I have had six novels published for older children under the name Derek Smith.
Shorty and Warby find £250,000 in an empty house. What should they do with it? Warby has dreams of owning a circus, while Shorty wants to get out of his run-down estate and be somebody. So they keep the money and dream as they count the cash. But finding a safe place to keep it is a problem.
Then Shorty’s sister becomes suspicious at his big spending. Eddie who runs a stall at the market promises help – at a price. But can Eddie be trusted?
Frances is so obsessed with football that she is banned from the girls’ team, and the local boys’ team The Tigers refuse to have her too. Then Frances has her great idea: by getting the right clothes and practising in her bedroom she becomes Frank, a tough macho boy. Frank is accepted by The Tigers straightaway and becomes their top goal-scorer.
But it isn’t so easy after all pretending to be a boy, as Frances/Frank soon discovers…
Joe is a good wolf. He can’t hunt or kill; in fact he’d rather pick blackberries. What a disgrace to the wolf pack! When he is thrown out by his Mum and Dad, he faces a world where no one believes there can be a good wolf. After all, everyone knows wolves eat sheep. And didn’t one try to eat Little Red Riding Hood and her Grandma?
How can Joe convince animals terrified of him, or people who blast him with shotguns, that he is not the sort of wolf they are used to?
Roy has moved to an area where he doesn’t know anyone. He wants a bike more than anything, but Mum is broke and having trouble coping. So Roy gets an early-morning paper round to earn the money himself. He is helped out by Ringer, whose dad is a jailed bank robber. Every morning after the round they go to Uncle’s greasy spoon cafe, where Uncle, when he is in the mood, bursts into song. But Roy loses the paper round and his world falls to bits.
Then he gets the chance to steal a bike…
Billy hates running. His brother Joe hates Billy. He’s a champion runner and Mum’s golden boy – and he sure knows it. Dad’s the tower block caretaker, but in between fixing the lift and eating monstrous fry-ups, he’s too busy to care about Billy’s problems.
Grandad’s the only one on his side, and Grandad’s got big dreams – he’s going to run in the London Marathon with a friend, dressed as giant peanuts to kickstart his fast food business. Billy’s helping to make the peanut suits, but no way is he going to run. Not with Mum and Dad watching on TV, a massive crowd, and his smart-mouthed brother tipped with a chance of winning. But things change when he gets some magic shoes.
When a dragon attacks his village, baker’s boy Will suddenly becomes a hero and is summoned to the Palace. He knows the journey will be dangerous; he’ll meet giants, witches, bandits and a haughty talking cat named Smart. But he’s not prepared for his treatment at the Palace. How could a mere baker’s boy slay a dragon?
A sensible boy would have gone home then, before the King sent him on his first perilous mission: to kill the monstrous Spider of Yoot. But by now it’s too late. Will’s met the King’s beautiful daughter, and he has higher ambitions in mind…