Pants are everything… according to Mark Lowery

I was scouting for Moontruggy reads in Waterstones last week when a certain book caught my eye. Bright cover with a Roald Dahl Funny Prize shortlist sticker, two silly-looking socks and several embarrassing pairs of pants. I knew what that meant… Mark Lowery had written a sequel to his award-winning Socks Are Not Enough. Ha! Out came the wallet – I had to read this.

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Pants Are Everything…when you’re definitely NOT a nudist is the hilarious story of Michael Swarbrick, a seemingly normal boy, who is swept up in a sequence of events that could ruin his life. Again. At fourteen years old, Michael’s school career is in tatters and this is because, in his own words:

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Michael only wants for two things: to be normal and to date the impossibly gorgeous Lucy King. Sadly neither of those things are going to happen any time soon. Because the odds are against you with a best friend like Paul Beary…

Paul

…and a shameless nudist of a mother.

Mum

…oh, AND a cretin of a brother. But alongside the hilarity of custard-cream onesies, Irish women with hands like polar bears and doner kebabs in suitcases, there is a poignant subplot. Because of his outrageous behaviour, Michael is forced to do a work placement to improve his character. Lumped together with ‘gangsta’ counsellor, Chas, Michael learns that happiness isn’t solely about getting together with Lucy King and staying out of trouble. It’s about helping people who have got worse problems than nudist outings with beach donkeys… And the work that Michael ends up doing from Chas’ ramshackle caravan means more than all his endeavours to set his record straight.

Donkey

Pants are Everything is laugh-out-loud funny and has been tipped by many as a rival to Adrian Mole. So if you’re 10 years old or over, run to the bookshop now. You may have your 11+ exams coming up, but at least you know whatever you’re going through, Michael Swarbrick has it worse…

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