must for struggling readers.
TheBookBag Review by John Lloyd
Archie Coates has the most amazing talent for trouble, and whatever he does in all innocence, it’s other people that suffer. On Monday he ends up with a teacher sitting on him, on Tuesday another one ends up half-naked. Both these and a lot more are shown with all the justification you need – and more humour than you could wish for – in this brilliant little book.
As you can tell it’s one mishap after another for a remarkable boy and his friend Cyd. Fires, knife attacks, dangerous animals – health and safety would have a category just for him. But his extraordinary abilities don’t stop there – as the week that sees him drive away supply teacher after supply teacher progresses, he even turns into a dog.
Andrew Norriss is another with brilliant talents too. Structured as seven short stories, with a set pattern in beginning and end, the book, however small, burgeons with wacky invention, cleverness – and, as I say, a delightful amount of humour. Never getting too silly, or slapstick, it just hits the mark and moves on, forever sprightly, always believable, and surprising to the end.
It has a weird fixation on ending up minus your clothes, something thankfully not carried over into the excellent illustrations. All the same this freaky week is a charming way for youngsters to spend some time. It’s a finely-judged success, and on its way to being my favourite title for the under-tens for quite some time.
If you have accident-prone children then wait till they read about Archie, an accident waiting to happen. He can’t help it.
He arrives at school to find the dinner lady with her arm stuck in a drain but after a series of accidents, he becomes the one who is in deep trouble….
In just one week at school, he is accused of murder (wrongly, of course), gets trapped in the staff cloakroom without any clothes, gets mistaken for a dog and somehow manages to turn himself into a dog.
Not to mention the poisonous spider and the Health and Safety Inspector who gets a toilet stuck on his head . . .
Lucky for Archie, his best friend Cyd is always there to sort out the mess. And somehow, almost by accident, everything turns out all right in the end.” The Parents’ Directory London
Book Review by Gill Robins
They’re back in another lol book: the accident prone Archie Coates with a gift for getting into scrapes, Cyd, the omniscient friend with a gift for sorting things out and Archie’s Mum, the maternal Victor Meldrew who despairingly refuses to believe the amount of trouble that one child can get into. Join them in a series of hilarious new adventures that will have you doubled up with laughter.
In this book, Archie’s escapades are all centred around school and involve that eccentric band of worthies universally known as supply teachers. Archie’s usual teacher, who meets each of his new exploits with patient good humour helped by lucid explanations from Cyd, is in hospital. In spite of the Head’s best efforts to warn the supply teachers about Archie, things soon go badly wrong.
On Monday morning, the tattooed Miss Hurrell accuses Archie of mugging and murder before deciding that professional wrestling is less stressful than teaching. All goes well with Miss Humber on Tuesday until they find a large Brazilian Wandering Spider in the bananas. Wednesday sees the arrival of Miss Henley since Tuesdays’ incumbent is still paralyzed in hospital. Miss Henley’s death fixation makes her a tricky companion for Archie and Cyd when they end up locked in the stock cupboard with her. Mrs Hemp, Thursday’s victim of chaos theory, is confident that after forty years as a teacher nothing can faze her. Until, that is, Archie appears to turn himself into a sentient dog after which she returns gratefully to her retirement.
On Friday, running out of supply teachers, the Head decides to ask Archie to escort the Health and Safety Inspector around the site rather than allow him into his class. Read the book to find out exactly how the Inspector ends up in an ambulance with a toilet bowl on his head – it involves goats, a gun and some hydrogen gas. At the weekend the strands come together; all of the teachers’ dreams are fulfilled thanks to the unwitting Archie, Cyd gets the surprise of her life and Mrs Coates is left in splendid but isolated unbelief.
The humour is classic Norriss, enhanced by Shaw’s line drawings. A copy should be kept in every classroom for independent readers to enjoy or to read aloud with a class as shared fun. But be warned – wherever you keep your copy of the book, do be careful to hide it when the supply teacher arrives.
- Hardcover: 128 pages
- Publisher: David Fickling Books (2 Aug 2012)
- ISBN-10: 0857560115
- ISBN-13: 978-0857560117