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Socks Are Not Enough Paperback – 6 Oct 2011

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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: 13.2 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 433,991 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

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By n7misc TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 31 Mar. 2012
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sarah (Feeling Fictional) TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By MLozano79 on 19 Dec. 2011
Format: Paperback
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. C. McGinlay VINE VOICE on 24 Mar. 2012
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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