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King of Nothing

"Wonderful characters, witty wordplay and a challenge to so-called “alpha-men” combine in this heart-warming and hilarious novel."

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LoveReading4Kids Says

LoveReading4Kids Says

April 2024 Book of the Month

Anton and his friends rule the school, they go where they like and say what they like. They consider everybody else beneath them, including the teachers. But when Anton keeps getting into trouble, his mum is less impressed by his fierce reputation and more concerned for his future. Hoping he’ll see the error of his ways and make new friends, she removes his internet privileges and signs him up to volunteer for a wholesome community. If he doesn’t join in, he doesn’t get back online.

Surrounded by guitar-led sing-a-longs, secret handshakes and unbridled enthusiasm, Anton is less than impressed, but when mega geek Matthew saves his life, Anton has a debt to repay. Can he turn Matthew cool? Or will Matthew be the one changing Anton?

King of Nothing perfectly demonstrates why Lessore’s Carnegie shortlisted debut, Steady For This, was so successful. He is a new and exciting author for the young teen market, writing character driven comedy with massively impressive depth, truthfulness, and hilarity. Anton starts as a deeply unpleasant character, full of disdain for anything and anyone he considers below his level of cool. Whilst Matthew represents everything Anton and his bullying mates hate – he's kind, open, and unapologetically geeky. Alongside a perfectly rendered cast of secondary characters, they show the importance of being your true self and deciding what sort of person you really want to be.

Dealing with grief, toxic masculinity, sexist influencers, domestic violence, and parents in prison; this is not a novel without depth. These topics are written sensitively throughout, with just the right amount of humour. In particular, toxic masculinity is well-handled and considered, breaking down misogynistic soundbites, and showing the power and freedom to be enjoyed when boys have the option to live without the pressure of being “manly”.

Witty and wise, this is a triumph of a novel, perfect for fans of Alex Wheatle, Brian Conaghan and Patrice Lawrence. Not to be missed!

Amy McKay

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