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Josh Lacey is the author of many books for children including The Island of Thieves, Bearkeeper, The Dragonsitter and the Grk series. He has worked as a journalist and written one book for adults, God is Brazilian. His first book for children, A Dog Called Grk, was shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award and is written under the pseudonym Joshua Doder.
Josh lives in London with his wife and daughters.
February 2019 Book of the Month | This is book ten in this excellent series which recounts – via email exchanges – the escapades of young Eddie Smith-Pickle and his eccentric Uncle Morton, dragon aficionado and explorer. In this episode, Eddie’s first email to his long-suffering mother is entitled Confession and gets straight to the point: he’s not in Glasgow as mum believes, but 4,329 miles further away. Uncle Morton has persuaded his nephew to accompany him to Mongolia to witness the legendary Great Dragon Battle Ceremony. The trip turns out to be every bit as exciting as you’d expect, and it’s only the arrival of Uncle Morton’s own dragons, Ziggy and Arthur, that prevents Eddie ending up as a dragon’s dinner. The email format ensures the stories are told with the utmost economy, but they’re also full of humour and wit. This is sophisticated storytelling in a really accessible format, no wonder the series has now reached number ten.
There’s great excitement in the Smith-Pickle household when an old egg given to Eddie by Uncle Morton suddenly appears to be hatching. It’s clearly something very special and the cute little feathery creature that emerges has a strange effect on dragons: they seem to be both drawn to it, and terrified of it. With seven dragons in the garden, sporadically trying to attack the little fledgling in the house, no wonder Eddie’s Mum is cross. As ever the story is recounted through Eddie’s emails to Uncle Morton and it makes for fast, funny and highly entertaining reading. This is book nine in a consistently excellent series.
In a nutshell: one of our dragons is missing! More hi-jinks with Uncle Morton and his dragons As fans of this excellent series will know, young Edward Smith-Pickle is often called in to dragon-sit for his Uncle Morton’s two dragons. This time he’s in left charge while Uncle Morton hunts a Kraken but something terrible happens: Ziggy and her son Arthur are dragon-napped! As ever, the action is described by Edward in typically pithy but action-packed emails to his uncle, and his uncle’s occasional laid-back replies. The format makes the stories particularly immediate, not a word is wasted in the telling but the reader has more than enough information to fill in the gaps in Edward’s narrative. Hugely enjoyable, these sophisticated little stories are accessible to all. ~ Andrea Reece
In a nutshell: dragons Halloween and a visit from Granny | Josh Lacey’s Dragonsitter stories are little masterpieces of comic storytelling. In each one, the action is revealed via emails between young Edward Smith-Pickles and his uncle Morton, owner of a family of dragons, with Garry Parsons’s illustrations of the photos and selfies sent as attachments adding further detail. Eddie’s matter-of-fact reports form a wonderful contrast with the evident disruption caused by the dragons, particularly when he mentions how the adults involved are reacting. In this adventure Eddie borrows the dragons to boost his chances in a Hallowe’en costume competition, but disaster occurs when the dragons find the Trick or Treat goodies. Apparently simple and very pick-up-able, these are sophisticated little adventures, and very good indeed. ~ Andrea Reece
Josh Lacey’s Dragonsitter books pack really quite huge adventures as well as a lot of laughs into a very short extent, and are perfect for young readers. The Smith-Pickles are still baby-sitting Uncle Morton’s dragons and Eddie takes two, Ziggy and baby Arthur, on a half-term trip with Dad to London. Cue disaster, especially when Arthur escapes in the Natural History Museum. As ever, the story is told via emails from Eddie to his uncle, and his brief reports provide just enough detail to enable the reader to fill in the blanks for a real sense of the chaos being caused. Inventive, clever and hugely satisfying these little books are really very good indeed. ~ Andrea Reece Fans will also enjoy Pugs of the Frozen North by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre, another zany but cleverly written and illustrated adventure.
