‘How’s the book doing?’

‘So how’s the book doing?’ people ask.

Well, My Brother’s Secret has been out there for a couple of weeks already. The world hasn’t changed – though I like to think it’s a slightly more colourful place for having my story in it.

But how is it doing?

I’m not even sure what the question means. Does it mean ‘How many have you sold?’ Does it mean ‘Do people like it?’ Does it mean ‘has anybody actually read it?’

I don’t really know the answer to any of those questions, I’m afr- or do I?

As it happens, there is a website. A rather lovely website called lovereading4kids which is dedicated to being the best recommendation website for children’s books. They do all kinds of great things like provide downloadable book extracts, books of the month, book trailers, author comparisons and, of course, expert reviews. But . . . and here’s the best bit . . . as well as having a panel of adult experts, they also have a children’s reader review panel.

That means young readers review the books. And who better to say what they think of books written for young readers?

I’m pleased to say that My Brother’s Secret has been selected as a Book of the Month, and a number of the young reviewers have already read it and, so far, it seems to be getting the thumbs up.

Have a look . . .

‘A brilliant book full of breath taking moments. I couldn’t put it down!’ Benjy Randall, age 10
‘My Brothers Secret is a gripping novel that will make you want to stay up late and finish it. Ten out of ten…it was as though the book had sprouted arms and was never letting me put it down. ‘ Stuart Philpot, age 10
‘My Brother’s Secret was riveting, and I did not want to put it down, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.’ Ellen Faulkner, age 12
Rory Faulkner, age 9 – ‘a mixture of exciting and at times scary and it really gripped me…I definitely recommend you read this book.’ Rory Faulkner, age 9
‘World War Two from another perspective. Karl is in the Junior Hitler Youth, but his older brother Stefan is a pacifist. Their father is killed at war, and things start to change. I loved this book.’ Ellie Frost, adult
‘I loved this book and I learned a lot about how Germans thought during World War Two…They cared about their country and their friends and family.’ Eloise Mae Clarkson, age 11
‘GREAT READ – you won’t be disappointed. I have read a Dan Smith book before and his detailed writing style continues into this book, this detail enables you to imagine that you are right at the side of Karl.’ Rose Heathcote, age 15
‘A gripping book full of adventure and sadness.’ Traviss Chaytors, age 11
‘The book is interesting as it tells you lots about the war from the view of Germans rather than the British…I really enjoyed reading this book although it was sad in places.’ Alice East, age 9
‘I really enjoyed this book and became fascinated by WWII. You learn that not all Germans behaved the same and I was surprised how I ended up feeling about the German boys. I highly recommend it!’ Annie Coffman, age 10


You can read the full content of these brilliant, well-written reviews here. What better recommendation could there be?


That’s all


4 thoughts on “‘How’s the book doing?’

  1. Hello,
    I have a question, on the back of the book printed for scholastic there is a circle with “read page 58:try it” printed. My son is reading this book, got to page 58 and brought this to my attention. The page discribes the character speeding on his bike until he is then struck by a car. So why is this circle printed on the back of this book?
    Thank you for your time.

    • Hi! Thanks for getting in touch! I’m guessing that you’re referring to the Scholastic edition of My Brother’s Secret? The ‘TRY IT!’ note on the back of the book is something that publishers use so that when a reader is browsing, choosing a book, they might spot it and turn to the page to see what happens. I don’t have any involvement with the decision, but I imagine that the publisher chooses a particular page because it might be a pivotal moment in the story, an action sequence, a major plot point etc, so that a potential reader might be drawn into the story and want to read more. The moment in My Brother’s Secret on page 58, is just such a moment – it is one of the set pieces that determines how the story develops. I hope that answers your question – and I hope that your son enjoys the rest of the story!

      • Yes, that answers my question.
        Thank you so much for taking the time to respond!
        My son will be very excited to hear the answer and know that the author is the one who responded.
        Have a great holiday season!!!

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