Fizzlebert Stump : The boy who ran away from the circus (and joined the library!)


Fizzlebert Stump : the boy who ran away from the circus (and joined the library) by A.F. Harrold, Published by Bloomsbury, 2012.

From the publisher:

‘There are many boys in the world, all slightly different from one another, and most of them are referred to by names. These are often John or Jack or Desmond, but sometimes they are James or Philip or Simon. Once, and once only, there was a boy whose name was Fizzlebert.’

Fizzlebert Stump lives in a travelling circus. But although he gets to hang around with acrobats, play the fool with clowns, and put his head in a lion’s mouth every night, he’s the only kid there – and he’s bored. But then Fizz decides to join a library, and life suddenly gets a lot more exciting, when a simple library card application leads to him being kidnapped by a pair of crazed pensioners! Will he ever see the circus again?

A story of a boy, a book, some very bad people, some very brave deeds, and the importance of rubber teeth for lions.

What do I think about this book?:

The title is a bit of a misnomer, as Fizzlebert doesn’t intentionally set out to run away from the circus and join the library, rather he is kidnapped after trying to return a library book he found. Even so, this is funny in a typically English sort of way and it’s the very type of book I need in my library for all those year 3/4 readers who enjoy Andy Stanton (Mr Gum), or David Walliams (Gangsta Granny, Billionaire Boy, Ratburger) or Philip Ardagh (The Grunts). The quirky illustrations break up the text nicely and the chapters aren’t too long. Unlike some other reviewers, I like the way the author makes little comments to the reader at the chapter’s end about what just happened and what is possibly coming up next – I think it makes the reader feel as though the book was written with just them in mind! Very engaging and good for some reluctant readers and also those quirky children who don’t always feel they fit in. Age 7+.


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