Berserk by Ally Kennen


Written by Ally Kennen

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

Ally Kennen’s Beast was one of the best debuts of last year and has been lauded with praise and sold in large numbers as well and we feel at Lovereading we helped spread that word-of-mouth through earmarking it early on to members of Lovereading4kids. Here, in Berserk we have something that is just as good. The author is so good at describing the crazy, warped and funny world of troubled teenagers and here when a young teenage boy decides to write to a prisoner on death row, who in turn tries to take over the boys family on his release is brilliantly portrayed and definitely not for the faint-hearted.

Berserk is the second in this chilling teen series after the debut Beast. The third title, Bedlam is out January 2009.


Berserk by Ally Kennen

What happens when there's no-one around to tell you when to stop? A spine-tingling novel about a boy who breaks the rules from the author of BEAST. When 15-year-old Chas finds a website asking people to write to prisoners on Death Row, he decides it would be funny to get letters from a murderer. He writes to an inmate, pretending to be his mum, but the chilling replies are not at all what he expects. Chas's own wild escapades eventually land him in a young offenders' institute, where he learns that his scary penpal has been released. He's heading for England to track down Chas's mum...


“The most gripping and original new children's novelist to be published this year” The Times

About the Author

Ally Kennen

Ally Kennen comes from a proud lineage of bare-knuckle boxers, country vicars and French aristocracy.

She grew up in an isolated farm on Exmoor, with no flushing toilet, dead tadpoles in the taps, and annual rat infestations. The farm was a foster home to many children and teenagers. Ally has worked as a classroom assistant, nursery nurse, museum guard and archaeologist. She is also a professional singer.

Ally lives in Somerset with her husband, small daughter, smaller son and baby four chickens and a curmudgeonly cat. No woman has ever beaten Ally in an arm wrestle.

In Her Own Words:

“I grew up on a small organic farm on Exmoor. My parents still farm cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, turkeys and ducks. I have one brother. My parents fostered children for many years, from when I was about three or four till I was thirteen. They started again when I was eighteen and fostered for another five or six years.

"When I was young, we farmed dairy cows, which make a lot of mess. There is half a mile of muddy road up to the school bus stop. In school assemblies I would usually leave a small pile of dried mud in my place, which I had picked off my shoes. In winter, my school uniform smelled of smoke because it had dried over the fire. We had an outdoor loo, called an earth closet, which had no flush. You had to do what you did, then cover it up with sawdust. When I was eight, we got a flushing loo which I thought was deeply sophisticated (though once I did fall in the septic tank!).

"There were no shops, pubs or buses (except the school bus) and hardly any people. As a child, I spent a lot of time on my own, reading, playing in the mud, building dams and messing around the farm. I was always scruffy and sadly I still am! At school I liked writing stories and liked the idea of being an author, but I also wanted to be a runner, an archaeologist and a naturalist.”

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Book Info


320 pages


Ally Kennen
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Author's Website



Publication date

7th May 2007




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