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The Climbers

Written by Keith Gray

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The Climbers Review

Books of the Month Dyslexia Friendly Books for Teens Family / Home Stories Featured Books for 13+ readers Gritty Reads Short Stories Star Books

A superb teen drama from a gifted author

Reading Age 8 Interest Age Teen

The Barrington Stoke list is proof that a story’s power and impact have nothing to do with length or stylistic flourishes. Like his fellow Barrington Stoke author Carnegie Medal winner Anthony McGowan, Keith Gray writes contemporary teen dramas and does so with similar directness and perception. Sully’s understanding of himself rests to a large extent on his reputation as the best, most fearless tree-climber in his village. That is shaken by the arrival of Nottingham, a boy with equal skills and nerve, maybe even greater. A rivalry develops immediately and comes to a head with a race to the top of a huge Yew tree, the greatest of the ‘Big Five’ in the village. Both boys are afraid to carry on to the top, but unable to back down. It’s a wonderful piece of writing, in just one hundred pages giving readers extraordinary insight into these two young men and the experiences that have shaped them. Readers will recognise themselves or their classmates in Sully and Nottingham and the story is as natural, tangled and deep rooted as the trees they climb. Superb.

Andrea Reece

Other Info

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 Climbers Synopsis

In this compelling story of teenage rivalry and friendship, award-winning author Keith Gray captures the subtle agonies and reality of life growing up in a small town.

Sully is the best climber in the village. He can scale the Twisted Sister's tangled branches and clamber up Double Trunker with ease. But when new kid Nottingham shows up and astonishes everyone with his climbing skills, Sully's status is under threat and there's only one way to prove who's best. Sully and Nottingham must race to climb the last unnamed tree. Whoever makes it to the top will become a legend. But something spiteful and ugly has reared its head in Sully ... Is it worth losing everything just to reach the top?

The Climbers Press Reviews

Keith Gray is the real deal, a writer of intelligence, toughness, and heart. The Climbers is a moving, surprising story of competition, self-awareness, friendship, and the more you look, the deeper the damn thing gets.  -- Patrick Ness

Gray's writing is taut and unflinching. This is a powerful punch of a book  -- Marcus Sedgwick

What a magnificent writer Keith Gray is ... Short and direct, yet as complex and intricate as the twisted and treacherous trees his characters ascend  -- Anthony McGowan

If [Keith Gray] had been writing when I was a kid, then I would have been a reader ... He understands what it means to be a teenager ... The Climbers is a gem of a book  -- Phil Earle

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781781129999
Publication date: 05/08/2021
Publisher: Barrington Stoke Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781781129999
Publication date: 5th August 2021
Author: Keith Gray
Publisher: Barrington Stoke Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 120 pages
Suitable for: 13+ readers
Genres: Family / Home Stories, Gritty Reads, Short Stories
Recommendations: Books of the Month, Star Books
Collections: Best Children's Books of 2021,
Other Categories: Dyslexia Friendly Books for Teen

About Keith Gray

31-year-old Keith was born and brought up in Grimsby and knew from an early age that he wanted to be a writer. When he received 0% for his accountancy exams he decided to pursue his dream. He has since gone on to win the Angus Book Award and the silver medal in the Smarties Prize. He has twice been shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize and was shortlisted for the Booktrust Teen Prize and the Scottish Arts Council Book Award. Rave reviews about his writing have appeared in every broadsheet. Keith was a judge for the Blue Peter Book Award, the ...

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