Reader Reviewed Mind the Gap by Phil Earle

Mind the Gap

Written by Phil Earle

13+ readers   Books of the Month   11+ readers   Julia Eccleshare's Picks   Super-readable Dyslexia-friendly   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

A Julia Eccleshare Pick of the Month | February 2017 Book of the Month | Interest Age Teen Reading Age 8 Mikey thinks the world of his Dad even though he doesn’t see him that often. And when he dies suddenly, Mikey is left with nothing to remember him by except a few fleeting memories of his amazing ability to imitate any voice. With nothing to hang on to, Mikey starts to fall apart. His best mate knows that he must do something to save him and that means finding someone or something that can bring the two together. The search is bleak and dangerous – Mikey’s dad had few friends and many enemies - but the end is triumphant! Phil Earle has created a moving and meaningful story which captures the irreplaceable importance of friendship. ~ Julia Eccleshare

A Piece of Passion from Barrington Stoke MD Mairi Kidd: “When Phil first told me the plot of Mind The Gap I had goosebumps. There’s a real power and urgency to Phil’s writing for young adults, and I love that he has taken a touching true story of love and remembrance and fused it with something very raw – an account of terrible grief experienced by a young man who doesn’t really know how to express or process it, and a friend who desperately wants to help. It’s a hugely emotional story, told sparsely and brilliantly.”

Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant and dyslexic teen readers.

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.

Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for February 2017

Young Magicians and the Thieves' Almanac by Nick Mohammed

A Busy Day for Birds by Lucy Cousins

Mind the Gap by Phil Earle

The Bolds on Holiday by Julian Clary

The Unexpected Love Story of Alfred Fiddleduckling by Timothy Basil Ering

The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis

Reader Reviews

Teen/YA's love to read and so in addition to the review by one of the Lovereading4kids editorial experts some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel members were also lucky enough to read and review this title. Click here to read their full reviews.

  • Natalie McCalla, age 18 - ‘A brilliant and heart-felt story put into the lives of fifteen year old boys, living in a tough estate and dealing with a lot of things, but always being there for each other. No matter what comes.’
  • Lara Craig, age 13 - ‘Mind the Gap is a short but lovely book about friendship and a father and son relationship. Overall I thought this book was fantastic, it put into perspective how one might feel when a friend is swallowed by grief.’
  • Ruth Ward - ‘Characters that you care about from the outset, strong emotions, language and actions. Inspired by a true story that will tug at your heart. Recommended.’
  • Melanie Chadwick - ‘If you’ve got a friend as good as Mikey’s then you’re really lucky. It’s a testament to the value of strong friendship and love.’
  • Dylan Sweet, age 13 – ‘Mind The Gap is a great and emotional book where two best friends go through a bad time together.’
  • Jess Wagstaff, age 16 - 'Quite simply wonderful - a true YA gem that is witty and moving at the same time. I loved it.' 
  • Marianne, age 13 - 'It put me in a certain mind, it showed me a different side of life. Whenever I was reading it was like I was caught up in the actual book.'


Mind the Gap by Phil Earle

When Mikey's dad died, something in Mikey died too. He loved his old man and he never stopped dreaming that one day his dad would land the role of a lifetime, prove them all wrong, and rock back up to the estate in the flashiest car anyone had ever seen. Now there's just numbness, and not caring, and really, really stupid decisions. He says the worst of it is that he can't even remember his dad's voice any more. Eventually Mikey's best mate can't bear it any more, and so he sets out to give Mikey the memories - and his dad's voice - back.

The book’s premise was inspired by a tremendously moving true story. In 2013, Embankment became the last London Underground station to use the iconic ‘Mind The Gap’ announcement recorded by the late actor Oswald Laurence more than 40 years before. Originally, the clip had once been used across the Tube network and Laurence’s widow would visit every day, just to hear his voice. Phil’s novella echoes the grief and longing of this true story but puts the friendship of two boys at its heart.


‘As always, the mighty Phil Earle has written a wonderful story that does exactly what a story should do – it stays with you, it becomes part of you. Tough, funny and incredibly moving, it’s a book that you’ll read in one sitting, but remember for the rest of your life. From the very first word to the final full stop, Mind The Gap is an absolute gem.’ Kevin Brooks, author of The Bunker Diary

'Mind The Gap expresses the true nature of friendship in a convincing and heartfelt manner. It lingers long
after you’ve finished. It leaves you longing for family and hankering for friends old and new. You’ll love it!’
Brian Conaghan, author of When Mr Dog Bites

About the Author

Phil Earle

Phil Earle was born in the great city of Hull in 1974, and spent the next eighteen years playing a lot of sport, messing around in plays and trying to sing in bands. He has had jobs as a care worker in a residential kids' home and a bookseller, and now works as sales and marketing director for David Fickling books. Phil was recently BookTrust's online writer-in-residence and set out to prove with a series of vlogs that there’s a story out there for everyone. This year, Phil has already had sell-out events at Hay Festival and is next appearing at Cheltenham and Bath Children’s Literature Festivals. He lives on a hill in Yorkshire with his wife and three children and his favourite place to write is on the bus.

Author photo credit David Owens

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Book Info


104 pages


Phil Earle
More books by Phil Earle

Author's Website


Barrington Stoke Ltd

Publication date

15th January 2017




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