Reader Reviewed The Parent Agency by David Baddiel

The Parent Agency

Written by David Baddiel

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Winner of the Laugh-Out-Loud Book Awards 2016, 9-13 years Category. A brilliantly funny story about a boy who makes a very rash wish! Barry is not the first boy in the world to say “I wish I had better parents” but in his case, the third time he says it, there are some quite startling results. Barry’s list of complaints against his parents is a long one. And it starts with his terrible name. He goes on to blame them for being so boring, being so mean to him about letting him play out and, above all, for never giving him an exciting birthday party! (or even a Lionel Messi duvet cover). But, when the posters on Barry’s walls come alive and his heroes Messi and James Bond give Barry the chance to choose his own parents, just what kind of parents would he choose? Parenting is far harder than Barry had ever imagined!

***There is an excellent teacher's resource pack which accompanies The Parent Agency - click here to download.

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.

  • Lainey Freeman, age 10, Evercreech Cof E Primary School - 'A very odd story in a good way! Not many children blame their parents for the names they have! Find out what happens in this most enjoyable read!' Read full review >
  • Peter Baller, age 8 - 'The storyline is very imaginative.  I like the adults’ different personalities.' Read full review >
  • Lily Benner, age 9 - 'An amusing tale with a surprise ending.' Read full review >
  • Gemma Padfield, age 9 - 'This book was very interesting I hope the author will do more series of these books as I enjoyed them.' Read full review >
  • Isaac Phelan, age 10 - 'A hilarious read, taking you into a different world were you get to pick your own parents! I give it a 10/10 for being an expertly written book.' Read full review >
  • Rohan Delamere, age 9 - 'This is an amazingly funny book about a boy who wishes he has better parents and he gets them–but are they really better parents?' Read full review >
  • Sam Harper, age 10 - 'A strange new world which revolves around children. Could this be everything that Barry has wished for? A brilliant theme for a story, this is a real rib-tickler!' Read full review >
  • Alex Faulkner, age 10 - 'This book is funny and it made me laugh my head off (not literally!)' Read full review >
  • Tom White, age 11 - 'I love this book because it is a fun book and it really made me laugh! I think it is probably the best book I’ve read since I was born!' Read full review >
  • Tomasz awryszczuk, age 9 - 'Barry is a nine year old boy who isn't happy with the parents he has. He gets to meet all kind of different characters along the way, five sets of parents in five days, then gets the chance to choose the best.' Read full review >
  • Cora Willans, age 8 - 'The Parent Agency is a really funny and adventurous story, that girls and boys aged 7-11 would really like...I'd give the book 9 out of 10, as it is a tiny bit rude.' Read full review >
  • Kieran Mallory, age 10 - 'It is a fantastic page turner, you will love it! I loved this book because it is funny in lots of ways. It is really fun to read. I would recommend this book to everyone.' Read full review >
  • Nathan Lea - 'This was an amazing book! It was very funny and had a really nice ending. It also had a great moral! David Baddiel is an amazing author. A great book which I would recommend to ages 9 to 12!' Read full review >
  • Bella Perez, age 9 - 'I loved the story because it fills you with interest and wonder.' Read full review >
  • Ellen McTeague, age 13 - 'From the beginning I knew I was going to really enjoy this story...This was a great story and easy to read.' Read full review >
  • Daisy Pritchard-Williams, age 10 - 'I really enjoyed reading The Parent Agency because it was exciting and funny, once I got into it I didn't want to put it down.' Read full review >


The Parent Agency by David Baddiel

A brilliantly funny, gripping novel from a born storyteller, The Parent Agency is an epic wish-fulfilment adventure for every child - and for the child in everyone. Barry said, a third time, I wish I had better parents! And then suddenly the entire room started to shake...Barry Bennett hates being called Barry.

In fact it's number 2 on the list of things he blames his parents for, along with 1) 'being boring' and 3) 'always being tired'. But there is a world, not far from this one, where parents don't have children. That's far too random for something so big and important. In this world, children are allowed to choose their parents. For Barry Bennett, this world seems like a dream come true. Only things turn out to be not quite that simple...Illustrated by Roald Dahl Funny Prize winner, Jim Field.


'Funny, sometimes moving, always engaging'

'I love this book because it really made me laugh! The best book I've read since I was born!' Tom, 11, LoveReading4Kids

'Exciting and funny - I didn't want to put it down!' Daisy, 10, LoveReading4Kids

About the Author

David Baddiel

David Baddiel has written and performed in a series of highly successful TV comedy shows, including The Mary Whitehouse Experience and Baddiel and Skinner Unplanned. He is the author of three previous novels for adults, but The Parent Agency is his first book for children.

He lives in London.

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Book Info


384 pages
Interest Age: From 9


David Baddiel
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HarperCollins Children's Books an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Publication date

4th June 2015




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