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Socks Are Not Enough [Paperback]

Mark Lowery
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 Oct 2011
Mike Swarbrick's life couldn't get any worse. His pervy best friend gets him embroiled in a scandal involving the girls' changing rooms, his idiot of an older brother is snogging the girl of his dreams and he's just come home early from school to discover his parents are secret nudists . . . but they're ready to go public! A chain of events beyond his control are set to RUIN HIS LIFE. But instead, his teachers think that he's having trouble \"dealing with his feelings\". The result is that Mike's forced to meet with the school councillor who thinks that a \"cool\" university professor can fix his problems. And so begins Mike's \"Chats with Chas\" which really are as humiliating and cringe-worthy as they sound . . .

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic; 1 edition (6 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1407131044
  • ISBN-13: 978-1407131047
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 22 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 290,675 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mark Lowery grew up in Preston but now lives near Cambridge.

His debut novel, "Socks Are Not Enough" was shortlisted for the 2012 Roald Dahl Funny Prize. It also won the Calderdale Book of the Year Award 2012 and the Leeds Book of the Year Award, as well as being nominated for several other regional prizes. It was long-listed for the Branford Boase Award.

His second book, "Pants Are Everything", has been short-listed for the 2013 Roald Dahl Funny Prize.

He has a real-life human girlfriend who definitely exists and two small children. Most of the time he is a teacher.

His favourite biscuits are:
1. Chocolate digestives (dark)
2. Party rings
3. Chocolate fingers
4. Chocolate digestives (milk)
5. Custard creams



Product Description


The predicaments of Michael, the 14-year-old hero of Socks Are Not Enough by Mark Lowery, are similar to those of Adrian Mole, although Mole's parents never turned to naturism and life modelling, and he did not have to suffer Dealing With Feelings sessions or the attentions of an unbearably trendy child psychologist. Fortunately for the reader, the Dealing With Feelings curriculum requires Michael to record his paralysing embarrassment at his elders and his suffering at the hands of his cruel older brother and bullying swimming tutor. Mole can sleep easy in his cult hero's bed, but Michael gives us many a chuckle, a true sense of the misery of a puny teenage boy and cause for admiration at the way he handles his problems better than the professionals. --The Observer

This is a quirky and original story of a misunderstood teenager. yet, it's also very funny. We are drawn into believing in Michael's world and seeing things from his point of view. The narrative of the plot is interwoven with Michael's 'Dealing with Feelings' lessons as well as sessions with a wierd child psychologist, who has problems of his own, leading to a resolution which keeps us guessing to the end. The story is skilfully told with realistic dialogue and real humour. A great read suitable for younger readers. --Liz Dubber, Carousel June 2012

About the Author

Mark is a 30 year-old primary school teacher of Year 6. He lives and works in Cambridge.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
First a note on age. I am 40. I read this before handing it over to my 8 year old niece. I gave it to her, although I am not 100% that it isn't slightly too old for her... I think it may have been pitched more at the 10+ male reader. That said, she is pretty clued up and I thought she'd enjoy it.
The book is funny (I laughed out loud more or less throughout) and is really about feelings and how to deal with them - a very useful topic for the young... The main character has to deal with a Mum who is exploring naturism, a Dad who is going along with it, a brother who is frankly a pain in the neck. His world is pretty unfair and he feels embarrassed a fair bit. He has feelings for a girl - which are confusing. To top this off he now has to deal with a school nurse who wants him to talk about it and a psychologist... cue much humour. The resolution of the story is a little bit pat - but it's for kids so I think that is fine. Everything gets worked out nicely and the main character gets to confront his issues and we leave him knowing his life has improved.
I'd recommend this book. It was good fun, a little bit challenging and really a good stab at letting kids know that everyone has difficult feelings to confront and that they can be dealt with.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Clever and Riotous Debut 19 Dec 2011
I never would have figured that footnotes, session transcripts, and detailed lists could ever be entertaining, but Mark Lowery's debut kids' tale delivers non-stop laughs through every medium. Starting off with a numbered breakdown of the "ruins" of Mike Swarbrick's life, the story jumps from one side-splitting scenario to the next, with Mike as the deadpan but hilarious tour guide through all the insanity. From a philandering older brother and a wildly imaginative peeping tom of a best friend to Mr. and Mrs. Swarbrick's deep, dark, and "revealing" secret, Mr. Lowery keeps the hilarity going until the very end, all the while delivering the secrets to happiness: forget the past, be comfortable in your own skin, and above all, eat lots of biscuits!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT 24 Jan 2013
By hk
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
My twelve year old daghter loved this book. Please Mark Lowry write another soon!! I would say boys would enjoy this too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For fans of Adrian Mole 19 Mar 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This book is so funny, it is well written and easy to read.
Poor Mike, he has a difficult time and his Parents along with his older brother make his life much more difficult, there is so many embarrassing times and Mike tells us what happened by way of his feelings lessons. There are so many laugh out loud moments and anyone who enjoyed Adrian Mole is likely to think this a good book. Wondered if this book was aimed at boys but actually it is not like that at all, simply Mike and his life - the dramatic cringe moments, being in the wrong place at the wrong time etc. Buy it! It's a great book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cracking good read 24 Feb 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Excellant read, my twelve year old Grandson enjoyed this book. It's a fun book for the young reader and keeps their interest due to the quirky tale. The narator is devasted to be caught up in a scandel with his best pal in the girls changing rooms. a good fun read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Socks Are Not Enough 9 Dec 2011
By Sarah (Feeling Fictional) TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Socks Are Not Enough is a hilarious debut from Mark Lowery and one that I'd recommend to fans of Adrian Mole or the more recent One Seriously Messed-Up Week in the Otherwise Mundane and Uneventful Life of Jack Samsonite by Tom Clempson.

