Mud

Mud

Emily Thomas,

Mud

Andersen Press, 2018

ISBN 9781783446896

11-14 Shortlist 2019

 

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out of 5
 

 

 

Who Wrote It?

Emily Thomas was born in London, and has lived there most of her life – except between the ages of 13 and 18 when she lived in Maldon in Essex on board a Thames Sailing Barge, with her family of seven assorted siblings and stepsiblings and two warring cats. Emily also works as an editor of many different kinds of books, including children’s and young adult fiction. She now lives in Brixton, with no pets and a lot of books.

What's It About?

It’s 1979, and 13-year-old Lydia has no idea how she’ll cope when her dad announces that the family has to sell up and move onto a Thames sailing barge in Essex. With his girlfriend. And her three kids. Between trying to keep her clothes dry in a leaky cabin, disastrous hair-dye attempts, awkward encounters with local boys, and coping with her suddenly enormous and troublesome family, Lydia fears she’ll sink rather than swim.

Fact File

Mud is Emily’s first book and it’s also semi-autobiographical.

In 2015 she won the Branford Boase Award, with the author Rosie Rowell, for Leopold Blue.

Prawn crackers from Marks and Spencer are her go-to writing snack.

One of her ambitions is to write a TV drama.

To find out more about Emily follow her on Twitter @EmilyHThom.

Your Reviews

Amirah from Allerton High:

This book is a very tragic but heartwarming book. The book at the beginning starts right at the action of her dad telling her about...something you can find out. When they arrive, her school is full with snobby people. When she meets her friend Kay, they immediately hit off. But when she and her brother got together, I didn't really get why she was slight annoyed and angry by that. I didn't really enjoy the book because of its style and context, but the plot seemed interesting. ??ENJOY!!?

Amirah gave Mud 3 out of 5 and now plans to read The Book Case: An Emily Lime Mystery by Dave Shelton.

Daisy from Prince Henry’s Grammar School:

I really enjoyed the book and you definitely got me hooked to it, i thought it was very interesting as it shows things that happen to people in real life and if someone like that read the book they may have courage to help stop it.The onl6 thing I didn’t like was how it is supposedly a diary but is writte; like a story in present tense.

But it is a amazing book I think you have a very good chance at the awards.

Daisy gave Mud 4 out of 5 and now plans to read Child I by Steve Tasane.

Millie from Roundhay Secondary School :

I liked the story of it and it was quite original but there was no real plot to it except their dad was really struggling with grief and struggling to handle it resulting in becoming an alcoholic. He had never been good with money either. When he is left to deal with the money he ended up in significant money issues that he was struggling to keep under control. Then his kids are told that their lives are going to thrown completely upside down and they're going to live in an old, manky houseboat on the seashore. From then on there is no real plot to it, only hurdles along the way of them trying to get settled when they don't feel that ready. It doesn't have much of an ending to it either. I didn't find the book exciting or that interesting. The book isn't what I would pick out myself but I would recommend it for if you have lots of time because it's quite a slow pace book.

Millie gave Mud 4 out of 5 and now plans to read The Extinction Trials by S M Wilson.

Miles from Royds:

I liked this book quite a lot. It showed how easily people take the smallest of things like living in a decently sized house can be taken for granted. Lydia was a very smart girl and she handled everything to the best of her capability in my opinion. I love it!

Miles gave Mud 4 out of 5 and now plans to read Child I by Steve Tasane.

Natalya from Prince henrys grammar school:

I loved the book it was very sad when they were moving it was a very rushed ending and i would of liked to of read more but then as well it was a big book i liked bobs character and at one point i got confused i thought they were going to leave the cats.I would recommend this to my cousin because i think its for maybe just above 14 but That isa my opinion .

Natalya gave Mud 4 out of 5 and now plans to read Bone Talk by Candy Gourlay.

Natalya from Prince Henry's grammar school:

I found the book at the start not very understandable but then I began to like it I like how the cat is called Bob and his personality i would recommend this book to my older cousin because it has an older vibe I think the ending was a little rushed.

