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Stewart Foster was named a New Author to Watch by the Guardian and was an Amazon Rising Star for his adult novel, published in the UK.
The Bubble Boy was his first book for young readers, and he has since gone on to write All the Things That Could Go Wrong and Check Mates. Totally obsessed with soccer, he lives in Bath, England, with his two daughters, Lois and Tallulah.
Selected for The Book Box by LoveReading4Kids | Stewart Foster has made an award-winning name for himself as an author who writes stories which provide real insights into other lives, often with characters who must negotiate some quite challenging emotional territory. This fourth novel takes him into some very personal history having been a foster carer himself, and tells the story of Sam McCann, a boy who longs for a permanent home and a real family. Sam is an unforgettable and not always likeable character and the Perfect Parent Project he launches with his best friend Leah may be genuinely funny in Sam’s almost wilful bad choices and the consequent inescapable disasters that occur, but we gradually find out more of his back story and begin to understand his impulses and empathise with his lack of self-esteem and the setbacks he has endured. Sam is also learning along the way. Recognising his own self-obsessed neglect of his friend’s problems and waking up to the importance of the relationships under his nose and the unimportance of the qualities he had thought were paramount for a parent. These being the BMW, the latest gadgets and the Disneyland holidays that show that he is, in many ways, a very typical eleven year old! Never patronising nor preachy, this engaging, highly entertaining and fast paced story will prompt some valuable discussion about other lives and experiences as well as deepening children’s understanding of their own emotional responses. An absolute must for empathy collections, this will also be a popular leisure read.
Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2021 | What a luminously life-enhancing read this is. The story of ADHD afflicted underdog Felix, who “can’t concentrate or keep still”. His East German Granddad now (embarrassingly) drives the pink car that used to belong to his deceased Grandma, whose death has hit them all hard. Felix and Granddad’s grief is laid bare with heart-wrenching authenticity, but theirs is a complex relationship: “I love my granddad and I think he loves me, but sometimes it’s hard to tell.” After an altercation, Felix and Granddad forge an understanding, and look forward to a “neuangfang” (new start) that begins with a list of “Ten things I’d like to teach Felix”. Unfortunately, in Felix’s eyes Granddad’s list comprises the “ten more boring things in the world”, but Felix works through it until only the most dreaded activity remains - playing chess. He tries to wriggle out of it, but “crafty” Granddad has been surreptitiously teaching Felix chess skills and he’s soon hooked by the game, with unexpected positive side effects. A thrilling team tournament is followed waves of pulse-quickening twists that will thrust readers to the edge of their seats, heart in mouth. Throughout, the rollercoaster ride of primary school life - fallings out, friendship, fear of not fitting in - is explored in all its intense and comic complexity, and the representation of working class realisms is spot-on too. Felix’s mum and dad have both been “working stacks since Dad’s plumbing business went bust last year”. But, best of all, the magic of the relationship between children and their grandparents is dazzlingly conjured. I adored it.
UKLA Longlist Book Awards - 2019 | There are two sides to every story Dan is angry. Nothing has been the same since his big brother left, and he's taking it out on the nearest and weakest target: Alex. Alex is struggling. His severe OCD makes it hard for him to leave the house, especially when Dan and his gang are waiting for him at school ...Then the boys' mums arrange for them to meet up and finish building the raft that Dan started with his brother. Two enemies stuck together for the whole of the school holidays - what could possibly go wrong?
Shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2017 | One of our Books of the Year 2016 | Julia Eccleshare's Pick of the Month, May/June 2016 Deeply moving and utterly gripping, Bubble Boy is a stunning novel that makes you laugh and cry. And think. Joe lives in a sterile world. Wired up to monitors and drips, he can’t remember ever having left his hospital room. Even his visitors are a potential risk in case they bring in infections. Everyone cares for Joe by keeping him as enclosed as it is possible to be. But then he has a visitor who has a quite different view of what Joe’s life should be like. Suddenly Joe’s world is full of information about the world outside and his dreams of going out grow bigger and bigger. Can Joe ever fulfil his dream? Debut author Stewart Foster carries off an astonishing feat of storytelling in this exceptional book. ~ Julia Eccleshare The Branford Boase Award Judges' Comments - ‘deeply moving and completely gripping’; ‘simple, clear writing, effortlessly believable characters’; ‘a true original’. Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for May 2016 The Bubble Boy by Stewart Foster There is a Tribe of Kids by Lane Smith Captain Pug by Laura James The First Hippo on the Moon by David Walliams Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for June 2016 The World's Worst Children by David Walliams Seacrow Island by Astrid Lindgren The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne A Stitch in Time by Penelope Lively Street Child by Berlie Doherty Fenn Halflin and the Fearzero by Francesca Armour-Chelu The Bubble Boy by Stewart Foster