The Boy Who Swam with Piranhas

By David Almond

Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

Multi-award-winning author David Almond brings us a joyfully life-affirming and fabulously fishy tale about one boy's journey from anguish to joy.

Stanley Potts is just an ordinary boy, but when all the jobs in Fish Quay disappear his Uncle Ernie develops an extraordinary fascination with canning fish. Suddenly their home is filled with the sound of clanging machinery and the stench of mackerel, and Uncle Ernie's obsession reaches such heights that he would even can Stan's beloved goldfish! Stan, however, has his own destiny, which leads him – via a hook-a-duck stall – to Pancho Pirelli, the blue-caped madman who swims with piranhas. And as Stan delves into the waters, he finally discovers who he really can be.

Categories: Fiction

For readers aged: 8+

  • Publication details:
  • Format: Hardback
  • ISBN: 9781406320763
  • Published: 06 Sep 2012
  • Price: £9.99
  • Size: 198 x 129 mm
  • Pages: 256

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Customer reviews


'A life-affirming voyage of self discovery – with a fabulously fishy twist – from master storyteller David Almond.' The Bookseller

'Readers will be captivated by the old-world charm of the freaky fairground community and the nature of our cape-clad hero. Almond’s direct narration keeps the magic of storytelling strongly in the fairground. A class act' We Love this Book

'This book will make hearts sing' The Sunday Times

'There’s no mistaking the hallmark Almond tenderness and the willingness to work with the common things in life, which animate the book from start to finish and make it good.' Guardian

'often funny, occasionally poignant, but always subtle, this is a terrific read, perfectly complemented by Oliver Jeffers’s deadpan style of illustration' CBI recommended reads of 2012

'One of the Top 50 Winter Reads' Radar (Supplement to The Independent)

'Great fun!' The Good Books Guide

'Its message hits home: give a child belief in himself and there’s no limit to what he can achieve' The Daily Mail

'5 stars- a delight from gills to tail...this fairy tale with fins completely engages from cast-off' Books for Keeps

'Get ready for a slippery twist that'll have the young tiddlers flapping with excitement' Fluxlings

'It’s heart-warming, thought provoking, very silly in places and, as you’d expect from David Almond, beautifully written too.' Big Issue

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