Natalya gave Mud 4 out of 5 and now plans to read Below Zero by Dan Smith.

Natalya from Prince Henry's grammar school:

At the start I was not sure if I liked it but then it started getting interesting

Natalya gave Mud 5 out of 5 and now plans to read Below Zero by Dan Smith.

Ellie-louise from Temple Moor Highschool:

I loved this book! It was a real joy to read. I loved how heartfelt story to read it was like I was there in the story with Lydia in the story and I could picture every detail in me head. I really really loved this story it was heart warming it brought me joy and happiness reading it!

Ellie-louise gave Mud 5 out of 5 and now plans to read Child I by Steve Tasane.

Lauren from Roundhay School:

I liked it, but the pacing was off. Some parts went by too quickly and some too slow. When Sam and Kay got together, I didn't understand why Lydia was upset

Lauren gave Mud 3 out of 5 and now plans to read Below Zero by Dan Smith.

Hamza from Southfield Grange Trust:

This is a story about Lydia who is 13. Her father gets married again and buys a boat called the Lady Beatrice and sails in the sea with his girlfriend, and her children and Lydia's brothers and sisters.

I don't like book because I don't think it's my sort of book. I think that the story was too long,it should be shorter.

Hamza gave Mud 2 out of 5 and now plans to read The Book Case: An Emily Lime Mystery by Dave Shelton.

LM from Manor CE Academy :

I would rate mud 4 stars because I felt like I lived every moment within it! I fell in love with the book from the start and couldn’t put it down. The storyline was phenomenal and also very relatable for many people. It kept reminding me of many things I take for granted on a day to day basis. It was written perfectly and felt like the character’s age came across perfectly in the writing.

Mud was also very funny and definitely managed to feel sympathy and pleasure for the characters when good or bad things happened to them. I liked how the book skipped to a new year every so often reminding you of how long these problems lasted and how much damage can be done over time.

I also loved the pets in this book as they had their own qualities and felt more human than animal.

LM gave Mud 4 out of 5 and now plans to read The Book Case: An Emily Lime Mystery by Dave Shelton.

Jemima from Abbey Grange Academy:

I didn’t enjoy this book, as I found it a bit too childish in the style of writing. This is probably due to personal preferences though.

Jemima gave Mud 2 out of 5 and now plans to read The Book Case: An Emily Lime Mystery by Dave Shelton.

sofia from royds:

This book was amazing, couldn't put it down . One of my favorites

sofia gave Mud 5 out of 5 and now plans to read Below Zero by Dan Smith.

Jasmine from Roundhay Primary Campus:

It was AMAZING!

Jasmine gave Mud 4 out of 5 and now plans to read The Extinction Trials by S M Wilson.

Malachy from St. Mary's Menston:

I really love this book. it really builds on the negatives in Lydia's life however among all the sadness there is a little ray of hope. it shows us that if god closes a door someway he opens a window. I do think that the author should really build on the fact that it is set in 1979-1981 as the story could still make sense in our day and age. but all in all i really like the book and I would definitely recommend it to others

Malachy gave Mud 5 out of 5 and now plans to read Bone Talk by Candy Gourlay.

Amirah from Allerton Grange:

I loved this book! I couldn't put it down. It was so exciting and thrilling to just read on and on. If I could I would read this book over and over again.

Amirah gave Mud 5 out of 5 and now plans to read The Extinction Trials by S M Wilson.

Shannon from Corpus Christi Catholic College:

This book was very good and very original.

It explained how a girl felt with here family problems and it explained the problems and her feelings very well.

Good book, would read again.

Shannon gave Mud 4 out of 5 and now plans to read The Book Case: An Emily Lime Mystery by Dave Shelton.

