THE BAGTHORPE SAGA. Volumes 1 to 7. By Helen Cresswell. Hodder. Pounds 3.99 each.
Helen Cresswell's fictional soap opera introduces us to a hilarious, larger-than-life version of the ultra-competitive middle-class family: the Bagthorpes.
I recommend the first book, Ordinary Jack (about the one, normal sibling), number two (Absolute Zero), which chronicles the family craze for competitions, or number four (Bagthorpes v the World) about their mad attempts at self-sufficiency.