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Barry Hutchison is an award-winning children’s author and screenwriter. Since 2008 Barry has written over 80 books for children, including several based on the hit TV show, Ben 10 , and a terrifying horror series Invisible Fiends . When not writing he is usually visiting schools and libraries to run events and story-writing workshops for kids and adults alike. Barry lives with his family in Fort William. Read a Q&A with the author here.
Always look a gift-horse in the mouth could be the message of this highly entertaining, very funny new book from master of the madcap adventure Barry Hutchinson. Lisa-Marie and her step-brother Vernon are out shopping for a present for Dad when they wander into the local Create-a-Ted store, tempted - Vernon in particular - by the sign in the window offering 'free' Hallowe'en bears. No sooner have they left with one teddy bear witch, one teddy bear vampire, and one teddy bear Elvis (for Dad) than the trouble starts. The bears come to life and - Bearvis excepted - they are anything but cuddly. Can Lisa-Marie and Vernon stop squabbling long enough to save their parents and their town from the marauding teddies? It manages to be both silly and exciting and, I'm glad to say, sets things up nicely for further adventures.
Interest Age 8+ Reading Age 8 | Kids who like sci-fi, a bit of super-hero action, and to laugh will really enjoy this new book. There's clearly something odd about Ant, aka Bug Boy, and most of the kids at school thinks he's a weirdo. Zac likes him though, even when he notices that behind the sunglasses Ant's eyes are like a spider's, covered in lenses. When Ant is kidnapped by the school's creepy science teacher, Zac goes to help - though it's just as well Tulisa lends a hand too - she's much tougher. The story proceeds at pace and, as long as you're not an arachnophobe, you'll really enjoy the adventure. Particularly suitable for struggling, reluctant or dyslexic readers aged 8+
In a nutshell: laugh-out loud adventures with the boy who can’t lie Poor Beaky Malone’s life was thrown into chaos when an encounter with the mysterious Madame Shirley robbed him of his ability to tell a lie, making school and home life a minefield. In this latest adventure he has some particular challenges to meet: first, in pre-unable-to-lie days, he’d entered his dog into TV’s Most Talented Pets, claiming Destructo could ride a bike; plus he’s got the starring role in the school play – Romeo and Juliet with Aliens – playing opposite his crush Evie. In Barry Hutchison’s capable hands everything that can go wrong does, and a whole lot of other things too. It makes for first-rate, top-speed situation comedy, the laughs coming not just because of the silly set-up but because we actually care for and sympathise with Beaky too. An honest-to-goodness treat for readers! Readers who laugh at Beaky will also enjoy Frank Cottrell Boyce’s The Astounding Broccoli Boy, My Brother is a Superhero by David Solomons or The Person Controller by David Baddiel. ~ Andrea Reece
In a nutshell: action-packed, slime-filled fun early reader Set inside the world of a computer game, the Goozillas series offers non-stop action, fun characters, and jokes galore (the more cringe-worthy the better as far as fans are concerned), all of it liberally drenched with goo and snot: irresistible stuff therefore for a large swathe of young readers. Bright, lively, cartoon-style illustrations add to its appeal. The plot pitches Max and his friends the Goozillas against various enemies led by the thoroughly wicked Bubble Kitten of the Sicklies and this episode features a kung-fu fighting hamster to add to the frenetic fun. The chapter titles - Tanks A Lot, Towers of Terror, Angry Blobs – say it all and guarantee an unbeatable reading experience for those who like their books fast, funny, and friendly. ~ Andrea Reece
September 2017 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: ghost-busting, gadget-rich adventure with monster laughs The appearance of an apparently malevolent poltergeist in his bedroom (just as he’s trying to do his homework too) is the start of a series of life-changing events for Denzel. It’s followed by two ghost-hunters, who seem to be about the same age as Denzel, though they’re equipped with some seriously cool ghost-busting paraphernalia. When a different poltergeist turns up at Denzel’s school the next day, the same duo arrive, and this time after despatching it they take him back to their headquarters; by the end of the book, he’s a new recruit to the secret Spectre Collectors. Adventures don’t come more action-packed than this, but Barry Hutchison manages to squeeze in bags of humour too – Denzel’s best-friend Smithy is a brilliant comic side-kick (and subject of a great surprise twist too). One to recommend to fans of the My Brother is a Superhero series, don’t miss this if you’re looking for excitement, adventure and laughs. ~ Andrea Reece
In a nutshell: enormously funny story about boy compelled to tell the truth Ever since his encounter with an old lady who might just have been a witch, Beaky Malone has been unable to speak anything but the truth – a difficult situation for anyone, but a disaster for a born fibber like Beaky. In this episode he’s chosen to represent the school in a competition that involves camping overnight; with school bully Wayne also on the team, a boy who has good reason to hate him, Beaky is understandably nervous. As ever the action is fast and very, very funny, but it’s surprising how many truths Barry Hutchison can smuggle into the story, about people, relationships, and how lies might just make the world go round. ~ Andrea Reece There are more laughs, along with canny insight into ordinary life in My Brother is a Superhero by David Solomons, or The Person Controller and The Parent Agency by David Baddiel.