Areeba from Southfield Grange Trust:

Mud is about a girl called Lydia whose mother has recently passed and this book documents her feelings at the time and what is happening in her life. Her mother was in charge of the family’s spending but when she had gone and it was up to her dad the family’s money had finished so they had to go live on ‘Lady Beatrice’ with her father’s girlfriend who then turns into his wife and her kids. Lydia’s sister who she was the closest to is a very brainy girl and had gone to Cambridge University This book shows the struggles Lydia goes through moving to live on a boat from her trouble making friends and her trouble getting on with her new siblings

I really enjoyed this book because I really admire books in style of diaries I thought that this was also of the best books I have ever read I thought this brilliant gem of a book was perfectly suitable for the age category I was put it and couldn’t recommend it enough. However, I feel that If I saw this book on a shelf I wouldn’t necessarily pick it up because of the cover but I am really glad I was able to read this book. I would love to read books by this author again.

Areeba gave Mud 5 out of 5 and now plans to read The Book Case: An Emily Lime Mystery by Dave Shelton.

Anisa from Southfield Grange Trust:

I really enjoyed this book and I’m sure other people can also relate to this story because it may be something that they have experienced.

It’s about a 13 year old girl named Lydia who’s father has recently re-married after his wife died 2 years ago. It is a book about romance and a girls life. It is written in first person which I like a lot and I also like how the author doesn’t make Lydia write her diary every day because most people don’t write in their diary every day.

Lydia’s father is very poor and can’t afford to pay much so he moves into a boat sort of house named ‘Lady Beatrice’ which isn’t the fanciest place to live in when you think about it.

Lydia’s new mother, Kate is nice but can’t deal with the pressure of her new husband as he is a bit woosy and doesn’t think of other people often.

This book is very good and I really enjoyed it, it was absolutely brilliant.

Anisa gave Mud 5 out of 5 and now plans to read The Extinction Trials by S M Wilson.

Samantha from Southfield Grange Trust:

A 13 year old girl called Lydia is told she has to move out of her house to live on a boat with her father and his girlfriend and she does not want to leave her home

I don’t like this book because I find what she has to do is unfair.

Samantha gave Mud 2 out of 5 and now plans to read The Extinction Trials by S M Wilson.

Hamza from Southfield Grange Trust:

Mud is about a young girl who has lost her mum due to a very bad illness. Her father wastes their money and he has to tell his family that they are going to live on a boat called the lady Beatrice. As the have to live on a boat she has to change schools and she meets a new friend called Kay and she and Kay have to stay together and keep themselves safe.

The book is written in the first person and this is good because it gives the personal feelings so we know how the character feels.

Personally I found the book boring and repetitive so the book wasn’t my type but the book is good and many people will enjoy but I found the book very boring.

My favourite character is Kay because of her bravery and strength and her ability to keep calm in certain situations.

Hamza gave Mud 2 out of 5 and now plans to read The Book Case: An Emily Lime Mystery by Dave Shelton.

Rain from Southfield Grange Trust:

This book is about a girl called Lydia and her family living on a boat. After Lydia’s mother passed away her father remarried a woman who already had 3 kids of her own. All they could afford was a boat called Lady Beatrice. During the story Kate and the father’s relationship is getting worse but on the other hand Lydia has friends and relationships.

I really enjoyed this story because it’s very interesting when someone’s relationship is getting bad but on the other side there’s romance in this story, and the story is set out like a diary which can show you when things happened and how long they had been through this situation. I completely like this book.

Rain gave Mud 5 out of 5 and now plans to read The Extinction Trials by S M Wilson.

Ethan from Corpus Christi:

This book is about Lydia, her mum dies and her dad wants to go and live on a boat. I didn't enjoy this book as much as I thought I would as it was not my type of book.

Ethan gave Mud 3 out of 5 and now plans to read The Extinction Trials by S M Wilson.

Abi from King James's School, Knaresborough:

Believable, exciting, unpredictable, decent, educating.

Mud is a book that is set in the 1980s, written in a diary format. The person who supposedly wrote the diary was a girl called Lydia. Lydia didn’t write in the book every day, she missed out a couple of months here and there. She lived on a boat floating on an urban river. Lydia struggled to deal with her problematic home life. The quote on the front of the book said it was touching but I didn’t feel sad at any point. I enjoyed the book and the storyline made sense. There wasn’t a lot of actual action but when I read it, it still had that feeling as if it was an action book. It finished on an extremely good ending and the book felt complete.

