Reader Reviewed Not as We Know it by Tom Avery

Not as We Know it

Written by Tom Avery
Illustrated by Kate Grove

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Twins Ned and Jamie spend their spare time – when Ned is well enough – searching the shorelines of the beaches near their home for washed up treasures. That’s where they find the strange, otherworldly creature that Jamie hopes has come to cure Ned. Ned understands that Leonard, as they call the creature, is indeed there to save him, just not in the way his brother hopes. The story is punctuated with tales of seafaring and merman, told by the boys’ granddad, together with descriptions of their favourite Star Trek episodes, both giving the story extra resonance. It’s beautifully told and beautifully illustrated too, a tender, touching account of a family facing the death of a child. ~ Andrea Reece

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Charlotte Cassidy, age 9 - 'This book was a sentimental page-turner of a book. I loved every second of it and couldn't put it down once I had started it.'
  • Sarah-Jane Ryan - 'Powerfully written and beautifully illustrated, this story explores twins Ned and Jamie’s reactions to their last adventure....The book is beautifully illustrated by Kate Groves.'
  • Joseph Harris-Hart, age 12 - 'I think this book is well worth reading but if you don't like sad books it isn't for you. Having said that, I did enjoy reading it.'
  • Evie Hollingshead, age 10 - 'An easy to read book full of sadness, mystery and fantasy that I found enjoyable.'
  • Amisha McCrystal - 'This is a special and sad tale that will touch your heart forever.'
  • Orlaith Carson, age 14 - 'I would tell people to read this book because it shows how close people can get and how they mean a lot to each other.'
  • Sam Harper, age 11 - 'An amazing, heart-wrenching tale that had me on the edge of my seat. I didn’t want it to end.'
  • Rachel Galbraith, age 10 - 'A sad but great novel that will make your emotions stir.'
  • Fiona Sutherland, age 11 - 'This was a great book but the language was a little bit hard to understand. I would say this is a must read for all the Star Trek fans out there.'


Not as We Know it by Tom Avery

Jamie and Ned are twins. They do everything together: riding their bikes, beachcombing outside their house, watching their favourite episodes of Star Trek. But Ned is sick, and one day, he may leave Jamie behind. When they discover a strange creature on the beach, Ned wants one more adventure and decides to keep him secretly in their garage. But Jamie begins to hope that the creature might bring some miracle, and stop his brother from going where he can no longer follow...

From the same author-illustrator team who created the Carnegie-nominated My Brother’s Shadow.


Reminiscent of David Almond at his finest. * Metro * Avery really excels in this quiet depiction of fraternal love and devotion. The portrait of illness is delivered subtly and sensitively. A completely immersive and magical experience. -- Jade Craddock * We Love This Book * Moving, packed with personality and fun references to its 80s setting. Enchanting and special. * Booktrust * Absolutely spell-binding. Avery's storytelling has an effortless quality to it. Heartbreakingly beautiful. * Moontrug Blog * A powerful mix of the retelling of old stories and myths and references to the newer folklore wrought by science fiction film and television * CLPE *

About the Author

Tom Avery

Tom Avery was born and raised in London in a very large, very loud family, descendants of the notorious pirate Henry Avery. He trained as a teacher and has worked with children in inner city schools in London and Birmingham.

Tom lives in Amsterdam with his wife and two sons.

Click here to read The English Association's interview with Tom.

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Book Info


240 pages


Tom Avery
More books by Tom Avery

Author's Website


Andersen Press Ltd

Publication date

5th March 2015




Publisher Profile

Andersen Press Ltd is an imprint of Andersen Press

logo Andersen Press is one of the leading independent children’s publishers, publishing some of the biggest names in the world of children's books including the much-loved picture book characters the Little Princess and Elmer the patchwork elephant. Andersen Press is the home of many award-winning authors and illustrators including Melvin Burgess, Rebecca Stead, Satoshi Kitamura, Tony Ross, David McKee, Chris Judge and Jeanne Willis. Founded in 1976 by Klaus Flugge it won the Bologna Best Children’s Publisher prize in the European Category in 2016, the company’s 40th anniversary year.

Publisher's Website

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