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Phil Earle was born and raised in Hull. His first job was as a care worker in a children’s home. Phil then chose the more sedate life of a bookseller, and now works in children’s publishing. He is the author of several award-winning novels including Being Billy which won the 2012 weRead Award and was shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award. He lives in Yorkshire
As Noah Price’s dad marches off to fight, he asks his son to honour one vital promise: that he will keep their dog, Winn, safe. No matter what. Noah agrees, but his best intentions are crushed when the government advises people to have their pets put to sleep as part of the war preparations. Children are heartbroken, queues outside vets’ surgeries stretch for miles. But Noah is a resourceful and impetuous child. He won’t just do what he is told. Far from it. With his two friends in tow, he makes a pledge. To go on the run, and save as many animals as he can, whatever the cost. So begins the most thrilling of adventures, involving a stolen ark, a motley crew of animals and a crashed Spitfire.
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month June 2021 | Shortlisted for the Yoto Carnegie Medal 2022 | No wonder he is angry! Bombs are raining down on the city that Joseph is sent to as an evacuee. And anyway, who came up with the stupid idea that he should live with Mrs F. who doesn’t even like children! He knows he should just run away but where would he go? Instead, he finds himself inexorably drawn into Mrs F‘s life and the zoo and the animals she is fighting to keep safe – in particular, Adonis, the powerful silverback gorilla. Every night when the bombs fall, Mrs F rushes to the zoo. She risks her life to be with her animals safe knowing that, if the very worst happens and the zoo is bombed she will have to take exceptional and radical action. Will she be brave enough? And would Joseph be? In this deeply moving story of Joseph’s journey of self-discovery Phil Earle not only tells a brilliant story of a child’s emotional development but also added an important and true dimension to World War 2 stories.
Interest Age 8+ Reading Age 8 | Two true stories inspire this warm, positive, uplifting story: the real-life adventure of Pickles, the dog who found the World Cup, and the amazing achievements of Fara Williams, the women’s football superstar who was winning on the pitch even while she was homeless. Like Fara, Elsie is football mad, as is her dog Pickles, who narrates for us. In the story, the world cup trophy is stolen, which means Elsie will miss her chance to play in a half-time match at Wembley. That opportunity has been sustaining her through difficult times as she and her dad (and Pickles), also like Fara Williams, have lost their home and are living in a noisy, dingy hostel. Fortunately, Pickles is as good a detective as his famous namesake… Publisher Barrington Stoke specialise in books for dyslexic or reluctant readers, and there’s lots of page-turning action packed into a short extent. The book is big on emotions too though, making clear just how devastating it is to lose your home, while showing how love, family and hope can get you through just about anything. It also reminds us that football – playing, watching, being a fan – is life-enhancing. A winner! Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 13+
Interest Age 5-8 | Everyone knows that footballers are super-superstitious and when things suddenly start going wrong for the Saints, they decide their team is under a curse. The question is, what can they do to lift it? Stanley is the only one of them who really understands that lucky strips and garlic down their socks won’t get them winning again – only confidence and determination will do that. It’s up to him to change the team’s outlook. The action flows, both on the pitch and in the dressing room, and the story feels as real and authentic as a pair of muddy football boots. Steve May’s illustrations are bang on and in Barrington Stoke style, this is accessible even to reluctant or dyslexic readers. A winner!
May 2017 Book of the Month | Interest Age 5-8 | In a nutshell: the best laid plans of mice and supermen …| Stanley is as normal a kid as you can meet, but his dad, well, he’s a superhero, Dynamo Dan to his friends. Life as a superhero is pretty full-on so Stanley’s mum insists dad take a day off to spend with his son. Stanley has been looking forward to it for ages, but it seems superheroes can’t ever relax – the emergencies keep coming. Stanley knows his dad needs a break so decides to help out himself. A celebration both of superhero stories and the special relationship between fathers and sons this is great fun from beginning to end. ~ Andrea Reece High quality cream paper and a special easy to read font ensure a smooth read for all. About the Little Gems series: Little Gems are in a gorgeous new chunky format, with high-spec production including coloured endpapers and jacketed flaps with activities. Additional features include high quality cream paper, Barrington Stoke font and illustrations on every page. They are perfect for 5-8's. These quality stories promote good reading practice for all newly independent readers.
