The Youngstars by Ursula Jones

The Youngstars

Written by Ursula Jones

9+ readers   11+ readers   
Download an extract Add to wishlist Share this book

Selected by our Editorial Experts

An action-packed adventure which vividly captures both the trials and the excitement of life in the theatre for a group of youngsters. Under the eagle eye of their malign boss Mr Piggott – universally known as The Pig – the young people struggle to keep the show on the road despite the rotten conditions. Together they travel from one ramshackle theatre to another living in cheap accommodation and generally making do as well as they can. As The Pig’s son, Ollie is forced into the theatrical life too although he dreams of escaping and becoming an acrobat instead. With lots of action behind the scenes and the background story of Ollie’s mother death there’s plenty of drama with a great deal of atmosphere at its heart.


The Youngstars by Ursula Jones

There was a thud in Ollie's midriff, as though he had been shot. The boy stared at Ollie, open-mouthed with surprise and suddenly the boy smiled. Ollie knew that smile. He knew the boy's face. He'd seen it looking at him from countless dressing room mirrors. It was his own smile, his own face. The boy was his double. Ollie, the youngest of the troupe, struggles through life with a stammer and a deep desire to become an acrobat (to escape the clutches of The Pig). His world is about to be torn apart and re-made by the arrival of movie star, Hal Havern. Meanwhile, Hal Havern's son, Ralph, and his comrade in arms, Giselle, have jumped a train, are evading the law, and trying to escape a mysterious pursuer. The variety troupe, Havern, Ralph and Giselle all descend on the bustling and industrial city of Liverpool, where the troupe are set to give their biggest performance yet. And Olly and Ralph are about to get the shock of their lives!

Ursula Jones’ first novel, The Witch’s Children, received the inaugural Roald Dahl Funny Prize and Nestle Gold Smartie Award. Ursula is also an acclaimed RADA-trained actress and a children’s playwright who has written for Unicorn Theatre for Children and The Royal National Theatre for Children.


'An endearingly, rollicking tale' - The Independent on Sunday,'A real page turner that won't disappoint' - Julie Eccleshare, Lovereading4kids 'An exciting and captivating book' - Families Magazine 'Superbly written with many elements of comedy' - Parents in Touch 'An adventure for everyone from twelve to a hundred and twelve ... a book that I would definitely recommend' - Enchanted Books 'An absolutely ripping yarn, just the kind of adventure story you want to keep reading' - Amazon Vine reviewer 'A very visual novel at times slapstick and hilarious and sometimes poignant and tragic' - Amazon Vine reviewer 'an action packed book, full of non-stop adventure' - Bookbabblers'

About the Author

Ursula Jones

Ursula Jones has had a long and successful career writing for children. In 2003 she won a gold Smartie Award and in 2008 she was awarded the inaugural Roald Dahl Funny Prize. She also trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art; she has a dual career as both a writer and an actress.

Ursula’s creativity was undoubtedly influenced by her unique childhood and early literary encounters. She lived in the house where Arthur Ransome spent his schooldays and where he set much of his well-known Swallows and Amazons series. She also met Beatrix Potter, at that time rather elderly and bad-tempered, who chided her sister for trespassing on her land. Frequently moving house, enjoying an abundance of physical freedom and a lack of parental guidance, Ursula grew up in the perfect environment for nurturing her imagination helping her to develop her own extraordinary gift for storytelling.

More books by this author

Loading similar books...

Other Formats

Book Info


368 pages
Interest Age: From 9 To 12


Ursula Jones
More books by Ursula Jones


Inside Pocket Publishing Ltd

Publication date

23rd April 2012




It is fantastic, you get to read lots of books and you always find something new and amazing in them.

Erica Motoc, age 7

It’s a community united by a passion for books and promoting the best there is in children’s literature.

Sam Bateman and family

I love ‘LoveReading 4 kids’ because they let you read and learn things you’d never dreamed of learning before.

Emily Horncastle – age 11

This company is amazing; not only is it is a great opportunity to get books and review them but everyone is so friendly and supportive!

Jemma Rubens, age 10

A great way to introduce kids to great books, authors & genres. Parents can find age-appropriate books to share with their children.

Judi Davies – Aberdare Girls Sch

It is THE website to use for narrowing down your search for any book. Definitely knocks the socks off any other book review website.

Nickey and Tomasz Hawryszczuk

We love Lovereading4kids because they put books in front of us we wouldn’t otherwise have read. They make us more adventurous readers!

Emily Jacques

LoveReading4Kids is a modern and creative way of emphasising the value and importance of books in this digital age #booksforlife

Amrit Bunet – Teen

Lovereading 4 schools