British author David Walliams is in top form with this imaginative, poignant, often crude, and frequently hilarious tale of kids stuck in a London hospital. Some of the antics -- drugging oppressive adults and having secret expeditions to walk-in freezers -- are definitely not suited to real life. But it's a heartstring-tugging, thought-provoking tale with unforgettable characters, relatable issues, and a determination to do better than the bad people in your life.
"'That lady has darkness in her heart. She enjoys making the children in her care suffer.'
"'Why?' asked Tom.
"'Matron loves being cruel. It must make her feel powerful. This is why she made you wear that nightdress.'
"I hate her,' said the boy through gritted teeth.
'"Don't. That must be what she wants. If you hate her, she's won. And your heart will turn dark too. I know it's hard, but please try not to let her get to you.'
"'Good,' said the Porter."