Bullet Boys by Ally Kennen

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Shortlisted for the 2012 Guardian children's fiction prize and One of Julia Eccleshare’s Stand-out Children’s Book of the Year 2012

An outstanding book for all teen readers, Bullet Boys is a gripping, desperate story about boys, girls, guns and choices. Gentle Alex, son of a gamekeeper, is a crack shot. He knows all about guns; their danger and their value. Calm, sensible Levi knows nothing of guns but is good with girls and needs money. Rebel Max is fighting everything – including his family’s Army background. And Sasha? She’s just a very sane girl coping with teen parenthood, study and staying friends with her peer group. When they uncover a stash of hidden guns on an Army training base things get very dangerous indeed. It takes Alex’s very cool head to keep his friends safe! Ally Kennen has an exceptional gift for writing convincingly about teenagers, especially those who don’t conform.

Other titles from Julia Eccleshare's Stand-out Books for 2012 include...

This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

Goldilocks by Allan Ahlberg

Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

The Abominables by Eva Ibbotson

A Hen in the Wardrobe by Wendy Meddour


Bullet Boys by Ally Kennen

Alex, Levi and Max follow the young soldiers from the local army camp on the moor. But harmless rivalry develops into something far more incendiary. When the boys discover a cache of buried weapons near the training grounds, deadly forces are brought into play. This is an electrifyingly dark teen thriller from the author of Beast and Quarry.


'Bullet Boys is tense and exciting with a twisty-turny plot and characters you can believe in. It's also clever and provoking. What more could you want?' - The Bookbag

'Kennen has a hotline to all that is funniest, craziest, most dangerous and most creative about troubled teenagers' - The Times

More praise for Ally Kennen:

"Rings with talent and compelling detail" - The Times

"A chilling, atmospheric thriller" - The Bookseller

"As taut and exciting a thriller as anything likely to be published this year" - Books for Keeps

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


304 pages


Ally Kennen
More books by Ally Kennen

Author's Website



Marion Lloyd Books an imprint of Scholastic

Publication date

5th January 2012




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