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Is reading hard?

No matter what age you are, if you found learning to read a total pain, here are some books for you. They are tough, gripping stories, but the words are short and easy. All Barrington Stoke books are good for this, and readers get to see the scripts before they are published and say what they think of them. The gr8reads are for teenagers and adults who never quite got the hang of reading, and I had real fun writing them.

cover - Tudor StoriesWeb
(Barrington Stoke, 978-1-84299-777-2)

Tim finds his homework hard, so when Max the football coach offers to do it for him, it sounds great. But then Max says he wants money for helping. More and more money. Tim finds himself trapped like a fly in a web. How is he to get out of this?

cover - LuckLuck
(Barrington Stoke,
1-842991-99-X)

This is a gr8reads book.

“My mum's a slag,” Dale says . His mum gets boyfriends off the Internet, and Dale is on his own. It's not fair. He likes a girl but she thinks he's a prat. Luck never comes his way. Things are looking bad. But then … Read it and find out!

cover - SMOKESmoke
(Barrington Stoke,
1-842993-39-9)

Another gr8reads book. This one started when I saw a man get out of a train to have a cigarette. His two children were still on the train. What if it started without him, and took them to Glasgow on their own? (Believe me, it happens – a railway person told me so.)

I'm writing another gr8reads book now. It will be called Speed. No, it's not about drugs. It's about a girl and a fast car.

cover Screw LooseScrew Loose
(Barrington Stoke,
original edition 1-902260-01-5)

This book has a lot of fans. It's about Nick, who has a short, stubby screwdriver in his pocket. Nobody knows why the school is falling to bits, but the caretaker has an idea it's Nick. Then something so wacky happens that Nick ends up running the whole school. I did the drawings for this one.

Screw Loose 4U2Read
(Barrington Stoke,
1-84299-071-3)

This is the same book, but in a very easy version with ‘bubbles' like a cartoon.

cover - Second ChanceSecond Chance
(Barrington Stoke
1-902260-044-6)

Ross and his family get thrown out of their council house because there are too many of them and they have too many greyhounds. They make a home in an old, falling-down dance hall by the sea, but Ross knows someone else is there. A boy like him, watching … “I wish I could be your brother,” he says. Ross can't see how, but …

This is another book with my own drawings. It won a Scottish Arts Council Prize.

cover - TurnaroundTurnaround
Barrington Stoke
1-84299-044-6

Kerry has sometimes found her mother flat out on the floor. Her father is a builder, too busy to bother much about what happens at home, so Kerry doesn't know what's wrong. Then she falls in love with Paul, who knows all too well …

There are no drawings in this one, but it's a fast, exciting read. Like all Barrington Stoke books, it's easy to understand.

cover - SpeedSpeed

Barrington Stoke
ISBN 1-842994-13-1

Deb’s dad died in a car crash, when he was going too fast and hit a tree. But Deb loves speed. She sells petrol in Ted’s garage. Ted is her mum’s new man, but he is not like Deb’s dad. One night she drives to a party when her boy friend doesn’t pick her up as he promised. She goes a bit too far and too fast – and finds out things she never knew.

cover - Help!Help

Barrington Stoke
ISBN 978-1-48299-558-7

I wrote this book after something very funny happened when a plumber came to fix my shower, and invented Ben and his dad and crazy Gran. Stories based on real events always need something extra – but this one will make you laugh. Wacky illustrations, and a very easy read.



If you find reading hard, don't give up! It's good when you get the hang of it, and these books will help. They have all the stuff you find in the best of big, grown-up books, but better and easier. Give it a try!

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