Reader Reviewed Steve & Frandan Take on the World by Ron Butlin

Steve & Frandan Take on the World

Written by Ron Butlin

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

In a Nutshell: Fleeing bullies leads to a fight (and flight) of a lifetime | Action-packed adventure in which three friends bite off a whole lot more than most kids can chew when they take flight from a bully, and crash land into a criminal underworld of drug dealers.

Largely due to a bullying “cyber-slimebag”, Steve and twins Fran and Dan have decided that “the sooner they get away from here the better”. With almost Blyton-esque instinct, they’ve built a raft and are now ready to go. But it’s not long before they lose the raft and are forced to take shelter in a cave. While this does offer cosy protection, it also exposes them to unimaginable dangers when they discover a kitbag containing over £30k. And a gun. With their lives now in danger, fearless Fran steps up and deploys immense nerve in an effort to extricate them from this hugely hazardous situation.

The sharp, snappy style combined with criminal-themed content (not forgetting the white-knuckle ride of an escape scene…) put me in mind of Alex Rider, only with the action rooted around three small town heroes-next-door, rather than an international hi-tech hero. As such, this pacey page-turner will surely appeal to 10+ year-olds with a thirst for high-octane escapades, but also has enough grit to keep older – and perhaps more reluctant – readers on the edge of their seats. ~ Joanne Owen

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Emily Lonsdale, age 11 - 'a spectacular adventure full of dangerous villains, perilous escapes and one disloyal pet! I loved this quirky adventure as it not only had me hooked but was written so realistically...'
  • Jack Smith, age 12 - 'this book can be enjoyed by all types of book lovers as it's humorous, exciting, full of twists and turns and packed with adventure!'
  • Matthew Kirk, age 11 - 'a brilliant and also a very modern book as it brings up subjects like cyberbullying however it manages get some humour in as well I would give this 5/5.'
  • Rose Spear, age 12 - '...amazing book full of adventure and excitement. I couldn't put this book down as it was such a good book.'
  • Erica Motoc, age 11 - 'I highly recommend you read this extraordinary book that will tie you in so you can never escape the endless excitement that will happen on every page.'
  • Sam Harper, age 12 - 'An edge-of-the-seat adventure packed full of action and excitement for 13+ readers.'
  • Tomasz Hawryszczuk, age 12 - 'A fast paced adventure which had me gripped from the start...There are several 'bad words' in this book so I wouldn't recommend it to anyone under 12 years old.'
  • Charlotte Cassidy - 'I loved this book because it is action-packed and you can’t put it down once you start reading it.'
  • Holly Wilkins, age 13 - 'This is a fantastic book - full of mystery, mischief and crime... I loved this book because it was a real page turner and you feel as if you are in the story with them.'


Steve & Frandan Take on the World by Ron Butlin

Steve has had enough - enough of cyber-bullies, enough of adults messing up the world. Sharp-witted Fran and her brother worry-wart Dan feel exactly the same. And so, along with his dog Nessie, Steve and the FranDan twins leave town in the dead of night to start on the biggest adventure of their lives ...But if things were bad before, they soon get worse. Much, much worse. Some seriously bad men show up. Why have Steve and Dan been overpowered and led away as prisoners? Why are they kept tied up in the barn of a disused farm?Having managed to escape, and with no way to call for help, Fran knows it's up to her to mount a one-woman rescue.


'Action-packed adventure in which three friends bite off a whole lot more than most kids can chew when they take flight from a bully. Sharp, snappy style [makes for] a pacey page-turner [which] will surely appeal to 10+ year-olds with a thirst for high octane escapades'

* LoveReading4Kids * 'A traditional adventure-mystery with plenty of thrills. This great romp of a tale feels like stumbling on some thrilling piece of one's past - a touch of the Hardy Boys, a hint of Tom Sawyer - yet finding that it's updated, and works even now ... A whitewater ride of a book

* The Herald * 'Ron Butlin is such a versitile author and marvellous poet. He's definitely got the right pitch with this book and I look forward to more' * Nudge Books * 'From the novel's first page, the verve of his prose draws the reader energetically along. The pace is brisk, the style is wry and snappy, and the characters are a delight' * The Courier and Advertiser * 'The book is an easy, cheerful tale with enough peril and comedy to keep readers gripped. The three heroes could be found in any contemporary classroom, and the resolution of their problems is pretty credible. Well worth a read' * The *

About the Author

Ron Butlin

Ron Butlin is a poet, playwright, novelist, short story writer and opera librettist whose works have been broadcast in the UK and abroad and have been translated into many languages. He is the author of bestselling poetry collections The Magicians of Edinburgh and The Magicians of Scotland, both published by Polygon, and the children's book Here Come the Trolls (BC Books). His novels include The Sound of My Voice (winner of the Prix Mille Pages 2004 and Prix Lucioles 2005, both for Best Foreign Novel), Night Visits and most recently Belonging. He was Edinburgh Makar from 2008 to 2014.

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Book Info


176 pages


Ron Butlin
More books by Ron Butlin

Author's Website


Birlinn Ltd an imprint of Birlinn General

Publication date

18th May 2017




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