HOW TO TRAIN YOUR PARENTS Best-selling comedy about ‘parent fatigue,’ introduces Pete’s most popular character - Louis.
A highly popular class read.
‘Children who read it will chortle away, feel better about themselves and have lots of jokes to tell.’ The Sunday Times
THE GHOST DOG Award-winning spooky tale about the power of imagination. A big favourite and great stimulus for creative writing.
‘An incredibly enjoyable book … from a very accomplished writer.’ Books for Keeps
HOW TO UPDATE YOUR PARENTS Highly topical comedy about technology and social media addiction. Already proving a favourite with book groups.
‘How to Update your Parents provides a fresh outlook on the subject … in a thoroughly entertaining way.’ Lovereading4kids
DIARY OF AN (UN)TEENAGER Brilliantly observed comedy about becoming a teenager. A highly popular class reader, great for reluctant readers.
‘This is a very promising look at the slightly uncomfortable transition phase between childhood and adolescence. A compelling read.’ Book Trust
TRUST ME, I'M A TROUBLEMAKER Award-winning comedy about Archie, who thinks he’s too ‘mature’ for school. All the pupils find him unbearable especially Miranda, the class trouble-maker. Widely regarded as one of Pete’s best comedies.
‘This is a cleverly crafted, fast-flowing comedy and the more subtle lessons in growing up and trying to change people won’t be lost either.’ Carousel
AVENGER Award-winning thriller about bullying – interesting follow-up to ‘Traitor.’ A gripping, challenging read.
‘This is a powerful tool for considering the causes of inadequacy and bullying and how bullies and their victims can both face them and conquer them.’ Book Trust
MY PARENTS ARE OUT OF CONTROL What happens when your parents ask for tips about being cool? Much-loved Louis comedy – a big hit with pupils – and adults. Yields great discussions.
‘A brilliant look at family life today. A hilarious story which will appeal to boys and girls alike.’ Parents in Touch
‘HOW TO FOOL YOUR PARENTS’ LAUNCH SHOWS ‘BOOKS ARE A BLAST.’
I have never played snooker in my life. Yet, Ronnie O’Sullivan and I do have one important thing in common. We have both performed at The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield – and more than once too.
It’s a marvellous venue – large, yes, but oddly intimate too. The audience are so close to you. And the team from The Crucible Theatre make the preparations – fitting microphones, sound checks, lighting checks, etc – so painless and friendly.
I am back at The Crucible Theatre to launch the latest and last (of which more later) Louis the Laugh book, ‘HOW TO FOOL YOUR PARENTS.’ This event involves many schools across Sheffield and has been brilliantly organised by the fabulous Jayne and Claire (First question, ‘Have you had any breakfast?) from the School Library Service and a top team from my publishers Award – David (‘I’m just back from the Caribbean,’) and Jo.
As the schools arrive I am escorted to the dressing room. Do I still get nervous? Oh yes – and nerves are good. They send you that extra shot of adrenalin. Funnily enough, the only time on stage that I feel self-conscious is when I’m first walking across it. I haven’t yet crossed over into the performing zone. But once I start, well I forget all about myself – which I suppose is the secret.
I’ve been asked by several Sheffield Schools to mention ‘THE GHOST DOG’ and ‘TRAITOR’ as these are widely used as class readers. Then I come to the first Louis the Laugh book, ‘HOW TO TRAIN YOUR PARENTS,’ and I explain that this was never intended to be the first of a series. But not only was the book phenomenally popular but so was the lead character, Louis the Laugh. I am regularly asked, ‘Who is Louis really?’ And very recently ‘Is he on Instagram?’
The sequel, ‘MY PARENTS ARE OUT OF CONTROL,’went on many prize shortlists, including The Roald Dahl Funny Prize. While the third Louis the Laugh book, ‘MY PARENTS ARE DRIVING ME CRAZY,’ is a personal favourite and it is, perhaps, the most poignant as Louis’s dad comes to terms with being made redundant. ‘HOW TO UPDATE YOUR PARENTS,’ is certainly my most talked about title. Here Louis’s parents decide he is spending too much time staring at screens. I ask the pupils how many of their parents have said something similar – every single hand shoots up.