Josh Lacey’s Dragonsitter stories are short, sharp and very funny. Once again, Eddie Smith-Pickle and his mum are landed with looking after Uncle Morton’s dragons while he’s busy doing something else. This time, their arrival coincides with Eddie’s birthday party, and Mum’s blossoming romance with Gordon. As ever, the havoc the dragons cause is described via Eddie’s emails to his uncle; Eddie gives us the bare basics so the reader fills in the blanks. Suffice to say that everyone has a great time at the party, with the exception of magician Mister Mysterio, and his rabbit. There’s a real adventure packed into this slim volume, perfect for newly independent readers. ~ Andrea Reece ***In addition to a review by our Lovereading4kids editorial expert some children on our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were lucky enough to read and review one of the titles in the Dragonsitter series - Dragonsitter's Island. They loved it. Click here to read their reviews.
All those who love the predicaments of Eddie the Dragonsitter as he tries to manage Ziggy, his Uncle Morton’s wayward pet, will be delighted by this 3-in-1 volume. From Ziggy’s first arrival in The Dragonsitter in which Eddie tries to deal with unexpected fires and a terrified postman through a host of adventures in The Dragonsitter Takes Off when Ziggy reveals a very unexpected secret to yet more excessive adventures in The Dragonsitter’s Castle which features fireworks with loud and surprising results, every story will delight. A review of The Dragonisitter - A hilarious story full of useful tips for any dragon-minder. When Eddie’s Uncle Morton goes off on an urgent mission he leaves his dragon behind with Eddie as the babysitter. But a dragon is not easy to look after and what with dragon poo on the carpet, burn holes through the fridge door and flames in the curtains, Mum is soon at the end of her tether. What is Eddie to do? Eddie’s increasingly desperate emails to his uncle recount the terrible things the dragon does. What will his uncle’s remedy be? ***In addition to a review by our Lovereading4kids editorial expert some children on our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were lucky enough to read and review one of the titles in the Dragonsitter series - Dragonsitter's Island. They loved it. Click here to read their reviews.
A welcome addition to the highly entertaining Dragonsitter series which has previously been shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. Eddie is looking after his Uncle Morton’s dragon on a remote Scottish island. As ever with anything to do with Uncle Morton, nothing goes entirely to plan. Eddie is managing a locked house, the dinosaurs, some grumpy neighbours and…the Loch Ness Monster. Can he keep everyone safe before his uncle returns?
Shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2013 A welcome return to this series, previously shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Book Prize. Edward Pickle-Smith writes to his Uncle Morton to ask him why his dragons have arrived unexpectedly. How can he persuade his Uncle Morton to come and fetch them? Edward has done dragon sitting before and knows just what a handful his charges can be! Taking them to a castle in Wales seems like a good idea but even there the dragons can get into lots of trouble. ***In addition to a review by our Lovereading4kids editorial expert some children on our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were lucky enough to read and review one of the titles in the Dragonsitter series - Dragonsitter's Island. They loved it. Click here to read their reviews.
Shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, the first book about Eddie and Ziggy, a very unusual dragon, is now followed by a sequel. Eddie had thought that looking after a dragon would be easy but how wrong he is! How Eddie manages his wayward dragon and deals with the fire breathing friend who comes to visit her is a brilliant follow up for all of Eddie and Ziggy’s fans. ***In addition to a review by our Lovereading4kids editorial expert some children on our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were lucky enough to read and review one of the titles in the Dragonsitter series - Dragonsitter's Island. They loved it. Click here to read their reviews.
If you're looking for plenty of action and adventure then Josh Lacey creates it in spades. The protagonist is a boy called Tom who also featured in Josh's previous novel The Island of Thieves. Tom with the help of his uncle must find a a jewel encrusted tiger that belonged to his family many generations before and which is now being sought by a ruthless man who will stop at nothing to get his hands on it.
Shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2012. A hilarious story full of useful tips for any dragon-minder. When Eddie’s Uncle Morton goes off on an urgent mission he leaves his dragon behind with Eddie as the babysitter. But a dragon is not easy to look after and what with dragon poo on the carpet, burn holes through the fridge door and flames in the curtains, Mum is soon at the end of her tether. What is Eddie to do? Eddie’s increasingly desperate emails to his uncle recount the terrible things the dragon does. What will his uncle’s remedy be? ***In addition to a review by our Lovereading4kids editorial expert some children on our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were lucky enough to read and review one of the titles in the Dragonsitter series - Dragonsitter's Island. They loved it. Click here to read their reviews.