14 year old Michael's life is turned upside down the day he comes home early and discovers that his parents are secret nudists. As if the shock of seeing his parents naked wasn't bad enough they've now decided that they want to go out in public. To make matters even worse everyone seems to think that Michael is the one with the problem so he gets to spend his afternoons with the school counsellor to talk about his feelings.

Michael is a fab main character although I have to wonder from his slightly stilted way of speaking if he was slightly autistic. If not autistic then I'd definitely say he has OCD tendencies, he has very set routines and gets very unsettled when things change and he really doesn't like to be looked at or touched. He tells his story part in diary style entries that his counsellor gets him to write and partly through the transcripts of his counselling sessions. I love the way he is constantly creating lists and adding footnotes to his writing to include extra information. You can't help but connect to Michael as he copes with the embarrassment his parents cause him and deals with the fallout from his brother's actions. He really does end up managing to get himself into some awkward situations that take a lot of explaining.

Socks Are Not Enough is a fun, fast read and one that's guaranteed to have you laughing out loud. I can't wait to see what Mark Lowery comes up with next and I hope we get to see more of Michael and his antics in the future.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Teen Laughs 8 April 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I couldn't help but laugh my way though this fun teen fiction book. It reminded me so much of the trials and tribulations of my teen years (although not nearly as insane as those found here). The complete looser life of Mike Swarbrick goes though all of laughs, tears and screams that you would expect from an adult comdey rather than teen-fiction.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By R. C. McGinlay VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Two series to which "Socks Are Not Enough" has been repeatedly compared are "Adrian Mole" and "The Inbetweeners".

Early teenage readers, at whom this book is primarily aimed, should not really be watching "The Inbetweeners", though of course many of them probably have! Their parents need not be worried about them picking up Mark Lowery's debut novel, however, as the tone is far less adult. I was surprised to see the word "gobsh*te" in the uncorrected review copy, but perhaps that will have been edited out of the final text. All other references to dating, infatuation and nudity are kept family-friendly, despite the prominent role played by the protagonist's militantly naturist mum.

In common with the "Adrian Mole" books, "Socks Are Not Enough" takes the form of journal entries by a schoolboy, 14-year-old Michael Swarbrick. These are interspersed with transcripts of his sessions with an eccentric psychologist called Chas.

The character of Michael ticks several boxes in terms of reader identification. He describes himself as having skinny arms, which gets the skinny kids' sympathy. He has a pot belly, which gets the big-boned onboard. He uses an inhaler. He doesn't wear glasses, but I suppose that might have come across as clichéd and too much like Adrian Mole. Michael demonstrates obsessive-compulsive characteristics, including the endearing habit of arranging his text into numbered lists and peppering the narrative with footnotes. He fancies - sorry, *admires* - Lucy King, star athlete of the local swimming club.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Funny
My son, age 12, is usually very reluctant to read fiction, as he prefers fact books so I am always looking for something that will hold his attention long enough for him to read a... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Mr. K. M. Craig
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book ever.
I found this book very funny, interesting , stupid and silly even though I am in my fourth year of university.
Published 6 months ago by cool dude
5.0 out of 5 stars funny book
Easy read and I have had it for a few days and nearly finished it!
I could reccomend this to anybody
Published 9 months ago by Thomas Mumford
2.0 out of 5 stars not my cup of tea
I just couldn't get into it, I was promised loads of laughs, I may have grimaced a few times but I don't recall laughing. Read more
Published 11 months ago by dupetox
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read
I have just finished reading this with my ten year old son we have laughed every night. The author is obviously very in tune with what makes children and adults laugh. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Mr Simon Fisher
3.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious book
Unknown to Michael, his parents are not quite like other adults and have a secret until he discovers it. This leads to a massive problem in his town... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Shane
4.0 out of 5 stars Lolololol
I LOLLED LOL LMAO DUDE RADICAL«« chazzz lololol made me LOL (LOL) I tink Micheal had moobs LOL and I really like biscuits lol especially choco ones lol
Published 15 months ago by KatieRubarb
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok
First of all, I am not the target audience for this book (pretty sure of that) so I'm writing from an adult not a teen perspective. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Amazonaddicted
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly funny read for boys
Michael Swarbrick is 14. He's at what you might call a sensitive age. Already ashamed of his odd looks, at the mercy of a good-looking girl-magnet brother who calls himself `The... Read more
Published 22 months ago by J. Marchant
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious reading for the whole family.
Absolutely hilarious, non stop laughs throughout.

Mike Swarbrick the main character suffers with asthma especially when stressed. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Karen Baxter
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