Then came the moment – the launch of ‘HOW TO FOOL YOUR PARENTS,’as I revealed some of the crazy things Louis does in this book. For instance, going to school in his pyjamas. As well as Louis’s belief that he has discovered fourteen magic words, which will persuade parents to do anything you want. Who wouldn’t want to know what those words are?
Afterwards came a marathon book signing, alongside inevitable pictures. ‘ You can smile better than that,’ declared one teacher. I immediately started guiltily until I realised she was talking to the boy beside me.
‘You’ve shown books can be a blast,’ cried one teacher. You went down a storm,’ said another. Mind you, the teachers at Sheffield are especially enthusiastic and supportive. But one boy certainly didn’t seem very enthused. ‘I still don’t know why you did it,’ he asked me gravely. ‘Why stop writing the Louis the Laugh books?’
I explained again how I wanted to end the series while the books were still fresh and funny – and people were keen for more. The boy looked singularly unimpressed. Then suddenly he smiled. ‘You’ll bring Louis back. He’s your best character. You’ve got no choice.’
You know what, that boy might well be right.
But whether Louis returns or not – I can’t imagine a better book launch.
A HUGE THANK YOU TO SHEFFIELD!
FEEDBACK FROM THE ‘HOW TO FOOL YOUR PARENTS’ LAUNCH
‘PETE, EVERY TIME YOU COME AND SEE US IN SHEFFIELD I GO HOME WITH A BIG SMILE ON MY FACE AND EVERY TIME IT MAKES ME REMEMBER WHY I CHOOSE TO DO THIS JOB. SEEING THE PUPILS’ ENTHUSIASM AND THEIR FACES LIGHT UP WHEN YOU CAME ON TO THE STAGE WAS WONDERFUL.’ CLAIRE SOUTH, SHEFFIELD SCHOOL LIBRARY SERVICE
‘I MUST ADMIT I WAS QUITE OVERWHELMED BY THE NUMBER OF BOYS WHO WERE SO OBVIOUSLY DELIGHTED TO BE THERE AND TO MEET YOU. IT JUST GOES TO SHOW, THE IMPACT THAT THE CHANCE TO MEET A REAL LIVE AUTHOR CAN HAVE ON A YOUNG PERSON.’ JAYNE CRAWSHAW, SHEFFIELD SCHOOL LIBRARY SERVICE
‘Non-stop Laughs with Louis in ‘How To Fool Your Parents,’ narrated by Louis at breakneck speed. Packed with jokes and funny observations on contemporary Teen Life. THIS IS SUPER READABLE.’ Andrea Reece, Love Reading 4 Kids CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL REVIEW
‘Anyone got a spare hankie to soak up all the blood?’
‘We are often asked for tips on holding successful author events – from both sides – and since we know Pete is a bit of an expert in this area we caught up with him for some advice.’
‘HOW TO UPDATE YOUR PARENTS’
IN GERMANY TOO
The same time as UK fans are catching up with the eagerly awaited ‘HOW TO UPDATE YOUR PARENTS’ – so are German fans but with an exciting twist.
The three other Louis the Laugh books have been relaunched in Germany in hardback this time – alongside ‘HOW TO UPDATE YOUR PARENTS’ with brilliant new covers.
‘This is incredibly exciting,’ says Pete ‘to have all four Louis the Laugh books launching in top new hardback editions – and with such stylish covers too.’
All the Louis the Laugh books are published in Germany by arsEdition.
GEEKS RULE FIVE FAVOURITE GEEKS FROM PETE’S BOOKS
SPENCER He promises he will never turn into a teenager in the much loved: ‘DIARY OF AN (UN)TEENAGER’ AND ‘RETURN OF AN (UN)TEENAGER’
Spencer quote:‘If ever I have a girlfriend I’ll meet her in town for just one hour a week. Maybe on her birthday I might take her to McDonald’s as well.
But that’s really all the time I’m going to spend with her. And I’ll never ever let he come to my house. In fact, I won’t even tell her where I live. You’ve got to keep some privacy, haven’t you?’
EDGAR He’s an ‘intellectual’ who wants to be a poet,
in the international best sellers ‘MY PARENTS ARE OUT OF CONTROL ‘MY PARENTS ARE DRIVING ME CRAZY’ ‘HOW TO UPDATE YOUR PARENTS’
Edgar quote:‘We are extremely sorry to inconvenience you but we are protesting about a miscarriage of justice … My poem will explain everything. I shall now read it aloud. It’s only nine verses.’