January 2017 Book of the Month | In a nutshell: In all honesty, a book to have readers laughing aloud | Poor Beaky Malone: once an accomplished fibber, he’s now condemned to be completely, even brutally honest at all times thanks to an encounter with a little old lady who just might have been a witch. Barry Hutchison takes this comic set up and plays it brilliantly as Beaky blurts out one embarrassing truth after another; funnier but more painful for Beaky still, his teachers never believe him. Forced to spend the school trip partnered with the school’s nastiest bully Beaky can’t stop himself telling everyone that Wayne wet his pants in year 6, making for a particularly tense day. It’s cleverly structured and the characters are deftly drawn too so that we feel for Beaky even as we laugh at him. Readers who laugh at Beaky will also enjoy Frank Cottrell Boyce’s The Astounding Broccoli Boy, My Brother is a Superhero by David Solomons or The Parent Controller by David Baddiel. ~ Andrea Reece
In a Nutshell: the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the truth! If they gave out black-belts for telling fibs, Beaky Malone would be a seventh Dan master. All that changes though when he steps into a rusty metal box that appears to be a truth-telling machine and becomes incapable of uttering a single untruth. It’s a brilliant comic set-up, made even more entertaining thanks to Beaky’s family situation: his bickering aunt and uncle have just arrived for the weekend, with his cousins Max aka ‘Satan in shorts’ and creepy Sophie in tow. Add his teenage sister Jodie into the mix, and their nutty dog Destructo, and the stage is set for a very silly, but very, very funny adventure. Barry Hutchison expertly keeps the plates spinning and there’s an involving adventure beneath the absurdity. ~ Andrea Reece
Hideous monsters, an ill-assorted band of comrades, life-or-death situations, and the odd magic item – who doesn’t love a quest story? Benjamin Blank and his friends Paradise Little and Wesley Chant are off to battle the Shark-Headed Bear-Thing terrorising their area – some of them with more enthusiasm than others. Can they defeat the monster? Will they discover unexpected reserves of strength and heroism? Will a portal into another world open and send a boiled egg travelling fast enough to break the sound barrier? You betcha! Barry Hutchinson packs a satisfying story, and some very funny situation comedy, into just 224 pages, amply illustrated with Chris Mould’s appealing and expressive illustrations. An absurdist adventure that will be gobbled up by kids! ~ Andrea Reece Kirsty from Nosy Crow says: "One minute you're laughing, the next your hair's standing on end. A brilliant mixture of the comic and the completely terrifying – something for everyone, in fact!" Books in The Benjamin Blank Series: 1. The Shark-Headed Bear-Thing 2. The Swivel-Eyed Ogre-Thing 3. The Moon-Faced Ghoul-Thing
Shortlisted for the 2013 Scottish Children’s Book Award The second in the Afterwolds series, this is a cracking adventure which keeps up a terrific pace to the last. The Book of Doom has gone missing! As it is the most important object in existence there are some very red faces indeed. Could Satan have stolen it? If so, how on earth will they ever get it back? It’s not a job for those in heaven. But what about a human? Clever Gabriel comes up with the perfect plan. Selecting fifteen year old Zac to do the job of fetching it and giving him Angelo as a guide seems like a great idea but will they find the way to Hell? And can they bring the book back?
Scottish Book Award 2010 winner - Young Readers (8-11) category. Not for the faint hearted, this is a chilling horror stories for all those who love to be scared. Kyle gave up his imaginary friend years ago, so many years ago that he has forgotten all about him. But, when something attracts his attention by scratching on the ceiling, Kyle has to investigate. Mr Mumbles is no longer imaginary and it seems he is no longer a friend. In fact, Kyle has to keep his wits about him just to stay alive!
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