Thursday 5 June 2014

Shoutykid by Simon Mayle

"Hi there

My name is Harry Riddles and I’m ten years old, which my mum says is too young to have problems but she’s WRONG.

My dad just lost his job, so I need money to make my mega-amazing zombie movie and save this family, but there’s NO WAY I’m selling my Xbox! So I’ve written to the Queen, Harry Styles and a bunch of other famous people, who MIGHT lend me a hand, or a tenner, but so far no one’s written back…

If you have any bright ideas for making money I’d love to hear them.

Good luck and have fun.

Harry Riddles
P. S. If you wanna know how to get past level six on World of Zombies I can definitely help you out."

My boys are both shouty and obsessed with Zombies (I blame daddy's games) so when I found out about Shoutykid (full title:  Shoutykid, How Harry Riddles Made a MEGA-amazing Zombie Movie") I had to try and get a copy for our family.

The book is aimed at children 9 years+, probably due to the content.  However Ben is 5 and loves reading chapter books, being able to remember the storyline from one day to the next so I thought he'd be fine with it, and I wasn't wrong.

As soon as he saw the comical bright cover we had to sit down and make a start on it (sorry Enid Blyton).

The book is really up to date, gone are the days of letter writing 10-year old Harry sends emails, text messages, posts on community forums ..... well ok there is the occasional letter to important people such as the Queen and the Prime Minister.

Throughout the story Harry is placed in numerous situations that he has to solve, all the while trying to fund his own project.

  • He wants to help Jessica realise her dream of becoming a great actress - so he tries to get a slot for their play at the National Theatre.
  • He contacts Bear Grylls for survival techniques to help deal with his horrible sister. 
  • When his family are faced with debt problems .... he asks the prime minister if he would like to rent his home as a holiday house to make some money.

The book also helps children face up to the new experiences of cyber-bullying.

The book is really written from a pre-teens perspective, from the way he uses acronyms "This could be a really great show, BTW, GBTM soon" to text speak "He is when he's sk8ing.  Ha" to the way he fills in a Dragon's Den application form "Present occupation: Bored" ... believe me it is worth reading JUST for the Dragons Den application.

Harry is an obsessive gamer and I am sure all children of his age (even Ben as they have a PS3) will relate to the reality of having a game console and gaming.

Did I mention the illustrations? Nikalas Catlow has done a brilliant job comically illustrating the text.

I laughed along at the book probably more than Ben did because I can just picture him being the same in 5 years time.

I would highly recommend this book not just for parents but for schools.  It contains some fantastic ideas for leading children on their own enterprising project in literacy.  You can also access extra resources on their website such as storyboards, speech writing and scenarios for email writing.

The book is available to buy from all good stockist from today - 5th June.  Why not follow my link to take you straight to Amazon for the best price.

But don't take my word for it......I have one copy to give away to a very lucky winner.  Simply complete the rafflecopter below and the winner will be randomly drawn on the 19th June.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**Let's play nicely ... entries will be verified, cheating will lead to disqualification**

 shoutykid website

**Disclaimer:  We were sent a copy of Shoutykid and given the opportunity to run a giveaway by The Big Shot.  However thoughts and opinions remain my own (or that of my children) **


  1. I would love to ask Alan Titchmarsh to come and do my garden!

    1. great choice, thanks for stopping by and goodluck.