TALLULAH The girl who loves horror stories in, ‘The Vampire Quartet, beginning with the award-winning, ‘THE VAMPIRE BLOG.’
Tallulah quote: ‘Do you think vampires only exist in stories? If you do, leave this page now and don’t bother coming back either. We have nothing in common and you’re just wasting my time. But if you believe vampires might be real, then read on, as I have great news for you.’
WILL The boy who girls really like but only as a friend – in the top teen title. ‘FAKING IT’
Will quote: ‘Ruth is the first girl I ever kissed. She was a Munchken at the time. So was I. Even then I realised this was a significant moment in my life. That’s why I removed the brace from my teeth first.
Afterwards she said I was just so nice.
No boy likes to be called ‘nice,’ as that usually means you’re wetter than a haddock’s underpants.’
ARCHIE ‘The most annoying geek on the face of this planet,’ (according to Miranda) in the award-winning:
‘TRUST ME I’M A TROUBLEMAKER.’
Archie quote: ‘The funny thing is, I’ve never tried to act grown up. It’s just as soon as I wake up I can feel all this maturity bubbling up inside me. It’s a kind of gift, I suppose. I’ve been given a few extra helpings of wisdom.’
THE FIVE FUNNIEST ‘LOUIS THE LAUGH’ MOMENTSchosen by YOU
THEY ARE – IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE:
THE TRULY DISGUSTING SCENE WHEN A PIECE OF CAKE FLIES OUT OF THE HEADMASTER’S MOUTH AND STRAIGHT ON TO LOUIS’S TONGUE. Favourite quote: ‘I did think of somehow spitting it out – but in the end I swallowed it …’
From: ‘HOW TO TRAIN YOUR PARENTS,’ (page 48)
WHEN MADDY DRESSES UP AS LOUIS’S MUM, Favourite quote: ‘It was Maddy’s huge, curly red wig which really caught my attention. She looked as if she had a ginger tomcat perched on her head.’ From: ‘HOW TO TRAIN YOUR PARENTS,’ (PAGES 165-176)
WHEN LOUIS’S DAD TURNS UP OUTSIDE HIS SCHOOLDRESSED UP AS A GANGSTER RAPPER. Favourite quote: A voice shouted out of the darkness: ‘Yo everyone hope you had a wicked time. I’m looking for my blood. Is he here?’ From: ‘MY PARENTS ARE OUT OF CONTROL,’ (P.65-69)
WHEN LOUIS GOES ON HIS FIRST EVER DATE WITH MADDY AND COMPARES HER TO ‘THE ELEPHANT WOMAN.’ Favourite quote: ‘Desperate now to talk about something – anything – I said. ‘And your dress is great, sensational. I mean, I can’t tell you how much I like it. I really, really like it. Not that I want to borrow it or anything,’ I laughed wildly.’ From: ‘MY PARENTS ARE DRIVING ME CRAZY.’ (P.50-61)
WHEN LOUIS THROWS UP OVER TV HOST, MICKEY BOYD. Favourite quote: ‘My mouth was suddenly ablaze with vomit which exploded out of my mouth so fast, that within seconds I’d totally covered Mickey Boyd in chopped carrots.’ From: ‘MY PARENTS ARE DRIVING ME CRAZY.’ (P.171-176)
With huge thanks for all your votes.
Click here to read Pete's answers to your questions about Louis, My Parents Are Driving Me Crazy, and what exciting thing happened when he was cleaning his teeth!
"It was a fabulous event – my best ever launch." Click here for Pete's blog about the launch of ‘MY PARENTS ARE DRIVING ME CRAZY’ at The Crucible Theatre, Sheffield.
BOOK CLUB SPECIAL
Pete is a keen supporter of Book Clubs in Schools and Libraries. If your Book Club would like to receive a free early copy of ‘My Parents Are Driving Me Crazy’ – please contact this website at firstname.lastname@example.org with contact name and address.
Pete’s all-time favourite children’s book is ‘101 Dalmatians’ by Dodie Smith, so he is delighted to have his picture taken at The Spotted Dog in Flamstead.