Reader Reviewed The Boy Who Sailed the Ocean in an Armchair by Lara Williamson

The Boy Who Sailed the Ocean in an Armchair

Written by Lara Williamson

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

One of our Books of the Year 2015 - Shortlisted for the Blue Peter Book Award 2016 - Best Story - October 2015 Book of the Month Lara Williamson writes books that are poignant and heart-warming, books unequivocally and unashamedly about love. Eleven year old Becket Rumsey is struggling to find the answers to some important questions: how to properly say goodbye to his mum, who died when his little brother was born, and why his dad – fish delivery man ‘the Codfather’ - has suddenly left their ‘second mum’ Pearl. It’s no wonder that he’s sad and worried, yet for all that the book is very funny. The humour comes from Becket’s idiosyncratic view of life, and the things he gets up to with little brother Billy, but also from the gap that exists between adults’ and children’s understanding of the world. Becket does find the answers to his questions, and ends the book happier and a bit wiser - readers will too. ~ Andrea Reece

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and a small number of the reader review panel members were lucky enough to be invited to review Lara's debut novel, A Boy Called Hope. You can read their full reviews by clicking here

  • Kulsuma Begum, age 16 - 'an honest, realistic and heart-warming story about belonging, identity and family.'
  • Rosa Boran, age 14 - 'I adored this book! It was so sweet and warmed me all the way down to my toes...I really enjoyed it.'
  • Alice Watkinson, aged 11 - 'After I turned the final page and the last word was read, my head was spinning and I clutched the book close to my chest as I didn’t want to leave Daniel.'
  • Antonia Davies, age 14 'I would recommend it to everyone because I enjoyed it loads and I would love others to read it too. I found the book page turning and I could not stop reading.'
  • Sam Harper, age 10 - 'This bitter-sweet book is fantastic, brilliant, funny and sad.  It made me laugh and cry and I've never read a book which could do that before.  You must read it.'
  • Chloe Pickering, age 10 - 'I really liked this book as the caracters are all very different and quite funny but the storyline is serious and a bit sad.'
  • Alice East, age 9 - 'Dan goes through a lot of different emotions throughout the story and I felt happy and sad with him.'
  • Imogen Breaks, age 11 - 'All Dan Hope wants is his real dad to love him, not suspicious Big Dave.  One boys search of hope and love, but what he doesn't realise is that he doesn't in fact have to travel very far.' 
  • Jodi Coffman, age 12 - 'Fabulous!  A real page-turner which has so many twists and turns in the plot.  I could not put it down and read it way past my bedtime.  I couldn't recommend this book more.  A must read!'
  • Alina Wraith, age 8 - 'A Boy Called Hope was good to read.  It was funny and exciting but some bits were sad.  I would read some more books by Lara Williamson.'
  • Adi Mehta, age 8 ½ - 'A Boy Called Hope is an excellent book teaching people that whatever happens you will always be with your father.  It also says you have to move on with your life whatever comes your way.'
  • Bella Perez, age 8 - 'I read and read until my eyes dried up, this book is a mixture between funny and sad. I couldn't resist reading it, never in my life would I give up such a fantastic book!'
  • Jennifer Bridgeman, age 8 - 'This book was funny, sad, exciting and marvelously written. I loved it, it made me laugh until I cried. I would definately pass this on to my school book corner. I think that this is a very special book.'
  • Katie Johnson, age 10 - 'I liked this book because it is very emotional, and full of ups and downs for Dan Hope...Awesome book!  I would definitely recommend it!'
  • Kate Cooley, age 10 - 'A thrilling, funny and amazing story of a boy who wants his father back but it's not as easy as he thinks.'
  • Massimo, age 10 - 'A Boy Called Hope was an inspiring book about a kid called Dan Hope.'
  • Felicity Wilcox, age 11 - 'Heart-Warming, I never know what’s coming round the corner which makes it more of a page turner.'


The Boy Who Sailed the Ocean in an Armchair by Lara Williamson

All Becket wants is for his family to be whole again. But standing in his way are two things: 1) his dad, his brother and him seem to have run away from home in the middle of the night and 2) Becket’s mum died before he got the chance to say goodbye to her. Arming himself with an armchair of stories, a snail named Brian and one thousand paper cranes, Becket ploughs on, determined to make his wish come true. With tears and laughter - often both at the same time - Lara Williamson deals with family drama with a poignancy and a lightness of touch that is incredibly moving.


“This book totally blew me away. I love it. It's the best new voice I have read in ages.” - Cathy Cassidy on 'A Boy Called Hope'.

About the Author

Lara Williamson

Lara Williamson was born and studied in Northern Ireland. After work experience at Marie Claire and freelancing for various magazines including ELLE and New Woman, Lara eventually settled at J17 where, as Beauty Editor, she wrote and styled shoots. Lara won The Jasmine Awards for Best Article in a Youth Title and more recently received an Honorary Mention in Undiscovered Voices 2012.

A Boy Called Hope, Lara’s first novel, was shorlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2015 and the Independent Booksellers' Week Award 2014.

She currently lives in London with her family.

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Book Info


336 pages


Lara Williamson
More books by Lara Williamson

Author's Website


Usborne Publishing Ltd

Publication date

1st October 2015




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