Uma And The Answer To Absolutely Everything by Sam Copeland & Sarah Horne

Uma And The Answer To Absolutely Everything is a quirky, moving and very original page turning adventure. Uma Gnudersonn has lots of unanswered questions and her school summer holiday is plunged into excitement as well as danger and intrigue when she finds a mysterious bluetooth earpiece called Athena who has the answers to everything!

The Story: Uma and her friend Alan Alan Carrington are trying to escape from a drunk alpaca when they encounter a lady with a gun. Once the lady has driven away Uma discovers that she’s dropped an earpiece in the road. She puts it in her ear and discovers that it can talk and even better – answer all her questions… 

Uma’s summer holiday is action packed as she tries to save her home from being bought by the mysterious Minerva Industries, deals with class bullies, drunk alpacas and their owner Mr McIntosh and is threatened by Athena’s inventor, the evil Stella Daws.

Alongside all the action Uma also goes on an emotional journey. One of her biggest questions is ‘why did mum leave home before she died?’. Uma’s grief stricken dad has stopped talking so when Uma finds Athena she asks for her help in finding answers which leads to several high tech emotional experiences

Model trains, an alpaca farm, My Little Pony lunchboxes, buried treasure and a colourful cast of characters all add to the originality of this highly illustrated, fun to read story. Uma and Alan’s race to save her house leads to a dangerous mission into the factory where Stella Daws works as well as a creepy confrontation in their quest to solve one of their village’s biggest mysteries. 

Uma And The Answer To Absolutely Everything is narrated by Uma in a very chatty way which means that we get a great insight into her thoughts, emotions and opinions throughout the story. There are some really funny scenes – we laughed at the way Uma used the lunchboxes, Alan’s eyebrows, his idea for getting revenge on the schoolgirls who bully Uma and the scenes with the drunk alpacas. Athena’s ideas to help Uma get Dad speaking again are also amusing but poignant, Dad is really in a bad way without Mum and spends a lot of time playing with his trains.

Sarah Hornes’ fabulous illustrations add to the humour – this is Uma whose father is half Indian, half Swedish. More humour is added in the footnotes which give context to different situations and we also like the way that different fonts are used to indicate who is speaking.

Uma And The Answer To Absolutely Everything really makes us laugh and we were particularly interested to learn that, according to Alan, the capital of Germany isn’t Berlin… 

Age Range: 7+

Author: Sam Copeland / Illustrator: Sarah Horne

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