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Eating Things on Sticks by Anne Fine

Eating Things on Sticks

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Shortlisted for Roald Dahl's Funny Prize 2009. .

Prize-winning Children’s Laureate Anne Fine is more entertaining than anyone else about families. Creating circumstances in which everything possible can go wrong, she delights her readers with bizarre situations that are hugely entertaining. Having burnt down the kitchen (by mistake, he protests), Harry saves himself from the fate of a week spent with Aunt Susan by blackmailing his Uncle Tristram to take him on holiday. Setting off for a remote Scottish island, Harry and Tristram ignore the strange warning the ferryman gives them but soon wish they hadn’t. Without anything to entertain him, Harry has to survive rain, floods, Tristram’s mystic girlfriend Morning Glory, a host of wonderful misunderstandings and, worst of all, almost NO food. Harry and Tristram’s holiday adventure is pure joy and not to be missed on any account.

Harry and Tristram appeared in an earlier novel of Anne’s, The More the Merrier.


Eating Things on Sticks by Anne Fine

A hilarious tale of a vacation on a remote British island where the week’s highlight is the annual fair with its Eating Things on Sticks competition!

Harry is in trouble. He’s burned down the family kitchen so now has to spend a week of his summer holidays with his uncle Tristram who is heading off to stay with a new girlfriend — Morning Glory — on a tiny British island. Harry doesn’t expect it to be a lot of fun — with just a wacky competition at the end of the week to look forward to.

He certainly didn’t expect to discover all the beards.
Or the angel on the mountain.
Or the helicopters circling overhead all week.
And he definitely didn’t think it would be so wet….

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About the Author

Anne Fine

Anne Fine was our Guest Editor in July 2011. Click here to see the books she selected.

Anne Fine was born and educated in the Midlands and now lives in County Durham. She has written numerous highly acclaimed and prize-winning books for children and adults.

Her novel The Tulip Touch won the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year Award; Goggle-Eyes won the Guardian Children's Fiction Award and the Carnegie Medal and was adapted for television by the BBC; Flour Babies won the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Children's Book of the Year Award; Bill's New Frock won a Smarties Prize, and Madame Doubtfire became the major feature film 'Mrs Doubtfire' starring Robin Williams. Anne was named Children's Laureate in 2002 and made an OBE for services to children's literature in 2003.

Click here to read a Q&A with the author or click here to read an extended biography in which Anne talks about her writing.

Here is a letter from author, Sarah Forbes to Anne Fine, who visited her home town when she was eight and made a lasting impression.

Dear Anne Fine,
You won’t remember this, but in the late 1980s you visited Stonehaven Library as part of an author tour. Stonehaven is a lovely place: a small seaside resort on the east coast of Scotland near Aberdeen. It has an open-air swimming pool and a ruined castle. These days it’s famous for being the home of the deep-fried Mars bar. (Yes, I have eaten a deep-fried Mars bar. No, that isn’t why I’m writing this.)

I remember your visit vividly because I was an avid, avid reader of your books. You coming to town was like having a famous pop star parachute in for the day. The excitement of having an actual, real author come to speak to us! Someone whose books I could reach out and touch on the library shelves in the children’s section upstairs where you did your event.

For a kid living in a big literary city like Edinburgh or London, meeting authors might not be such a big deal. Authors tend to work hard to promote their books and the ones I know do as many events as they can. But let me tell you, rural Aberdeenshire in the 80s was not a hotbed of literary discovery, and you coming to town meant a lot. I think that was the point when I realized writing could be a career. Maybe one day, I could be a writer too.

Many, many years later, I found myself back in the children’s section of Stonehaven Library promoting my own children’s books. That felt incredibly weird and incredibly lovely all at the same time. I’m excited to say I’ll also be talking to kids about my Elspeth Hart books at the Edinburgh International Book Festival this month. I have so much fun doing my own events, but my favourite part is when I ask if anyone likes writing or wants to be a writer and dozens of hands shoot up. The ideas these kids have are amazing. I wonder if it’s easier to dream your way into becoming a writer when you meet grown-ups who’ve done the same thing?

Either way, I relish every minute of getting to meet my readers, and part of the reason I appreciate it, Anne, is you.

Warm wishes,
Sarah Forbes

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd July 2009


Anne Fine

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Random House Children's Books




9+ readers
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