Middle Grade Reviews

Review: The Stig Plays A Dangerous Game by Jon Claydon and Tim Lawler

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‘Stig,’ said Sam. ‘He’s called the Stig.’ 

‘Right,’ said Minnie. ‘I’m beginning to suspect he could be the answer to a lot of things around here.’ 

(From The Stig Plays A Dangerous Game by Jon Claydon and Tim Lawler. P113.)


Sam Wheeler is the new boy in town. His parents moved to Bunsfold and now they, like everyone else, are addicted to the game Xenon. Everyone is playing Xenon. The school even encourages children to play. It is making PT Crusier exceptionally rich, and is furthering his plans to control humanity. 

Only one person stands in his way – the mysterious Stig. Will the Stig turn up in time or will it be up to Sam and his friends to save Bunsfold and the universe? 


A fast-paced and humorous adventure which ties-in with the popular television series Top Gear. This will appeal both to fans of the show and to readers of the target age who love humour. Think car-based names, over-the-top villains and references to popular culture. There are also lots of machines and vehicles. Cars and computer games and a home-made Go-Kart called the Bunsfold rocket.

The big question throughout the story is the Stig. Will he turn up? When will he save the day?

The book is fast-paced, with lots of dialogue, online conversations and illustrations. Cartoon sections break up the text, making it perfect for less confident readers. There is also a high level of reward in spotting the Top Gear references and car-based jokes. At the head of each chapter, a couple of lines summarise the key events of the coming scenes. This might hook readers and make them more confident because they have an idea of what’s going on before they start. 

Like many first books, this introduces the villain and sees our main characters come together and fight back. Sam and his friends are the only people not playing Xenon and they resolve to fight PT Cruiser until the Stig comes. They also support each other to survive their school, with its gang of bullies and strange fixation on Xenon. I loved their kinship and how they recognised each other as like-minded. 

A pacy and humourous tie-in which will keep readers turning the pages.


Thanks to Faye Rogers PR and Piccadilly Press for my copy of The Stig Plays A Dangerous Game. Opinions my own.

3 thoughts on “Review: The Stig Plays A Dangerous Game by Jon Claydon and Tim Lawler

    1. It’s certainly a good one for kids who like cars. I can see reluctant readers of a certain age taking to this – it has high-levels of kid-friendly humour, lots of contemporary references and the text is broken up with cartoon segments.

      Liked by 1 person

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