Reader Reviewed Anyone but Ivy Pocket by Caleb Krisp

Anyone but Ivy Pocket

Written by Caleb Krisp
Illustrated by John Kelly

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

One of our Books of the Year 2016 | January 2016 Debut of the Month Meet Ivy Pocket, junior lady’s maid, and one of the most delightful fictional creations readers are ever likely to encounter. Sacked by her employer after she has – with the best possible intentions - plunged her mistress’s head into a bowl of punch at a dinner party, Ivy is stranded in Paris. It seems a stroke of luck therefore when she’s commissioned to take a precious jewel to England, but there’s something not right about the Clock Diamond, and Ivy is soon plunged into danger of a strange, supernatural kind. The adventure that follows is intriguing and full of scary moments, but it’s Ivy who makes the book really special. Ivy takes plain-speaking to extremes; presents her ridiculous invented self-histories with a bravado that never fails to impress the reader, if not the listener; and has an inexhaustible repertoire of bizarre practical remedies! An original and entertaining story with a truly irresistible heroine. ~ Andrea Reece

The Good Book Guide logo The Good Book Guide Review. The irrepressible Ivy Pocket is a twelve-year-old maid who has agreed to take the precious Clock Diamond from the Duchess of Trinity in Paris to Matilda Butterfield in England for her birthday. However, it is not long before Ivy realises that there are other people who also want to possess the Clock Diamond. This funny mystery story features a unique and feisty heroine who simultaneously engages and exasperates. (Ages 8–11)
~ Andrea Rayner

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.

  • Eloise Mae Clarkson, age 12 - 'This book is unlike any other book I have read. The story was so unique and different. I loved the plot twists and the characters.'
  • Katharine Thomas, age 10 'If you like an exciting storyline, great characters and a fantastic plot then this book is for you!...I would rate it a 5/5 because it is well- written and keeps you guessing until the end.'
  • Ella, age 10 - 'Anyone But Ivy Pocket is a fun book that made me laugh and jump at the same time. It's quite unusual as it’s a Victorian mystery but with some supernatural elements too. I enjoyed it.'
  • Isabelle Preston, age 10 - 'I liked this book because it is a mystery book and is full of adventure.'
  • Molly Betts, age 9 - 'My favourite character was Ivy because she is adventurous, just like me! I would rate this book: *****'
  • Susanna McGurk, age 14 - 'The first novel in the Ivy Pocket series was a great first novel and I cannot wait to read the next book in the series.'
  • Tegan Butler-Moore, age 9 - 'This a good book about a girl who gets involved in a thrilling drama about a murdered Duchess and a mysterious necklace. I really enjoyed it!'
  • Charlotte, age 10 - 'A funny, exciting book. I loved every second of it.'
  • Susie Bridge, age 12 - 'I think 'Anyone but ivy pocket' by Caleb Krisp is really good because for me it make me realize how other people family move away and how lucky I am.'
  • Daisy Theobald, age 12 - 'The more I read it the more I didn't want it to finish. I owould give the book a 10/10!'
  • Oliver Nicholls, age 10 - 'I like the book, it was very mysterious.'
  • Cait Galbriath, age 9 - 'Prepare to meet the clumsy but funny Ivy Pocket - Ivy Pocket will take you on daring adventures so hold on tight.'
  • Lucy Streeter, age 10 - 'This book is all about mystery and adventure...Ivy Pocket is a ball of fire!'

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Anyone but Ivy Pocket by Caleb Krisp

Ivy Pocket is a twelve-year-old maid with the natural instincts of a wartime Prime Minister. Or at the very least, a lighthouse keeper. For the princely sum of GBP500, Ivy has agreed to courier the Duchess of Trinity's most precious possession - the Clock Diamond - from Paris to England, and to put it around the neck of the revolting Matilda Butterfield on her twelfth birthday. Acquiring bosom friends and instant enemies as she goes, it's not long before Ivy finds herself at the heart of a conspiracy involving mischief, mayhem and murder. Illustrated in humorous gothic detail by John Kelly, Anyone But Ivy Pocket is just the beginning of one girl's deadly comic journey to discover who she really is ...