Abi gave Mud 4 out of 5 and now plans to read Bone Talk by Candy Gourlay.

Ryan from John Smeaton Academy:

oh. my. gosh.

This book was just everything that I've ever needed. Romance with a hint of action with a bit of adventure and then first person as well. Absolute perfection. The way it made the emotions sound so real and genuine. It actually felt like i was reading someone's life much rather than a book. The different struggles in life she goes through and all the different emotions that perhaps kids nowadays could relate to (maybe not so much the living on a boat part). The book had me in tears when there'd be a new twist in the book such as her and Jimmy dating after what seems like forever. Kate leaving and her feeling distraught. It genuinely made me feel so sympathetic for her.

Overall, i managed to read 403 pages of absolute perfection in the space of 3 days. i love this book like it's my child. I definitely recommend this book.

Ryan gave Mud 5 out of 5 and now plans to read The Extinction Trials by S M Wilson.

Rafeha from Grange Technology College:

I enjoyed the book as it was about the experience of someone losing their mother and all the changes.

Rafeha gave Mud 5 out of 5 and now plans to read The Extinction Trials by S M Wilson.

Skye from John Smeaton Academy:

This is a good book. It is about a girl named Lydia who is 13.Her dad gets forced to cell the house and they have to move.It was so relatable and Elsa her sister was predicting everything.

It was an emotional roller coaster but it was really fun to read. I couldn't put it down even for 2 seconds. It took me 4 days to read but i was so excited everyday to read it and i wish it didn't end.I would definitively read this.

Skye gave Mud 4 out of 5 and now plans to read Bone Talk by Candy Gourlay.

Annabel from Roundhay High:

I have now finished Mud and I really loved the end. I was so into the last page turned it and found that was the end I was like "no that's the end".

It does take quite a long time for them to actually get onto the Lady Beatrice but things do happen so it doesn't get that boring.

Annabel gave Mud 5 out of 5 and now plans to read Bone Talk by Candy Gourlay.

areeba from allerton grange school:

the was very relatable.The story was a girl named Lydia who is 13 and her dad gets married to a woman named kate who has a lot of kids,they all lived together in ship

areeba gave Mud 5 out of 5 and now plans to read The Extinction Trials by S M Wilson.

Emily from Abbey Grange C of E academy:

It’s actually amazing! I like how it’s relatable to a lot of people.

Emily gave Mud 5 out of 5 and now plans to read Child I by Steve Tasane.

Annabel from Roundhay High:

I haven't finished the book yet but so far I liked the start but when it gets to the middle it gets a bit personal this is more of a book for girls in some parts or maybe 13 plus.

Annabel gave Mud 4 out of 5 and now plans to read Bone Talk by Candy Gourlay.

Aya from Southfield Grange Trust:

Mud is a story about a girl named Lydia who is 13. Her dad gets married again to a lady who has lots of children and both families live together on a ship.

I did enjoy this book because I find it very interesting and it was set in the past were teenagers didn’t have social media.

Aya gave Mud 5 out of 5 and now plans to read The Book Case: An Emily Lime Mystery by Dave Shelton.

Hamza from Southfield Grange Trust:

This is a story about Lydia who is 13 and her father gets married again and buys a boat and sails in the sea with his girlfriend.

I don't like book because I don't think it's my type of book, I prefer action and adventure. I found the story hard to follow and would have preferred it to be shorter.

Hamza gave Mud 2 out of 5 and now plans to read Bone Talk by Candy Gourlay.

Evie from Allerton high school:

I have really enjoyed Mud so far and even though I am only part way through I really find myself feeling sorry for Lydia (the girl who writes the diary) and the storyline isn’t far fetched. My favourite character is Elsa because that is how I’d probably react if I was told that I was going to go and live on a boat.

Evie gave Mud 5 out of 5 and now plans to read Below Zero by Dan Smith.

