Fizzlebert Stump and the Girl Who Lifted Quite Heavy Things by A. F. Harrold

The Lovereading4Kids comment

A story of circus rivalry, learning who you really are, and the problem of oddly-shaped vegetables. Fizzlebert needs to reunite his friend the Bearded Boy with his long-lost parents, and find himself a new act. Luckily, the strongest girl in the world is there to help... Brilliantly bonkers and perfect for fans of Mr Gum and Lemony Snicket.

Some of our readers were lucky enough to review the first and second Fizzlebert books - Freya Hudson, age 10 said - 'I have read both the Fizzlebert books. If you like funny, exciting and entertaining books, read about Fizzlebert Stump. The author keeps the reader gripped by the way he ends each chapter, making you want to read on to find out what happens next. Even my mum enjoyed this book and I had to keep telling her what was happening!'

Click on the links to read more reviews for Fizzlebert Stump The Boy Who Ran Away from the Circus (and Joined the Library) and Fizzlebert Stump and the Bearded Boy.


Fizzlebert Stump and the Girl Who Lifted Quite Heavy Things by A. F. Harrold

It's the great Circus of Circuses competion, and Fizzlebert Stump has no act. He's no longer the Boy Who Puts His Head In The Lion's Mouth (the lion retired) and putting his head in a crocodile's mouth instead didn't work out for some reason. Can Fizz find a new act in time? Can the Bearded Boy find his long-lost parents? And can their new friend Alice, professional flower-arranger and secret Strongwoman, find her rightful place in the circus?


Reviews for Fizzlebert Stump: the Boy Who Ran Away From the Circus (and joined the library

I enjoyed this book because it has so many unexpected twists that you never quite know what is going to happen next. Also, there are many ingenious characters who made me laugh. My favourite was the toad-like librarian. -- Lucy Minton, age 9 Lovereading4kids

This story really will draw you in. It is one of my favourite books that I have ever read and I have read a lot of books! -- Adam Graham age 9 Lovereading4kids

Reviews for Fizzlebert Stump and the Bearded Boy.

This fantastic book will blow your mind with their mysterious people and amazing tricks. When I put it down I almost cried because I just wanted to read more of this wonderful book. -- Lennon Kerrigan-Gee, age 10 Lovereading4kids

The author keeps the reader gripped by the way he ends each chapter, making you want to read on to find out what happens next. Even my mum enjoyed this book and I had to keep telling her what was happening to Fizzlebert and his friends. -- Freya Hudson, age 10 Lovereading4kids

About the Author

A. F. Harrold

A.F. Harrold is an English poet (1975-present). He writes and performs for adults and children, in cabaret and in schools, in bars and in basements, in fields and indoors. He was Glastonbury Festival Website's Poet-In-Residence in 2008, and Poet-In-Residence at Cheltenham Literature Festival in 2010. He won the Cheltenham All Stars Slam Championship in 2007 and has had his work on BBC Radio 4, Radio 3 and BBC7. He is active in schools work, running workshops and slams and doing performances at ungodly hours of the morning, and has published several collections of poetry. He is the owner of many books, a handful of hats, a few good ideas and one beard. He spends his time showing off on stage, writing poems and books, and stroking his beard (it helps churn the ideas). He is the author of the Fizzlebert Stump series and the CILIP Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medal longlisted The Imaginary, illustrated by Emily Gravett. The Imaginary is the winner of the 7-11 category of the UKLA Awards. A.F Harrold lives in Reading with a stand-up comedian and two cats.

A Q&A with the author

1. What are your 5 favourite books, and why?

Again, no favourites, per se, but at various times in my life the following five have been important to me: Barbara Firth (the greatest illustrator of bears in children’s books full stop, no argument); J.R.R. Tolkien (for, almost accidentally, allowing us a glimpse into his lifelong private world-building exercise); Norman MacCaig (one of the great poets of nature and time and thought – never fussy and complex, but always sharp, charming and short); Iris Murdoch (for her ungainly, unlikely, unworldly novels of love and philosophy; Jill Bennett (I have a print of her drawing of the BFG (from Danny Champion of the World) on the wall by my desk, which is so many times more mysterious and fascinating than Blake’s BFG that became the standard).

Let’s plump for The Hobbit. It was a book that certainly hooked my imagination and tangled me up in its world. I went to sleep listening to the tapes of it.

How about the boy in The Witches simply for what he does and what he goes through and how he ends up. There’s pluck for you.

I have a soft spot for both Mr Gum and Mr Twit. Every villain needs a good beard, surely?

I’d like to think I could be Professor Calculus, but I’d probably discover I was Thompson or Thomson.

7. If you could recommend just one book for everyone to read what would it be?

My inability to think of anything else to do. To make poems was the only thing that felt right. Every now and then one of them isn’t terrible. And now stories seem to happen as well.

The Imaginary came about because of two thoughts that occurred around the same time. One was the image of an imaginary boy stood by the side of the road after an accident. He was on his own for the first time. He was beginning to fade. The other was a thought of a canteen, a greasy spoon sort of place, full of big blokes with ‘I love Mum’ tattoos and mugs of builder’s tea and cigarettes on the go. A foreman type walks in with a clipboard and says, ‘Little Billy Jones needs a friend …’ and one of the hairy Neanderthal-ish chaps gets up and says, ‘Okay boss,’ and goes out the door, squeezing himself into whatever shape Billy Jones wants his imaginary friend to be. So, an agency for imaginary friends. Neither of the those images/pictures/thoughts makes it unchanged into the book, but they were the initial spurs.

I began writing poetry seriously (and awfully) as a teenager, but I’d had a typewriter as a kid and banged away on it, though I’ve no idea and no memory of what I was writing.

Just keep on with it. The more you do it, the better you’ll get. And read lots.

Photo credit: Naomi Woddis

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Book Info


304 pages
Interest Age: from 7 to 9


A. F. Harrold
More books by A. F. Harrold

Author's Website


Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

Publication date

12th February 2015




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