There is a kind of children's book which is rare, but which includes some of the very best literature for the young. The Silver Sword, Goodnight Mr Tom, The Butterfly Lion, The Railway Children and Kim all belong to a genre in which there is no magic, but a tremendous sense of what real children in adversity might achieve with courage, cleverness and luck. Eleanor Updale's Johnny Swanson belongs to this category, and it deserves the highest praise - The Times
This is a lovely story, full of fascinating and accurate period detail, social injustice and moral quandaries, that revels in a child's determination to play the unfair system to his advantage. Young fans of Updale's Montmorency series will find this equally entertaining - Daily Mail
Eleanor Updale is an excellent storyteller, building up character, plot and excitement until the reader is compelled to stop everything else until the book is finished - The Scotsman
Eleanor Updale's very funny Johnny Swanson introduces a great character . . . The story swings along, providing dastardly villains, inept policemen and a satisfying denouement - The Bookseller
Johnny Swanson is a charmingly old fashioned - in the very best way - adventure novel. This is a great read, it zips along and illuminates a period of history that is usually forgotten - Write Away!
Super old-fashioned adventure story set in 1929, featuring murder, mayhem, scam adverts and medical malpractice. Thank heavens for the dollop of courage and tenacity. A truly fun read - The Bookbag
Many twists and turns, much humour, lots of adventures and a good dollop of fascinating period detail . . . Altogether most engaging and entertaining: the sort of book that is blissfully easy to read without being mindless. Smashing fun - An Awfully Big Blog Adventure
Like the best children's books, it's about children, not simplified or toned down for them - The Times
This book is distinguished among other features by the immensely convincing background detail of the period setting . . . The characterisation is exemplary, Johnny and his mother being convincing and winning protagonists. This is a remarkable book - Armadillo Magazine
Filled with action and suspense, this is a book you will not want to stop reading. A great plot, with an unguessable villain! - Scribbler Magazine
By this author
About the Author
Eleanor Updale has been writing books since the turn of the century. Before that, she worked in radio and television: mainly on news programmes including The World at One and Newsnight. She is a governor of the children's charity, Coram, and a member of the Clinical Ethics Committee at Great Ormond Street Hospital. She also has a PhD in History. All those interests have influenced this book. Eleanor's Montmorency series has won awards on both sides of the Atlantic.