Children's books for grown-ups!
Horace Horrise is 'Just William' for the 21st century! Facebook review
Horace Horrise comprises "The Very Secret Diary of Horace Horrise," nine books under the series title of "The Adventures of Horace Horrise," four stories in one book in "The Further Adventures of Horace Horrise" and a bit of fun for the Vegan in your life!
THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF HORACE HORRISE
THE VERY SECRET DIARY OF HORACE HORRISE
THE ADVENTURES OF HORACE HORRISE
HORACE HORRISE GOES VEGAN!
THE ADVENTURES OF HORACE HORRISE
What started me off on this crazy adventure...
It was whilst writing “In You Go! A year or two in the life of a scout leader” that it became apparent that there was great demand for books that tell of the exploits of adventurous young people in a contemporary setting. I had always been a fan of Richmal Crompton’s* “Just William” series of books with their small cast, led by a boy who used to get into all sorts of bother but usually ended up smelling of roses, so to speak. I felt that more than ever there was, as well as a demand, a need for a modern-day William who would carry the torch for young people enjoying themselves in the open air with minimal disturbance from technology and, to a lesser extent, adults.
Naturally, as a scout leader, I had my source material with the scouting programme built to provide enjoyment and fun, participation in activities - both indoors and outdoors, learning by doing, sharing in spiritual reflection, taking responsibility and making choices, undertaking new and challenging activities, and making and living by the Scout Promise.
I also had the setting for my main character, Horace - a boy who wasn’t to start with, but desperately wanted to be, a scout. Horace, like most of my real scouts, lives in Chislehurst in Kent on the London border. Chislehurst is, in the main, fairly affluent and the characters of Horace and his friends are drawn from the people around us with the situations that they get into often based on actual events, but no more than that.
After the dust had settled on my second book, “Sleeping Bags and Tortures. The Private Diaries of an Adventurous Scout and his Scout Leader,” instead of immediately continuing with the third and final book in the series, I picked up my metaphorical pen and wrote nine stories focussing on Horace and his adventures. Scouting binds the stories together, but his exploits are mostly outside of scouting events where his comments are unguarded and his activities are not risk assessed.
Too long to put into a single book, the nine stories have been published as individual novellas or novelettes. Although each one is a stand-alone tale in its own right there are common threads running through the nine and so, to maximise one’s understanding of people, places and events, I would recommend that they are read in order. “Horace Horrise wants to be a Scout” is the first in the series.
These books are being enjoyed by all ages as they also have a sub-text for the amusement of the adults!
*As an interesting footnote, Richmal Crompton ended her days living in Chislehurst. Maybe some, just some, of William’s breath has been swallowed by Horace.
THE ADVENTURES OF HORACE HORRISE
Nine novellas charting Horace's adventures from wannabe to invested scout
"Anyone who has had the pleasure of working with young adolescents in any kind of setting couldn't help but fall in love with the little charmer, Horace Horrise... He's as lovable as Richmal Crompton's William, and as witty and exasperating as Michael Bond's Paddington Bear." Amazon review
1. HORACE HORRISE WANTS TO BE A SCOUT
Horace Horrise lives in Chislehurst, Kent where he’s a very busy young man, too busy to be a scout. One night when he’s looking up at the stars he fleetingly wonders about becoming a spaceman when he’s older. He decides that soon he will need to start preparing for whatever he’s going to choose to do in life.
2. HORACE HORRISE GETS LOST
Horace Horrise lives in Chislehurst, an affluent village in Kent where it’s difficult to get into any after-school club because every parent worth their weight will have signed their offspring up for everything, and scouts is no exception.
Unbeknown to Horace, someone has been pulling a few strings, and before too long he’s on his way to his first scout meeting.
3. HORACE HORRISE THROWS A PARTY...
Horace Horrise, the UK’s funniest and naughtiest young person, finally makes it to his first scout meeting and forms an immediate alliance with his fellow scouters that are in Ravens patrol. He returns home and tells his mother about all of the interesting activities that he has been participating in, including working towards his smallholders’ badge.
4. HORACE HORRISE GOES NARROWBOATING
Horace is dismayed to learn that he has not been signed up for the forthcoming narrowboat trip and is going to be left at home whilst the rest of the Ravens have a weekend messing about on the water.
Not to be outdone, "Horrise" plans his own adventure. The problem is, not everyone knows about it which means only one thing - chaos!
5. HORACE HORRISE'S GRANDAD GETS A HAIRCUT
Horace’s grandad has come to stay for the weekend and neither is too impressed - grandad because he has been dragged away from his care home and Horace because his parents have arranged to go out for the day leaving Horace in charge.
All Horace has to do is take grandad for a haircut but, as usual, things aren’t that simple.
6. HORACE HORRISE GOES TO CHURCH
Horace doesn’t do church. He’s watched Songs of Praise on the television and he has been to the occasional Christmas service and come away with a chocolate Santa so his view of what goes on normally might be somewhat skewed.
He’s not looking forward to the obligatory annual church parade but decides that as he has to attend he’s going to get as much out of it as he can.
7. HORACE HORRISE CATCHES A SHOPLIFTER
Horace has to help with a spot of fundraising in order to buy a new troop tent and a day's bag packing has been arranged at the local supermarket. Horace can think of nothing worse and plans to have a phantom illness on the morning in question but then he's told that the one who raises the most money gets to keep some of it. So he's converted.
8. HORACE HORRISE & THE RICKSHAW
Horace has been drawn into a breakfast-time discussion about work / life balance and is ably assisted by his siblings as they join the breakfast table with what turns into a philosophical debate. His mother inadvertently adds to the discussion even though she's gone shopping.
9. HORACE HORRISE GETS INVESTED
Horace finally receives the good news that he's been waiting for but as the big day draws ever closer Horace becomes more and more nervous and fears that his investiture will be farce not festival.
At the eleventh hour Horace takes solace in his grandad's comforter which sends him on a journey that has the potential to undo all that Horace has been working towards over the past year