The More the Merrier by Anne Fine


The More the Merrier by Anne Fine

Christmas comes but once a year. Luckily ...The Christmas holiday is, traditionally, a time when families gather together. In Ralph's case this means ten or more relatives coming to stay, including assorted aunts and uncles, nutty Great-Aunt Ida (the Home tells them to be careful not to let her out) and his ghastly cousins: Titania in her silly, sick-making frilly fairy dresses and the twins Sylvester and Sylvia (it took until Easter last year before the family dog got over them). Jammed into one small house for three days of merriment and family fun, with the tv on the blink and Mum on the verge of a breakdown, it soon becomes obvious that, in this house, more definitely does not mean merrier ...


Anne Fine at her wittiest TES Fine powerfully captures the chaos, frenetic activity and disharmony some families generate. The pace, humour and dramatic repartee could be those of an Alan Ayckbourn play The Bookseller There's a grim cast in this hilarious but barbed story of how Christmas can go so wrong for so many people Guardian Anne Fine works miracles with her just sharper-than-life observations Junior Education A gorgeously observed tale of what Christmas can really be like -- Katie Nicholl Daily Express

About the Author

Anne Fine

Anne Fine was our Guest Editor in July 2011. Click here to see the books she selected.

Anne Fine was born and educated in the Midlands and now lives in County Durham. She has written numerous highly acclaimed and prize-winning books for children and adults.

Her novel The Tulip Touch won the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year Award; Goggle-Eyes won the Guardian Children's Fiction Award and the Carnegie Medal and was adapted for television by the BBC; Flour Babies won the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year Award; Bill's New Frock won a Smarties Prize, and Madame Doubtfire became the major feature film 'Mrs Doubtfire' starring Robin Williams. Anne was named Children's Laureate in 2002 and made an OBE for services to children's literature in 2003.

Click here to read a Q&A with the author or click here to read an extended biography in which Anne talks about her writing.

Here is a letter from author, Sarah Forbes to Anne Fine, who visited her home town when she was eight and made a lasting impression.

Dear Anne Fine,
You won’t remember this, but in the late 1980s you visited Stonehaven Library as part of an author tour. Stonehaven is a lovely place: a small seaside resort on the east coast of Scotland near Aberdeen. It has an open-air swimming pool and a ruined castle. These days it’s famous for being the home of the deep-fried Mars bar. (Yes, I have eaten a deep-fried Mars bar. No, that isn’t why I’m writing this.)

I remember your visit vividly because I was an avid, avid reader of your books. You coming to town was like having a famous pop star parachute in for the day. The excitement of having an actual, real author come to speak to us! Someone whose books I could reach out and touch on the library shelves in the children’s section upstairs where you did your event.

For a kid living in a big literary city like Edinburgh or London, meeting authors might not be such a big deal. Authors tend to work hard to promote their books and the ones I know do as many events as they can. But let me tell you, rural Aberdeenshire in the 80s was not a hotbed of literary discovery, and you coming to town meant a lot. I think that was the point when I realized writing could be a career. Maybe one day, I could be a writer too.

Many, many years later, I found myself back in the children’s section of Stonehaven Library promoting my own children’s books. That felt incredibly weird and incredibly lovely all at the same time. I’m excited to say I’ll also be talking to kids about my Elspeth Hart books at the Edinburgh International Book Festival this month. I have so much fun doing my own events, but my favourite part is when I ask if anyone likes writing or wants to be a writer and dozens of hands shoot up. The ideas these kids have are amazing. I wonder if it’s easier to dream your way into becoming a writer when you meet grown-ups who’ve done the same thing?

Either way, I relish every minute of getting to meet my readers, and part of the reason I appreciate it, Anne, is you.

Warm wishes,
Sarah Forbes

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Book Info


160 pages
Interest Age: From 9


Anne Fine
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Publication date

5th October 2006



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