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Just William

Written by Richmal Crompton

Illustrated by Thomas Henry

Part of the Just William series Series

Key Stage 2 Classic Fiction

LoveReading View on Just William

Everyone's favourite troublemaker, William Brown, is back. Now with a brand-new cover look illustrated by Chris Riddell this is a new edition of Just William, the very first collection of stories about a redoubtable boy who is always in one scrape or another, captures the spirit of the period in which it was originally published but also shows how timeless the hilarious collection of stories are too. Whether it's trying to arrange a marriage for his sister or taking a job as a boot boy as step one in his grand plan to run away, William manages to cause chaos wherever he goes.

A Piece of Passion from the Editorial Director, Gaby Morgan - "I love William Brown, Richmal Crompton’s scruffy, incorrigible hero. I want to join his gang, the Outlaws, and roam about with Ginger, Henry and Douglas. He is very, very funny, and ninety-six years after his first appearance William is still delighting fans with his well-meant plans that always go awry, and his endless optimism. If William wants something he will find a way to make it happen and when things go wrong, as they always do, he will think of a way, however unconventional, of ‘sorting it out’.  I am reassured and comforted by his long-suffering family. His forgiving mother and unimpressed father; his glamorous sister, Ethel, forever being courted by suitors; his uptight brother; his excellent dog, Jumble, and an endless supply of cousins and aunts. He has come to symbolize a particular vision of childhood – a scruffy, confident boy who spends his time outside planning and playing, leaving a trail of chaos and mayhem in his wake."

In March 2010 our was Guest Editor Michael Foreman, he shares his memories of Just William: "When I was about eight years old I joined the Life Boys. The Life Boys were to the Boys' Brigade what the Wolf Cubs are to the Boy Scouts, only with better uniforms (little sailor suits.) One year, to raise funds, it was decided we should put on a production of Just William in the Church Hall. Unfortunately, I was given the role of Violet Elizabeth Bott! However, we all became 'William' fans.  We identified with him - even though he was posher than us.  He was wild and fiercely loyal to his gang members and followed by any stray dogs. Just like us."

and in October 2011 Guest Editor Roddy Doyle also chose Just William as a favourite book.  "A rough boy in a posh house – it’s a great combination. This book is both quietly and out-loud funny. William’s adventures are very funny, but his philosophy and outlook are hilarious and consistently direct; the adult world just can’t budge him. I loved William when I was a boy, and think I might like him even more today. All the world’s leaders should read JUST WILLIAM – quick!"

'Sue Townsend learned to read with Just William:  I learned to read during the three weeks I was away from school with a spectacular case of mumps. (Mumps were mumps in the 1950s.) My mother went to a rummage sale and came back with a pile of William books written by Richmal Crompton, a person I assumed to be a man. I looked at the illustrations and laughed, then I tried to read the captions underneath these delightful scratchy drawings. My mother helped me out, and slowly and mysteriously the black squiggles turned into words which turned into sentences, which turned into stories. I could read. There should have been a 100-gun salute. The Red Arrows should have flown overhead. The night sky should have blazed with fireworks. I joined the library thirsting after more William books. I read one a day and then two a day,then I ran out and fumbled along the library shelves pulling out books at random. Nothing was ever as good as William, but the die was cast, I was addicted to print.' The Guardian

LoveReading4Kids

Just William Synopsis

In Just William the Outlaws plan a day of non-stop adventure. The only problem is that William is meant to be babysitting. But William won't let that stop him having fun with his gang - he'll just bring the baby along! Now with a brand-new cover look illustrated by Chris Riddell. There is only one William.

This tousle-headed, snub-nosed, hearty, loveable imp of mischief has been harassing his unfortunate family and delighting his hundreds of thousands of admirers since 1922.

This is one of 5 new editions in the Just William series.

Gaby Morgan, Editorial Director at Macmillan Children's, said: "We are immensely proud of our heritage at Macmillan and one of the jewels in our crown is Richmal Crompton's incorrigible hero, William Brown... We know that William has a lot of fans and are so delighted that 14 fabulous illustrators have agreed to create their vision of 'William' for us. They are all gorgeous and different but each captures the irrepressible spirit of Richmal Crompton's timeless hero." 

The editions will retain the original b/w line illustrations by Thomas Henry and Henry Ford.

Just William Press Reviews

"[Just William books] These are a must for every child."   Michael Morpurgo

"William’s world might not be familiar, but William certainly will be. He is that scruffy boy with the screwed up face and with his own logic, who pedantically questions every rule and sets out to break most of them."  Sue Townsend

‘The Harry Potter of the ‘20s’ - Martin Jarvis

‘Today William would probably be put into therapy and made the subject of a documentary.  Except, of course, William always got away with it.  Despite the trail of chaos and anarchy he leaves behind, he always ends up as the only thing that any boy has ever wanted to be.  A hero.’ - Charlie Higson

‘Get ready to laugh until you think your boots will never dry. And on a more practical level, learn new ways to annoy people’ - Louise Rennison

‘Probably the funniest, toughest children’s books ever written’ Sunday Times

'Richmal Crompton’s creation has been famed for his cavalier attitude to life and those who would seek to circumscribe his enjoyment of it ever since he first appeared’ - The Guardian

Book Information

ISBN: 9781447285588
Publication date: 13th August 2015
Author: Richmal Crompton
Illustrator: Thomas Henry
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 272 pages
Year Groups: Key Stage 2
Topics: Classic Fiction

About Richmal Crompton

Richmal Crompton was born at Bury in Lancashire, the second child of Reverend Edward John Sewell Lamburn, a teacher at the Bury Grammar School and his wife Clara (née Crompton). Her brother, John Battersby Crompton Lamburn, also became a writer, under the name John Lambourne, and is remembered for his fantasy novel The Kingdom That Was (1931). Crompton attended schools in Lancashire and Derbyshire, including St Elphin’s, a boarding school for daughters of the clergy in Warrington, Lancashire, and later won a scholarship to study at the Royal Holloway College in London, receiving a BA Honours ...

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