A Lovereading4kids 'Great Read' you may have missed 2011 selection. When Tom finds himself jetting to Peru with his uncle he has no idea what lies in store. Nothing is quite straightforward with Uncle Harvey; a trip to Lima turns out to be a quest for buried treasure – gold from the days of Sir Francis Drake – which could be hidden almost anywhere along miles of coastline. Tom is an excellent narrator and the slippery character of his uncle is wittily exposed.
Humour and pace are the hallmarks of Josh Lacey’s writing (Grk series and Bearkeeper) and this new series (this is the second title) makes this an absolute must read for 9+ year olds. The Misfitz are four children who share four parents and find themselves caught up in some very unusual mysteries. When Frank’s mother disappears, it's a job for him and his Misfitz to resolve as no one else seems to be interested. Together, they skive off school and sneak out of their home, catch a train across the country and search for clues. They soon find themselves on the trail of a mysterious cult in a mysterious mansion, the home of the Tiger.... The first Misfitz Mystery is The One that Got Away A word from the author: “When I started thinking about the Misfitz, I knew that I wanted to write about a family who have all kinds of complicated relationships, but take them completely for granted. They’re an ordinary modern family, packed with half-brothers and half-sisters, stepfathers and stepmothers, parents who have married more than once and children who are related to one another in convoluted ways. This is just the stuff of their everyday lives. They don’t see anything unusual about living with their mother and their stepfather or going on holiday with their father and their stepmother.I wanted to write about ordinary kids living ordinary lives who have some extraordinary adventures - the type of adventures that you or I might have if we kept our eyes open and looked out for the villains who are all around us, getting away with it because we don’t notice what they’re doing.”
An exciting new adventure series with a green theme as Ben sets out to find who has stolen the strawberries. No one believes him when he says the thief is a monkey, so Ben bravely decides to find out exactly what’s going on. But there is too much danger for him to manage alone. Ben needs all the help he can get from his half sister and step brother in this charming story of a family with a difference. Plenty of humour and pace that are the hallmarks of Josh Lacey’s writing (Grk series and Bearkeeper) make this an absolute must read. You can see the second title in the Misfitz series, due this september, by clicking here. An extract for that title will follow sometime this summer.
Step back to Shakespeare's time in this thrilling adventure story which weaves togther a real and an imaginary past. Pip sets off to London to search for his father and to prove that he can become a famous knife fighter, like him. But London is a scary place and soon Pip finds that his life is in great danger. Luckily, he makes two very unual friends - including Shakespear himself.
Eddie has travelled with his uncle Morton to Mongolia, in hope of being one of the few to watch the Great Dragon Battle Ceremony. But wild dragons are not nearly so friendly as pet ones, and the inhospitable mountains are a dangerous place to be stuck with nothing but a pile of chocolate bars. Meanwhile, back at home, Mum can't quite believe her son has really run off to Mongolia, and now she has been left with the tricky task of dragonsitting . . . Told in emails between Eddie and his mum, The Dragonsitter in the Land of the Dragons is an extra actionpacked tale of misunderstandings, monsters and Mars bars.
Eddie was given a dragon's egg by his uncle for his last birthday, and one day he notices a crack in the egg. Soon the egg breaks open and out comes a very unusual creature. Just as Eddie and Emily are trying to cope with this new arrival, their mum announces that she has a surprise of her own... In their ninth adventure Eddie and Emily get the biggest surprise of their lives!
When Tim finds an abandoned little dog outside his house, he can't just leave him there, even though his parents hate the idea of pets in their house. But it turns out that this is no mere homeless pooch - he's Grk, the missing pet of the ambassador of Stanislavia. Tim wants to reunite them, but it means that he will become embroiled in the dangerous politics of a secretive Eastern European country. It's not long before Tim finds himself breaking into a high-security prison, flying a helicopter, and making a nail-biting race for the border - all for the love of a very special dog. Shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award.
Dear Uncle Morton Are you sitting down? If you're not, you probably should. Because I have some very bad news. Someone has stolen one of your dragons. Eddie's mum is getting remarried, to Uncle Morton's Scottish neighbour Gordon. But then Ziggy is stolen. It's not long before Arthur is taken too. Eddie must track the thief down, rescue Uncle Morton's dragons and get to the church on time. . .
