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Northern Soul

"Touching, tender and hilarious tale of first love"

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LoveReading4Kids Says

LoveReading4Kids Says

January 2024 Book of the Month | Interest Age 11+ Reading Age 8

Phil Earle admits freely that there is more than a little of himself in the character Marv, certainly that would account for the unmistakable authenticity of the language, the people, and the setting. This highly accessible slim volume captures perfectly that moment when a young man, previously only interested in footie and food, suddenly begins to notice girls and one girl in particular.

Marv falls heavily for new girl Carly and his attempts at wooing and the mishaps that relentlessly occur are toe-curlingly, excruciatingly hilarious. The fact that he is “helped” in his love quest by the ghost of soul legend Otis Redding just adds another delicious element! His eccentric, croc wearing single parent Dad owns a record shop, mainly for his own pleasure it seems, but he is the one who introduces Marv to the songs of Otis, which seem to describe Marv’s feelings perfectly. The advice and scheming of the fast food addicted Otis, who pops up at the most inopportune moments, is less perfect.

There are not enough books for this age group which are genuinely funny, nor are there many relatable books about boys and their feelings. I believe this might be the first romantic comedy from this highly talented and much awarded author, but it’s a genre that he inhabits triumphantly with a sureness of touch that will have readers fighting over it. More please!

Joy Court

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