Billy Bramble is a fantastic book. It gives you an insight into people who may struggle and how their surroundings can influence their behaviours and attitudes. Billy Bramble is a nice boy with an angry, imaginary dog. Together they battle with certain feelings. I believe everyone can learn something from this book, not least that through persisting, eventually, in spite of hardship, you can achieve.
Brilliant and thoughtful insight into the mind of an eleven year old and the wonderful power of cooking.
Dr Vivien Norris, Consultant Clinical Psychologist
Poor Billy seems to get everything wrong. However hard he tries, somehow or another things never work out well. And secretly Billy knows why - it's him, there is something wrong with him. Sally Donovan's deeply felt story gives us a glimpse of how hard it is for Billy to keep trying and hoping that things might be different. He seems actively to push away all attempts to help him and the adults struggle to know how to do anything of use. With his tricky dog by his side Billy doesn't know how to be close. Until the Cook Off. The accumulation of the months and years of stubborn care provided by kind adults starts to break through and we see the vulnerable parts of Billy (which have been there all along) begin to emerge. This moving and psychologically sound story encapsulates many key themes expressed by vulnerable children and paints a vivid picture of the seeming impossible dilemmas they may be facing. Compelling for children, this book will also be of great value to adults as through Billy they gain insight into the risks children face when they begin to dare to trust.
I like the way Billy has an invisible dog. It is one of the best books I have read.
I love Billy - he is funny and cool and awesome and I understand him. I think he was very brave for entering the competition. The story made me laugh a lot.
The book shows even if you are different you can achieve.
The story is good. It makes you want to read on.
I liked the character of Billy.
Jo Ingleby, BBC Cook of the Year 2015 and Chef in Residence at Redcliffe Children's Centre
An inspiring read which will encourage children to get cooking in order to make delicious food and also gain confidence in their own abilities.