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The Death-defying Pepper Roux by Geraldine McCaughrean

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Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2011

A World Book Day 'Recommended Read' for 2011

Prize-winning Geraldine McCaughrean has turned her deft hand to a brilliantly witty and fast moving story about a boy who wants to defy his destiny. Pepper is an unusual name and Pepper Roux is an unusual child especially since, according to her Aunt Mireille, he was destined to die young. Can Pepper avoid that fate by slipping away into another life? Quick readers will be able to follow him as he does everything he can to do so.

A piece of passion from the editor who bought the book:

Geraldine McCaughrean is an extraordinary author to work with, because each of her books is so different, so surprising, and so jaw-droppingly good. When a new book from her appears, I never know quite what to expect – but I know that whatever it is will be a sheer joy to read. And that definitely goes for The Death Defying Pepper Roux. There’s so much to like about this book. It whisks you off from the start on a wonderful chase full of characters you will never forget, ideas so intriguing they will make you gasp, and events so enjoyable that they will make you wriggle with delight. It’s clever and intriguing and beautifully written – but most of all it’s fun from its startling beginning to its wholly satisfying finish.


The Death-defying Pepper Roux by Geraldine McCaughrean

Pepper Roux has a charmed life, not only because he confounded his mad aunt's prediction that he was going to die at 14 by remaining alive, but also because he can step into any role he likes and have an adventure. Pepper becomes a sea captain and a sausage-seller, amongst other things, creating chaos wherever he goes.

Download OUP's Pepper Roux Reading Notes from the right hand column of this page, by clicking on Reader's Guide.


'this is irresistible reading, to enchant all ages . . . Pepper Roux can make you happy too.' * Nicolette Jones, The Sunday Times * 'I couldn't put it down. It's wise and odd and funny, and the plot kept zipping off in unexpected directions right to the end . . . everybody should read Geraldine McCaughrean.' * Philip Reeve * 'There are other authors writing for all ages who are good, and a few who are very good indeed. But on form Geraldine McCaughrean is in a class of her own, and this latest story is as fine as anything she has written yet.' * Nicholas Tucker *'

About the Author

Geraldine McCaughrean

Geraldine McCaughrean is one of today's most successful and highly regarded children's authors. She has won the Carnegie Medal, the Whitbread Children's Book Award (three times), the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize, the Smarties Bronze Award (four times) and the Blue Peter Book of the Year Award. Geraldine lives in Berkshire with her husband, daughter and golden retriever, Daisy. Read more about the author here.

Anne Fine on Geraldine McCaughrean:

'I reckon Geraldine McCaughrean knocks the socks off every other children's writer today. Everything she does is different and everything works – look at her list of prizes. She must write in tremendous bursts. Some years, she's so prolific the rest of us start joking that the fairies come in at night to do her work for her. Then she'll go quiet, so unlike all those writers who are persuaded by their publishers to come up with something every year, no matter how tired or drab. If Geraldine has nothing fresh to write, she doesn't write it.' (The Guardian)

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Book Info

Publication date

3rd June 2010


Geraldine McCaughrean

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Oxford University Press


256 pages


9+ readers
All Shortlists and Winners

Adventure stories (Children's / Teenage)
Humorous stories (Children's / Teenage)
Readers Guide



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