On Halloween the night is full of strange creatures: witches, vampires, ghosts - and dragons. In their seventh adventure Eddie and Emily take their uncle's pet dragons trick or treating. But the dragons have quite the sweet tooth, and it's not long before things go ghoulishly wrong...
Dear Uncle Morton I have to tell you some bad news. We have lost Arthur. He's somewhere in London, but I don't know where. Eddie takes the dragons with him on his half-term trip to London, but it's not long before disaster strikes and both dragons go missing. From the Natural History Museum to the London Eye, through tube stations, hotels and London Zoo, Eddie chases his dragons, hoping to avert disaster. But there's no smoke without a fire...
Two books in one means double the fun! Dear Uncle Morton, The McDougalls are here. Mr McDougall won't stop shouting. He has lost three sheep in a week. Now he wants to take your dragons away. Eddie has yet more trials by fire in this latest collection of fab Dragonsitter books. This time, he's dragonsitting on his uncle's remote Scottish island home, and getting some unexpected birthday party guests. What can possibly go wrong?
It's Eddie's birthday and he's looking forward to a birthday party filled with fun, games and . . . dragons? Ziggy and Arthur are the unexpected guests, but their idea of a good time involves eating everything in sight and ruining the party magician's tricks. Is Eddie in for the wrong kind of birthday surprise?
Three books in one means triple the fun! The Dragonsitter Eddie is looking after his uncle Morton's dragon Ziggy whilst he is on holiday - but it's not long before disaster strikes! Soon the fridge is empty, the curtains are blazing, and the postman is fleeing down the garden path. The Dragonsitter Takes Off Eddie thought he'd got the hang of dragonsitting - until Ziggy disappears, only to be found guarding a big secret in the linen cupboard. It's not long before a very unexpected guest flies in! The Dragonsitter's Castle Dragonsitting isn't getting any easier for Eddie. A castle, a sneezing dragon and a big box of fireworks: looks like the new year is going to start with a bang!
Eddie is dragonsitting again, but this time he's looking after Uncle Morton's Scottish island too. And there are some strange goings on: the local sheep are disappearing, and Eddie swears he sees a mysterious creature in the loch. Could there be more than just dragons living there? It seems Eddie is in for a beastly surprise! Written as a series of emails between Eddie and Uncle Morton, this quirky, original series has a growing legion of fans and offers something different to young readers.
The tiger is yours and you must come to take him. His jaw and chest are covered with fine jewels, rubies and emeralds... You must bring yourself to India and find this tiger.Tom Trelawney discovers an incredible family secret. While serving as a soldier in India one of his ancestors stole and then hid a precious, jewel-encrusted tiger. The tiger is one of eight -- all identical -- that once surrounded the throne of a legendary sultan. Now a ruthless Indian billionaire is attempting to collect the full set -- and only one is still missing.With his roguish Uncle Harvey in tow, Tom sets off to find this family treasure. But they're not the only people looking for it.
Dear Uncle Morton Your dragons are still here. They have eaten the entire contents of the fridge and most of the tins in the cupboard too. Arthur also swallowed three spoons and the remote control. Mum says they will probably come out the other end, but I'm not really looking forward to that. When Eddie has to take Uncle Morton's dragons away with him in the Christmas holidays - it's not long before they're causing all sorts of mischief again! Dragonsitting isn't getting any easier for Eddie. A castle, a sneezing dragon and a big box of fireworks. Looks like the new year is going to start with a bang!
Dear Uncle Morton, Ziggy won't move from the linen cupboard. He still hasn't eaten a thing. Not even a Malteser. I'm really quite worried about him. Eddie had thought that this time dragonsitting would be easy - until Ziggy disappears, only to be found in the linen cupboard, refusing to budge. But moving Ziggy is the last thing on Eddie's mind when he learns that his uncle's dragon has been keeping a big secret . . .
The tiger is yours and you must come to take him. His jaw and chest are covered with fine jewels, rubies and emeralds . . . You must bring yourself to India and find this tiger. Tom Trelawney discovers an incredible family secret. While serving as a soldier in India one of his ancestors stole and then hid a precious, jewel-encrusted tiger. The tiger is one of eight - all identical - that once surrounded the throne of a legendary sultan. Now a ruthless Indian billionaire is attempting to collect the full set - and only one is still missing . . . With his roguish Uncle Harvey in tow, Tom sets off to find this family treasure. But they're not the only people looking for it . . .