One of Our Books of the Year 2017 | Longlisted for the UKLA 2018 Book Award A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month | February 2017 Book of the Month | Interest Age Teen Reading Age 8 Mikey thinks the world of his Dad even though he doesn’t see him that often. And when he dies suddenly, Mikey is left with nothing to remember him by except a few fleeting memories of his amazing ability to imitate any voice. With nothing to hang on to, Mikey starts to fall apart. His best mate knows that he must do something to save him and that means finding someone or something that can bring the two together. The search is bleak and dangerous – Mikey’s dad had few friends and many enemies - but the end is triumphant! Phil Earle has created a moving and meaningful story which captures the irreplaceable importance of friendship. ~ Julia Eccleshare A Piece of Passion from Barrington Stoke MD Mairi Kidd: “When Phil first told me the plot of Mind The Gap I had goosebumps. There’s a real power and urgency to Phil’s writing for young adults, and I love that he has taken a touching true story of love and remembrance and fused it with something very raw – an account of terrible grief experienced by a young man who doesn’t really know how to express or process it, and a friend who desperately wants to help. It’s a hugely emotional story, told sparsely and brilliantly.” Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic teen readers. Barrington Stoke is the foremost publisher of dyslexia friendly books and those for reluctant readers. Here on Lovereading4kids we are constantly selecting new titles and refreshing our special dyslexia friendly category. Click here to view our current selection which is broken down by age range. Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for February 2017 Young Magicians and the Thieves' Almanac by Nick Mohammed A Busy Day for Birds by Lucy Cousins Mind the Gap by Phil Earle The Bolds on Holiday by Julian Clary The Unexpected Love Story of Alfred Fiddleduckling by Timothy Basil Ering The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis
A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month October 2016 | A pacey new story set in Storey Street featuring a cast of outrageous characters doing a host of amazing and extraordinary things. Masher’s dad is determined to get his greedy hands on the space in the street where a house was stolen from so that he can sell it for loads of money. But the kids in the street have a different idea. Can they and the performing Jessops, who turn up in the nick of time, defend the special place? Mayhem, magic and a certain amount of trickery follow is this bubbly adventure which adds a great new chapter to the Storey Street series.
Mouse is desperate to be a superhero. To find that power that will make him stand out in the crowd. But his every attempt ends in failure. He can't even get any attention at home as his five brothers (triplets AND twins) take every second of mum and dad's attention. When mum foils a bank robbery while on duty as a lollipop lady, she and Mouse are lauded as superheroes. Joining forces with Mouse are The Z List - a group of unlikely crime-fighters. But in their midst is a traitor hell-bent on revenge. Will Mouse be super enough to spot this danger, and is he brave enough to do anything about it?
May 2015 MEGA Book of the Month Jake Biggs’s dad works in demolition. All week long he knocks down buildings from the cockpit of his crane, but at weekends he becomes Demolition Man, twenty stone of Man Mountain in a leotard, the best wrestler in town – and Jake couldn’t be prouder! There’s just one thing that upsets him – his dad wants it kept a secret. But when the opportunity arises to enter his dad into an international wrestling competition, Jake can’t resist. While Demolition Dad unashamedly plugs the many delights of wrestling - and could well inspire a whole new army of fans - it is really a book about love, in particular the love between a boy and his dad. A warm, funny and genuinely touching story of family relationships, in a lycra wrapping. ~ Andrea Reece
All my life I've been tiny Charlie from the Chinese Chippie, whose only friend is Sinus, the kid who stares at walls. But I believe that everyone's good at something. I've just got to work out what my something is... How do you stay on the board when your world is turned upside down?
Shortlisted for the 2013 Leeds Book Award. This is a powerful and moving story linked to Phil Earle's critically acclaimed debut book, Being Billy. A Review by Katy Poulter, age 12 Saving Daisy was better than I thought it would be as the cover isn’t great but once I got into the book, I quite enjoyed it. Daisy was very unfortunate with everything that had happened to her and what was even more unfortunate was that she blamed herself for it. She was a very easy character to relate to because everyone has had a time in their life when they have felt a little like Daisy did and if you haven’t, you are very lucky. I was almost shouting at the book when Daisy started smoking and drinking because I knew she was better and more intelligent than that which I think shows that it was written in a believable way so the characters become real. I liked how it was so well thought out with how realistic it all was and how the writer used his strengths when writing. I felt that there was something missing for it to really engage me and for it to stick in my mind as an amazing book. Katy Poulter is a member of the Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel but she has reviewed this novel in the first instance for the Leeds Book Award as it is one of the 2013 shortlisted titles. The organisers have kindly agreed to let us also make use of Katy's review.