Reader Reviewed Hercufleas by Sam Gayton


Written by Sam Gayton

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Shortlisted for the UKLA 2016 Book Award in the 7 - 11 year old category.

Greta needs a hero, someone to defeat the murderous giant Yuk. She goes to see Mr Stickler, proprietor of Happily Ever Afters, motto, ‘You bring the quest, we’ll do the rest’, intending to hire one. But things don’t go according to plan, and Greta finds herself paired with Hercufleas, a flea. Fleas are not the most obvious giant-killers, but like the best heroes, Hercules makes up in brains, courage and resolve for what he lacks in brawn. This wildly inventive story is packed full of bizarre and original scenes and characters, but never once lets the momentum of the story slip. Hercufleas and Greta are irresistible characters, and the book ends with a surprising and rewarding twist. Unbefleavable fun! ~ 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.

  • Alina Wraith, age 9 - 'I really enjoyed Lilliput by the same author so I was expecting this to be brilliant. I wasn’t disappointed...The illustrations brought the book to life and I got very involved in the story.'
  • Emily Lonsdale, age 9 - 'I loved this funny book about a flea...I liked the book because I like adventure stories and this one was very different to most stories I have read.'
  • Joshua Zinkin, age 10 - 'This book is exciting, humorous and also quite weird!...I would recommend this book to people aged 8 and over who like a good funny adventure.'
  • Caitlin Hill, age 7 - 'I really like this book about Hercufleas going on an adventure to help Greta save her village. It has scary bits in it, sad bits and very exciting bits.'
  • Tomasz Hawryszczuk, age 9 - 'I really liked this book... This is very much like a Fairy Tale, but with fleas.  I liked the illustrations in the book.'
  • Lucy Pack, age 10 - 'This amazingly written book makes me laugh out loud and cry out loud...I would definitely recommend this book and hope others will enjoy it as much as I did.'
  • Declan Simpson, age 8 - 'The story made me feel lots of different things – it was exciting, imaginative and interesting. And although it made me feel sad in parts, there were also lots of funny bits that made me laugh.'
  • Sue Wilsher - 'Humour and fun are well balanced by good quality writing and a strong message about the importance of self-belief.'
  • Daniel Harrison, age 8 - 'I like this book. The funniest part is when Hercufleas went up Yuk's nostril.'
  • Samisha McCrystal, age 11 - 'I loved this book because it is a tale of friendship and a flea who turns into a hero. I would recommend it to 8-10 year olds.'
  • Zac Goldblum - '‘Hercufleas’ was a real page turner. From the moment I started reading I couldn’t stop. I would recommend this book to fans of adventure book.'
  • Isabel, age 7 - 'This book was really well illustrated and I liked the heroic main character.'
  • Harry Gray, age 7 - 'I thought there were too many characters and the story went on for a bit too long.'
  • Oscar Smith, age 7 - 'I really did not like this book. It had too many adjectives and the characters were weird.'


Hercufleas by Sam Gayton

Greta is a girl on a mission: to venture to Avalon and bring back a hero who can save her home from destruction by the monstrous giant Yuk. Many heroes have tried before now. Many have failed. What Greta needs is a hero whose courage and self-belief are greater than himself. She needs Hercufleas. The only problem: he is a flea, no bigger than a raisin. But the smallest person might just have the biggest effect...



‘Spirited and clever tribute to the original’ DAILY MAIL

‘Unlimited storytelling inventiveness’ IRISH TIMES


‘A germ of JK and a pinch of Pullman’ T.E.S

‘Delightful. . . Full of action and invention’ SUNDAY TIMES

‘A tale of self discovery, family and friendship. . .An inventive and accomplished debut’ INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY

About the Author

Sam Gayton

Sam Gayton lives in South London. In 2009 he completed the Writing for Young People MA at Bath Spa University. He loves American novels, Italian food and the English countryside. When he’s not writing, he likes playing old board games, strumming his guitar and joining as many rock bands as possible (currently at seven). Sam often visits schools and libraries across the country to talk about his magical books.

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Book Info


272 pages
Interest Age: From 7 to 9 years


Sam Gayton
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Andersen Press Ltd

Publication date

2nd April 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.

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