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Jan Needle’s first job was as a journalist on the Daily Herald and he was soon writing radio and TV dramas as well as journalism, stage plays and novels. His early novels for children include the anti-racist My Mate Shofiq, which caused controversy on first publication. More recently Jan survived an orchestrated protest over Killing Time at Catterick, his expose of conditions among British Army recruits. Jan’s writing is often unflinchingly realistic but is tempered by a warm humanity and inventive sense of fun.
Click here to read more about Jan's fascinating life.
Author photo by Andrew Rosthorn
Take a romp through your childhood memories and observe the villains of Wild Wood with new eyes. Mr Toad, Ratty and Mole from 'The Wind in the Willows' are most definitely ‘Haves’ so it’s fascinating to see the story from a different angle, that of the ‘Have Nots’. In this retelling of Kenneth Grahame’s magical story you can almost hear Needle's thought process as he read the original adventures and pondered.. ahhh but, what if! For anyone concerned about a much loved treasure being tarnished, worry not. A delight for adults and children alike, the author successfully ridicules human folly and although Mr Toad is shown up as the selfish, thoughtless, spendaholic that he is, he's actually still as captivating as ever! Wild Wood is as funny, as relevant and as pleasurable in 2014 as it was on first publication in 1981. Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.
'Unbidden, Simon saw a face before his eyes, a girl's face with blonde hair. Unbidden, his teeth clamped shut, ground against each other. She was the target.' Simple, lumpy Simon Mason. Of course he's a bully and a liar, even his mother thinks so. And he's picking on that nice Anna Royle, her brother and Rebekka. Or is he? Has Simon been found guilty, sentenced and condemned without a proper hearing? Simon's teacher is determined to find out just who's bullying who. Hostilities reach a head when bully and victim meet for a final confrontation. Will the truth come out in time? Or have too many lies been told?