Reader Reviewed Pike by Anthony McGowan


Written by Anthony McGowan
Illustrated by Staffan Gnosspelius

13+ readers   Super-readable Dyslexia-friendly   YA readers   Guest Editor   Summer Reading   UKLA 2016   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Interest Age Teen Reading Age 8+ Not a word is wasted in this fine novel. On one level it is a thriller: fishing on Bacon Pond Nicky spots a glint of gold in its murky depths, and recognises the Rolex owned by a local gangster. It seems to be still attached to his wrist. Nicky feels that the gangster owes him and his family, and sets out to retrieve the Rolex with the help of his brother Kenny. Nicky’s search for the watch results in a series of events that will change his and his family’s life for the better. McGowan writes in prose as spare and effective as that of Barry Hines, to whom the book is dedicated, and there’s an extraordinary depth and elegance to this story. An outstanding novel. ~ Andrea Reece

One of our Dyslexia Friendly Books of the Year 2015 | Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 12+

Barrington Stoke is the foremost publisher of dyslexia friendly books and those for reluctant readers. Here on Lovereading4kids we are constantly selecting new titles and refreshing our special dyslexia friendly category.

Click here to view our current selection which is broken down by age range.


Read a special Q&A with Anthony McGowan on his novels Pike and Brock.

Reader Reviews

Teens 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.

  • Dylan Sweet, age 11 - '. I would rate this book five stars – 110% I loved it and it was one of the best books I’ve ever read.'
  • Ross Dawson, age 11 -'A story about brotherhood, hard times and working together. A story to make you think and want to read on. A story I recommend.'
  • Nathan Dyer, age 14 - 'The book made me want to keep reading so that I could find out the secrets of the lake.  Whilst I was reading I kept thinking of all the different things the secret could be.'
  • Callum Eacock - 'Best Book Ever, Can’t wait to read more from Anthony McGowan.'
  • Amy Laws, age 14 - 'An incredibly realistic fiction book- I could imagine it happening in real life.'


Pike by Anthony McGowan

Nicky and Kenny return in Pike as the brothers' fishing expedition takes a turn. Bacon Pond is famous for its monster-sized fish and Kenny is determined to catch one. And as usual, Nicky is dragged along for the ride. But when the boys glimpse what could be a body in the water - the body of a well-known local criminal who's just been announced missing - their choices spark off a chain of events that put their lives in danger. A poignant and powerful sequel to Carnegie longlisted Brock.

Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic readers aged 12+

About the Author

Anthony McGowan

Born in Manchester, Anthony McGowan went to school in Leeds. He has worked as a nightclub bouncer, civil servant, and Open University tutor in philosophy. He published
his first novel for teenagers, Hellbent, in 2005. It was described by The Times as ‘a brilliantly nauseating thriller’.

His other books for teenagers include Henry Tumour and The Knife that Killed Me, the film of which was released in 2013.

He lives in London

Q & A video: Anthony answers questions about his book, Willard Price: Leopard Adventure.

Photo credit Jerry Bauer

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Book Info


120 pages


Anthony McGowan
More books by Anthony McGowan

Author's Website


Barrington Stoke Ltd

Publication date

15th May 2015




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