My Brother’s Shadow – German Edition


Here it is the German edition of My Brother’s Shadow – Der Schatten Meines Bruders.  I love this cover. Strange how two covers can so wonderfully fit the same book.


Although not illustrated like the UK edition, Der Schatten Meines Bruders does have some lovely internal touches.


Like these wonderful end pages.

Thank you to everyone at my German publishers, Beltz and Gelberg.

Reader’s Reviews at Love Reading 4 Kids


Love Reading 4 Kids have been doing some lovely things with My Brother’s Shadow.

The editorial contributor, Julia Eccleshare (also children’s book editor at the Guardian), wrote a lovely review, calling the book ‘full of tenderness and hope.’

They’ve made it a featured book of the month for 9+ readers and 11+ readers.

But my favourite thing so far is the reviews they’ve got from some of their members. This is what they said:

Kids love reading and we invited a small number of members and browsers to review My Brother’s Shadow. You can read their reviews below.

Sam Harper, age 10 – ‘This is a very sad and thought provoking book. It isn’t the type of book which I would normally read but I really enjoyed it and the way it made me think about things.’
Mukunth Kowsik, age 12 – ‘A positive story about how love, care and encouragement can transform frozen hearts.’
Aimee Coffman, age 9 – ‘I enjoyed this book and would recommend it. It is very different to books I have read before as it deals with a sad topic but in a sensitive way but it has an uplifting ending.’
Benjy Randall, age 10 – ‘A highly enjoyable read with lots of interesting turns. I would highly recommend it.’
Felicity Wilcox, age 10 – ‘A great mixture of feelings put together to make a great book.’

Go to My Brother’s Shadow’s page on Love Reading 4 Kids to read the full reviews.

I want to be THE Tom Avery

There’s more than one Tom Avery! There’s more than one Tom Avery! Yell this to the tune of a well known football chant. What’s to be done about all these Tom Averys?

I remember watching The Dave Gorman collection, the TV programme that came from a stage show, which itself came from a bet between friends that Dave Gorman couldn’t find 52 namesakes. I remember watching this and thinking, I would love to meet someone with the same name as me. Love it!

It seemed likely I would. Tom. Thomas. It’s a very common name. At secondary school, I shared a class with 3 other Toms. Tom Avery (that’s me), Tom Beard, Tom Clarke, Tom Dyer. Yes. Tom A, B, C, D.

There’s plenty of us Avery’s too. (Although one less with the sad departure of James AKA Uncle Phil). You see the name Avery on scales the world over. Henry was the most famous pirate of his day. Tex created Buggs Bunny and Daffy Duck. Gillian and Harold wrote even children’s books like me!

And then I did. I meet one. Another Tom Avery. Not in the flesh, on the news. Tom Avery is world renowned explorer. He is the youngest Briton to ski to the South Pole. He’s written books to, about his exploits.

It wasn’t till I started writing and wanted my own website, that I found another one. Tom Avery is a well known Tennis coach. He has his own DVDs – Consistent Tennis.

So I came up with a dream, a dream to be THE Tom Avery. I jest (mostly). I’m content being in the Tom Avery club.

David Mitchell (comedian) and David Mitchell (novelist) seem to rub along just fine. Steve McQueen (artist and director) is still rocking his name inspite of the towering fame of Steve McQueen (actor). Paul Simon (curtain retailer) may have even felt he benefitted from confusion with Paul Simon (musician, singer/songwriter).

They’ve all carved out their own place in their own name clubs in their own fields. Maybe you only need to worry if, like Bowie, your namesake rolls in the same world as you. At the start of his career, Davy Jones, to save mix ups with the monkees musician, Davy Jones, changed his stage name to David Bowie. It worked.

Tom Avery, you stick to exploration and mountaineering. Tom Avery, you stay on the Tennis. I’ll keep on with the Children’s Novels. We can all be THE Tom Avery (in our own worlds).

One of the Tom Avery’s wrote My Brother’s Shadow, published 2nd January 2014.

My Brother’s Shadow Publication Day

Yesterday was the day, the day when you could finally get My Brother’s Shadow in the shops, or dropping onto your doorstep.

It’s a strange day for an author.  A book is a long time in the making.  I finished the first draft of My Brother’s Shadow two years ago.  My agent, Penny Holroyde, read that draft (and loved it), in early 2012.  Andersen Press, my fantastic publishers, took the book on that October.

Over the course of 2013, the book was illustrated by the wonderful Kate Grove, edited and re-drafted, proof read, set and bound as a proper book.  All sorts of people, booksellers, reviewers and the like have had that finished book for months.

So, for an author, the day of publication comes as a culmination of years of work – it’s a big moment.

At the same time it goes as unmarked as you let it.  Sure, you can start checking Amazon rankings and the like (maybe I have once or twice), keeping an eye out for reviews (first review by Katy Handley at Formby Books).  But you’ve already seen the book, given books to your nearest and dearest (who have perhaps grown a little bored over the two years you’ve been banging on about a book that they can’t touch), gazed at your prize for weeks.  Publication day itself can seem like a damp squib.

It’s the days that follow that get exciting, the previously mentioned reviews, those friends, having now read the book, sharing their enjoyment.  You have to make your own excitement on publication day.  If you follow me on twitter, you’ll have seen me enjoying a coffee and slice of pandora (simple pleasures), taking my sons out to London’s Science museum, watching a film and so on.

Of course we’ve had a party of sorts, we’ll have another one somewhere along the line.  It is a celebration after all.  We raise a quiet whoop with a glass of something bubbly.  It’s publication day!

I really hope your enjoy the book (like this guy pictured).  Can’t wait to hear what you think.