A wonderfully entertaining heroine Financial Times

Exuberantly told with apt and wildly witty caricatures from John Kelly, it has a fun, original voice Sunday Times

Praise from bloggers:

an exuberant, lively, enthusiastic, mysterious, playful, layered and most of all highly enjoyable read! Children's Book Chat

a delight; a laugh-out-loud cobweb of intrigue and mystery with a Dickensian feel, a dash of fantasy, and a heroine like no other Space on the Bookshelf

Funny, morbid and entertaining...a hilariously bizarre protagonist who will definitely make you laugh The Bibliomanicac

This story absolutely blew me away What Lexie Loves

About the Author

Caleb Krisp

Caleb Krisp was raised by militant librarians who fed him a constant diet of nineteenth century literature and room temperature porridge. He graduated from the University of Sufferance with a degree in Whimsy and set out to make his mark in the world as a writer. Years of toil and failure followed, until, following a brief stint working in a locked box, Caleb moved to an abandoned cottage deep in the woods and devoted himself to writing about the adventures of a twelve-year-old lady's maid of no importance. Caleb has a strong dislike of pastry chefs and certain domesticated rabbits. His only communication with the outside world is via morse code or kettle drum. He trusts no one.

A Q&A with Caleb Krisp

1. What was your favourite book when you were a child?

My favourite childhood book concerned four children, a country house and a wardrobe. It featured a majestic talking lion and a large quantity of turkish delight. I spend many happy hours lost inside its pages - and I still venture there from time to time.

2. Who is your favourite hero in a book?

My favourite hero is from a novel without a hero. Her name is Becky Sharp and she lives in the pages of a book called Vanity Fair. Becky Sharp is a strange creature. She does as she pleases. She flounces around making mischief and a certain amount of misery. And she is utterly and delightfully herself. Rather like Ivy Pocket.

3. Who is your favourite villain in a book?

This is a monstrously difficult question! Villains are one of the great delights of storytelling, it seems to me. In the end, I have settled on three. Quilp from The Old Curiosity Shop, Madame De La Rougierre from Uncle Silas and Count Fosco from The Woman in White.

4. If you could be a character from a book who would you be?

Colin, from The Secret Garden. He's bedridden, has a phantom hump on his back, is wondrously melodramatic and the heir to a gloriously grim gothic estate (complete with secret garden). What could be better?

5. If you could recommend just one book for everyone to read what would it be?

The one collecting dust in a far flung corner of your room. Don't you know it's been lying there all this time - just waiting for you to open the cover and step inside?

6. Who or what was your biggest influence in deciding to become a writer?

Each and every book I read on my journey to adulthood influence my vocation as a writer. Those books - perhaps hundreds if you added them all up - transported me to other times and other places. They were worlds of endless possibility, heart-stopping danger and infinite wonder. Grand houses, quaint cottages, whole villages, cities and countries were built in the landscape of my imagination, thanks to those books. It is to this wonderland that I travel whenever I am in search of my next story. I always seem find new characters there, in some forgotten room or dim attic, just waiting to tell me their tales.

7. What inspired you to write your latest book?

I wanted to write about a girl who was unlike many of the heroines I read about in middle grade fiction. A girl who was plucky and optimistic, yes, but also incorrigible, delusional, loose with the truth, infuriating and utterly bonkers. Ivy Pocket turned up fully formed as I started to write the book - I heard her voice in my head, clear as church bells, and I hurried to write it all down before she went away.

8. Do you have any abandoned stories in you ‘bottom drawer’ that you would like to revisit?

A great many. Most are terrible. But a few are worth revisiting. One day, when the adventures of Ivy Pocket are but a memory, I might just dig them out, dust off and see if they have a story worth telling.

Photo taken from Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency Author page.

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Book Info


336 pages
Interest Age: From 9


Caleb Krisp
More books by Caleb Krisp

Author's Website


Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

Publication date

14th January 2016




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