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The Humiliations of Welton Blake

Written by Alex Wheatle

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The Humiliations of Welton Blake Review

Books of the Month Featured Books for 13+ readers Featured Books for Young Adults Funny Gritty Reads Romance / Relationship Stories School Stories

Niftily comic novella about the cringeworthy trials of an endearing teen boy

January 2021 Book of the Month

Interest Age Teen   Reading Age 8

What a book! Alex Wheatle’s writing buzzes with energy and captures twelve-and-a-half-year-old Welton’s experience of being in love in all its heart-pounding, stomach-flipping, confusing giddiness alongside a run of seriously bad luck. With Wheatle’s outstanding Jamaica-set historic novel Cane Warriors one of my favourite books of recent years, this confirms the author’s status as a writer of huge talent, with the ability to infuse all genres with a special kind of magic.


Things begin to go downhill for Welton the moment he finally plucks up courage to ask out Carmella, “one of the most delicious-looking females in school.” But, somehow, he manages to retain an infectiously upbeat stance throughout, punctuating his problems with Star Wars related exclamations (“Oh, for the life of Yoda!”) as he navigates everything life throws at him - from Hulk-like moustachioed bully Brian and the strife between his divorced parents, to his intense fear of being “lamed and shamed” by Carmella. Welton’s wit and entrepreneurial spirit is especially hilarious and sees him selling damning insults to classmates for 50p a cuss. 


Fresh, funny and authentic, readers will truly root for Welton - while he’s one of a kind, his voice and experiences will resonant far and wide. What’s more, being published by Barrington Stoke, this zesty page-turner is highly readable and produced with reluctant and dyslexic readers in mind, with manageable chapter lengths, a specially selected font and cream paper.

Joanne Owen

Other Info

Ailsa Bathate, Editorial Director says;  “There is a real shortage of genuinely funny books aimed at teenage boys, and it feels particularly joyful that this hilarious story is written by a Black author with a main Black male character whose problems arise not due to issues of discrimination but simply because he is a typical teenager facing the agonies of first love, family break-up and being picked on by a short moustachioed bully. Alex Wheatle is a supreme chronicler of the adolescent experience and this novella showcases his incredible talent for dynamic dialogue and also his capacity for making his readers cringe in recognition while roaring with laughter.” 

Barrington Stoke is the foremost publisher of dyslexia friendly books and those for reluctant readers.  Here on Lovereading4kids we are constantly selecting new titles and refreshing our special dyslexia friendly category.

Click here to view our current selection which is broken down by age range.

The Humiliations of Welton Blake Synopsis

Welton Blake has done it! He's asked out Carmella McKenzie - the best-looking girl in school - and she's only gone and said yes! But just as he thinks his luck is starting to change, Welton's phone breaks, kick-starting a series of unfortunate and humiliating events.

With bullies to avoid, girls ready to knock him out and all the drama with his mum and dad, life for Welton is about to go very, very wrong ...

Hilarity follows disaster in this sharp-witted tale of the trials of teen life from award-winning author Alex Wheatle.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781781129494
Publication date: 07/01/2021
Publisher: Barrington Stoke Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781781129494
Publication date: 7th January 2021
Author: Alex Wheatle
Publisher: Barrington Stoke Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 144 pages
Suitable for: 13+ readers, YA readers
Genres: Funny, Gritty Reads, Romance / Relationship Stories, School Stories
Recommendations: Books of the Month, Reluctant Readers
Collections: Diverse Voices - 80 Children's Books that Celebrate Difference, 2021 Preview - Mega Books on the Horizon,

About Alex Wheatle

Alex Wheatle is the best-selling author of several books including the modern classic Brixton Rock, and the multi-award winning Crongton series. He was awarded an MBE for his services to literature in 2008, has been twice nominated for the Carnegie Medal, and has won numerous awards including Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. He lives in London.

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