'Dear Uncle Morton. You'd better get on a plane right now and come back here. Your dragon has eaten Jemima.' It had sounded so easy: Edward was going to look after Uncle Morton's unusual pet for a week while he went on holiday. But soon the fridge is empty, the curtains are blazing, and the postman is fleeing down the garden path. 'Short, sharp and funny' - Telegraph
Dognapped! Grk is walking happily through the park, sniffing trees and chasing squirrels, when he's suddenly snatched by two men in black suits. Where are they taking him? And how can Tim get him back? Tim and Grk's eighth amazing adventure takes them to the home of pizza, pasta and the leaning tower of Pisa. There they meet the Duke of Macaroni, a man with a terrible secret which he will do anything to hide.
Buried treasure. Ruthless gangsters. An ancient clue . . . Our Captayne took the pinnace ashore and I went with hym and six men also, who were sworne by God to be secret in al they saw. Here we buried five chests filled with gold. Tom Trelawney was looking for excitement. Now he's found it. With his eccentric uncle Harvey, he's travelling to South America on a quest for hidden gold. But Harvey has some dangerous enemies and they want the treasure too. Who will be the first to uncover the secrets of the mysterious island?
When Grk sniffs some succulent sausages, he can't resist following his nose - and ends up on the other side of the world. He's in Australia, the land of surfing, sharks and the Red Jelly Gang, a ruthless band of crooks who have taken over the Sydney Opera House. Somehow, Tim will have to travel halfway around the planet, rescue his beloved dog and outwit the most wicked villains in the Southern Hemisphere.
Tim and Natascha realise to their horror that Max has gone to Paris to confront their first adversary, Colonel Zinfandel, the dictator of Stanislavia. They rush after him, with their intrepid dog Grk. Will Max overstep the mark and do something dangerous? Will Colonel Zinfandel be a ruthless and violent as he is has been before? And how can two children and a dog do any good? All will be revealed when they reach Paris!
India. The country of curry, chutney, tigers, the Taj Mahal... and the blue rat gang. In Delhi, hundreds of children have been enslaved. Will no one help them? Does no one care? One person does. And one dog too. On trains and rickshaws, travelling from slums to palaces, Tim and Grk plunge into the heart of India for the most exciting adventure of their lives.
A fearless boy with a fierce friend Pip is a blacksmith's apprentice - but he longs to be a famous knife-fighter like his dead father. Alone in London, he meets great danger...and two odd allies. One is hairy and hungry. The other is William Shakespeare. Pip's extraordinary adventures have begun. This story is by the author of the best-selling GRK stories.
When Tim discovers a man badly hurt on a beach, his sun-kissed relaxing holiday in the Seychelles takes on a more dangerous twist. He and Grk are the only ones, it seems, who want to know what happened. They find themselves speeding towards a well-guarded private island, and single-handedly foiling a dastardly plot threatening the local endangered giant tortoises.
New York might be the Big Apple, but for Tim it's sausage city! A priceless golden statue has been stolen and Tim has a vital clue. He follows the trail of hot dogs in a sizzling chase from sleepy Central Park to boisterous Brooklyn - helped by the hottest dog of all, Grk!
A trip to Brazil should be fun, right? Well, it's certainly exciting, as Tim and his dog Grk zip through the streets of Rio at high speed after the notorious Pelotti gang. Then their plane crashes in the jungle, and they find themselves having to fight to the death on the world's biggest waterfall. Will it be enough to stop the most dangerous criminals in South America? You'll just have to read to find out!
When Tim finds an abandoned and bedraggled little dog outside his house, he can't just leave him there, even though his parents hate the idea of pets in their house. And then the endearing animal turns out to be Grk, the much loved pet of the recently replaced ambassador of Stanislavia, left behind when they made a rushed (and enforced) exit. Tim innocently wants to reunite them, but it means that he will become embroiled in the violent and dangerous politics of this little known East European country. To find them, he will have to break into a high security prison (and out again!) and escape from the consequent hue and cry. This will involve the hair-raising piloting of a helicopter, and a nail-biting race for the border. Could this be the new 007? A Dog Called Grk is Shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award.