Reader Reviewed Five Hundred Miles by Kevin Brooks

Five Hundred Miles

Written by Kevin Brooks

13+ readers   Books of the Month   Super-readable Dyslexia-friendly   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

June 2016 Book of the Month | Interest Age Teen, Reading Age 8

In a Nutshell: mysteries – urban jungle - escape

With typical intensity, Kevin Brooks presents readers with a slice of the life of a singular young man. Cole and his brother Ruben live in East London, as much a part of the landscape as the sooty railway bridges and flat grey sky. A chance encounter in the Live and Let Live pub with a girl who resembles their dead sister, and a monkey, a sudden act of violence, and the four of them are in a car and heading to Scotland. At times chilling, with a palpable sense of foreboding, the book ends on a note of pure joy. Despite its short extent, there’s a real depth to the story and while Brooks deliberately leaves questions about characters unanswered, readers will understand them completely at the book’s close. ~ Andrea Reece

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.

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.

  • Sidney Greenslade, age 12 - 'Five Hundred Miles is a wonderful book about two brothers, a mysterious girl, a gang of gangsters and a simply adorable monkey. Highly recommended.'
  • Dylan Sweet, age 12 - 'I think this is an amazing book which keeps the reader on the edge of their seat all the way through. The plot is quite gripping and the tension builds
  • Traviss Chaytors, age 12 - 'An unusual and different story but a really good read.'
  • Eloise Mae Clarkson, age 13 - 'This book is about two brothers who help a girl and a monkey out of a bad situation....I like the plot but I definitely think there should be a sequel.'
  • Adam Goodman, age 13 - 'A simple, quick and easy read. I enjoyed reading it but the storyline was quite basic.'
  • Jamie Bamford, age 12 - 'Five Hundred Miles is a spectacular book.  You can’t help but love the characters as soon as you meet them.  I definitely recommend to 11+.'


Five Hundred Miles by Kevin Brooks

For brothers Cole and Ruben it's another rainy morning in the badlands of East London, selling dodgy paperwork for even dodgier motors. But arriving in a grimy pub on their latest errand, the brothers stumble across a trio of gangsters, a beautiful young girl and a monkey in a cage - and their entire day is knocked off course. They soon find themselves fleeing in a hot-wired car, girl and chattering monkey in tow, surrounded by police. Their final destination: Oban, five hundred miles north, where they hope to find sanctuary.

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

About the Author

Kevin Brooks

It was the publication of Martyn Pig that changed everything. After being turned down by a number of publishers, Kevin Brooks sent his manuscript to The Chicken House, who jumped on the chance to publish it. They released Martyn Pig in the spring of 2002. In the U.K, the book went on to be short-listed for the Carnegie Medal and win a Branford Boase Award for a first best novel. And in the United States, it was named a Publishers Weekly Flying Start and an ALA Book of the Year, among its many accolades.

One of Brooks' favorite genres is the detective novel, and this shows in his writing, "I think my awareness of plot comes from having read a lot of crime fiction. When Martyn Pig came out, the reviewers were saying things such as 'well plotted' novel. I found that surprising because I didn't have any idea that I could plot or structure a story. I do plan, but I'm not consciously aware that I'm building a plot that creates good suspense; it comes naturally because I've soaked myself in those sorts of plots."

Why did he decide to write for children? "There are not many differences, I don't think, between writing for children and writing for adults," Brooks says, "because children aren't that different from adults. But I would say the story is the main thing, with children. With adults you might use different styles and structures, perhaps indulge in fiddly niceties. Writing for children brings you down to basics."

In 2015 his novel THE BUNKER DIARY was the controversial winner of the prestigious CILIP Carnegie Medal. Brooks was previously shortlisted three times for the award with, MARTYN PIG, THE ROAD OF THE DEAD and BLACK RABBIT SUMMER. Kevin lives in North Yorkshire.

Photo credit: Nadja Meister

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Book Info


88 pages


Kevin Brooks
More books by Kevin Brooks


Barrington Stoke Ltd

Publication date

15th May 2016




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