**#1 BEST SELLER** YA/crossover novel
2018 Mslexia Novel Award Longlist
2015 Kindle Book Awards Shortlist
2015 Bridport First Novel Award Longlist
2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist
An accomplished, touching debut featuring moving insights into the mind of a sensitive teenage boy. Johnston takes readers on a rich emotional journey in this contemporary YA tale… she masterfully conveys both the inner angst and deflective banter of a struggling adolescent boy, which is by turns humorous and heartbreaking. KIRKUS REVIEWS
What a lovely book this is! Julia Johnston has written a sweet, sad, funny, honest story of Oliver, his family and friends… tender and heart-breaking. Johnston has a wonderful insight into the heart, mind and feelings of a 15 year old boy. WRITERS' DIGEST
"The day it all began, it felt like lightning had hit our house..."
Ollie is drowning. No one notices.
Oliver Campbell, fourteen, fanciful and funny in equal measure, struggles to unravel the knots of emotion when his little sister, Lily, falls gravely ill with a mysterious disease. Irritating and puzzling to his two older half-brothers, neglected by his self-absorbed mum and dad, and unfalleninlovewith by Poppy Teasdale, he longs to be something more than invisible.
Quirky Kamal doesn’t think it’s weird that Ollie, his best friend, is fascinated by words and plants; he knows what it’s like to be different and to be bullied; he coaches him on love, and how to clinch his dream-girl; he tickles him with his high-falutin language and aspirations; he impresses him with his fortitude despite a tragic past; he is there when his life takes a terrible turn; he is loyal to the end.
Ollie’s two special people throw him life jackets, but will they be enough to save him?
˃˃˃ What people are saying...
"I was stunned by this book" "One of the most intelligent books I have ever read" "Unputdownable powerful book" "For a debut book, this is as good as it gets"
"One of those very rare and special books that delivers on all levels"
"This is a beautifully written, tender and touching story that made me laugh and cry"
"I am reeling from the power of this book... Really great writing and very very funny"
"Poignant, clever, excellent characterisation, sad and yet still funny"
"It was an emotional roller coaster of a ride but in a good way"
"Ollie is the new "Adrian Mole" but with so many more dimensions"
"Intelligence, charm, quirky language, culture, poetry, wit and perhaps overall, compassion, comes out from every page"
"This is the best book I have read this year. I couldn't put it down"
"Julia has an unusual style of writing which is full of energy and humour"
"Perception, observation and I gather empathy are clearly high on her list, this mixed with a knack for expression and good old solid story telling"
"Julia has written a beautiful, funny and thought-provoking book that will appeal to readers from 12-80!"
"Julia writes with an appealing, amusing and intelligent voice that keeps you turning the pages late into the night"
˃˃˃ New Author Video
"I've always been fascinated by language-the poetry, the music of it." "Big family-six kids-I'm number four."
What led to Julia's writing career?
Click on 'Visit Amazon's Julia C Johnston Page' below to instantly watch the author talking about her life.
See video footage of Julia as a child.
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About the Author
Background Julia grew up in the north of England in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Number four of six children-two brothers and three sisters, born within eight years of each other. Her musical parents immersed all the children in music and encouraged them to take an active part in its pursuit. All siblings played instruments and attended Catholic primary and secondary schools. Julia participated in acting, singing, instrument-playing, and gymnastics. Her mother was a French teacher and her father, a physics lecturer, so the family benefitted from long summer holidays spent camping in Europe, particularly France. Qualifications After studying Music, English and French at A-level, Julia attended Manchester University, acquiring BA Honours degree in French with Drama. Gained Post Graduate Certificate in Education to teach French, English and Drama at secondary school. Later achieved diploma in Education of the Deaf and Level One and Two in British Sign Language. Work After teaching French in Manchester, Julia lived in the US for two years working for a law firm and acting. On returning to the UK, she worked in a primary school in west London, first in mainstream, then in a unit for pupils with hearing impairment. She was employed as an advisory teacher for deaf children ages 0-19, supporting them and their famiies at home, school and college. Her time in London saw her continuing with acting and gaining an acting agent. She moved to Cornwall in the south west of England in 2007, where she teaches and writes. Interests People (especially teenagers with challenging lives), teaching, speaking French, singing, playing piano and guitar, acting, photography, Art (especially modern), music (particularly house & garage, jazz, French impressionist, Bach, guitar), architecture, walking in nature, gardens, the ocean, psychology, natural therapies, nutrition, feminism, global politics.