Reader Reviewed The Unlikely Outlaws by Philip Ardagh

The Unlikely Outlaws

Written by Philip Ardagh
Illustrated by Tom Morgan-Jones

7+ readers   9+ readers   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

There are actually four stories for the price of one in this chunky little book. It brings together three of Philip Ardagh’s jolly adventures of the Green Men of Gressingham. The Green Men (brown men would be more accurate – their outfits are brown as it hides the dirt better) are a band of outlaws led by Robyn-in-the-Hat who, together with young knight-in-training Tom Dashwood, set about helping the poor and undertaking quests. The stories are perfect for young readers, packed with incident and humour, and full of appealing characters. Here they are enclosed within an extra comic story: the tale of their creation, as recounted through communications between the Author, and his hapless publisher, sent via Dotty, the Author’s assistant. It’s a clever way of breaking up the stories, though might set young readers wondering if all authors are quite so obsessed with lunch! ~ Andrea Reece

***This is the launch title of the Conkers, from Barrington Stoke, a new imprint of stories packed with brilliant extras like fun facts, quizzes and loads of gorgeous illustrations to tempt reluctant readers into longer stories.

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.

  • Isabelle Preston, age 10 - 'I loved this book because it is so funny and odd. A brilliant story with lots of unlikely twists and turns.'
  • Oliver Lonsdale, age 7 - 'Very funny book about a boy called Tom and his band of outlaws. This book is great as it is 3 stories in one.'
  • Alex Hall, age 9 - 'I really liked this book, it has a lot of cliff-hangers and interesting characters.'
  • Shannon McCloskey, age 13 - 'The Unlikely Outlaws is a brilliant novel.  It contains three stories which all include merry men of different shapes and sizes who are outlaws living in the forest.'
  • Harry Gray, age 7 - 'A fantastic book.  Three stories for the price of one.  Lots of fun and funny bits from Tom's adventures.'
  • Harry Steel - 'I found parts of this book very funny. The first story was my favorite where Tom first met the outlaws and saved his uncle. The only thing I didn’t really like was all of the letters before each new story.'
  • Rodrigo - 'This book was very amusing and anyone who likes the Grunts will like this book too.'
  • Katie and Fennrin - 'This book was really good and really really funny I would suggest that my friends read it.'
  • Verity Langley - 'I really enjoyed this book despite being rather a bit older than the target audience!'
  • Emily Golding, age 7 - 'I loved this book because it has dragons, heroes and castles. It made me laugh out loud.'
  • Katie, age 9 - 'The unlikely outlaws is a hilarious story that makes you laugh till you cry or blow your socks off! I love the way it's written and how it makes you feel like you're there seeing it all happen.'

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The Unlikely Outlaws by Philip Ardagh

What's this? THREE absolutely hilarious tales of heroic outlaws and awesome adventures in one book? Well, you are a very lucky reader.

Join author Philip Ardagh, assistant Dotty and harrassed editor Adrian as they create the entertaining escapades of young knight-to-be Tom Dashwood and his merry band of outlaws. Well, just as soon as Philip can be convinced to write the story...

Top quality production and a rollicking laugh-out-loud romp is sure to appeal to a wide range of readers from book eaters to book haters in the 6-9 age group.

About the Author

Philip Ardagh

Philip Ardagh was our Guest Editor in May 2010. Click here to see the books that inspired him.

Philip Ardagh, whose very first Grubtown Tale won him the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, is author of numerous books including the award-winning Eddie Dickens adventures, which have been translated into over 30 languages.

He wrote BBC Radio’s first truly interactive radio drama, collaborated with Sir Paul McCartney on his first children’s book and is a ‘regularly irregular’ reviewer of children’s books for the Guardian. Married with a son, he divides his time between Tunbridge Wells and Grubtown, where he cultivates his impressive beard.

And if your children love Grubtown then do get them to go to

Drawing on the weird and wonderful characters and settings from the Grubtown books, features six distinct Grubtown locations – including the Daily Herald newspaper office, the Duckhouse/Museum and Smoky’s cinema. The site incorporates fun audio and video - what more could you ask for!

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Book Info


192 pages


Philip Ardagh
More books by Philip Ardagh

Author's Website


Barrington Stoke Ltd

Publication date

6th March 2015




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