Sophie from Allerton High School:

I can’t describe this book in 3 words, or even 300!!!! It was so exciting and physically prevented me from doing my homework as I couldn’t put it down! I found it really interesting and relatable (even though I don’t live on a boat!) And I enjoyed how Lydia’s sister Elsa was right all along about what was to come, it was so funny!!!! I enjoyed reading about the character of Kay as she was enjoyably unpredictable. I would recommend this book to people aged 11+ because some of the themes are for older readers. It is about family life, emotions and it is also very funny! So stop whatever you are doing and read MUD right now!!! I promise you won’t regret it! ?

Sophie gave Mud 5 out of 5 and now plans to read The Book Case: An Emily Lime Mystery by Dave Shelton.

Jacob from corpus christi catholic college:

amazing - towards the end it got really exiting

Jacob gave Mud 4 out of 5 and now plans to read The Extinction Trials by S M Wilson.

Miss Busby from Corpus Christi Catholic College:

Oh my goodness! What an emotional roller coaster!

You can't help but fall in love with Lydia, the main character of the book.

The story takes the reader through Lydia's journey of a new life living on a boat with her extended eccentric family. It covers everything from family and school problems to friendship and relationship issues.

This book will make you laugh, it will make you cry and it will make you appreciate all that you have.

A great read!

Miss Busby gave Mud 5 out of 5 and now plans to read The Extinction Trials by S M Wilson.

Sana from Southfield Grange Trust:

This book is more like a diary because it has dates at the top of the chapter saying January 14th etc. and it keeps going in order.

Lydia’s dad told the family that they are going to move and that he is going to get married again and that they are going to live on a boat.

I loved this book because it was in diary format and the best part was where he had lots of children and they didn’t all fit in the boat.

Sana gave Mud 5 out of 5 and now plans to read The Extinction Trials by S M Wilson.

Violet from Benton Park:

I loved this book as I just didn't know what would happen next and whether the situation would get better or worse.

It is about this young girl called Lidia and when her dad is forced to sell the house everything starts to go wrong. They move into an old run-down barge called 'Lady Beatrice' with her dad's girlfriend, Kate. Her mother passed away when she was only ten so she is left to deal with her own problems. Such as the fact that she has crazy feelings for her friends cousin, Jimmy but she doesn't know what they mean. Also her dad has been acting very strangely, could this effect her whole life?

I think that this book was amazing as it kept changing- one minute all would be fine and then the next a huge catastrophe would happen. Will Lidia's life ever be the same or will she live a life of dread. This book is for anyone who is looking for a short, quick read about an amazing adventure of emotions and quite literally an amazing journey.

Violet gave Mud 5 out of 5 and now plans to read Below Zero by Dan Smith.

Luisa from Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School:

I love this book and could not put it down . I thought that the way it was written was really good and enjoyed every page of it.

I felt the things the character felt. This book made me laugh and cry and was a really good example of family difficulties and this book could also help people going through the same thing.

Luisa gave Mud 5 out of 5 and now plans to read Child I by Steve Tasane.

Edith from Cardinal Heenan Catholic High school:

I found I could rate this book to real day-to-day life. I felt all the emotions that the characters felt. This book gas definitely moved up into one of the top ten books that I have ever read, as it is so amazing. I could not put this book down and I was reading it well into the night as I could not tare myself away from it.

Edith gave Mud 5 out of 5 and now plans to read Below Zero by Dan Smith.

Sana from Southfield Grange Trust:

This book is more like a diary because it has dates at the top of the chapter saying January 14th etc. and it keeps going in order.

Lydia’s dad told the family that they are going to move and that he is going to get married again and that they are going to live on a boat.

I loved this book because it was in diary format and the best part was where he had lots of children and they didn’t all fit in the boat.

Sana gave Mud 5 out of 5 and now plans to read Child I by Steve Tasane.

Mrs Blashill from Southfield Grange Trust:

After the death of his wife Lydia’s father has let his parenting duties slide. The first Lydia knows of this is when he announces that the family are going to live on a boat with his new wife Kate and her three children. Lydia has to negotiate her way through this minefield of a life.

The novel addresses a lot of teenage worries in a sensitive yet amusing manner, Lydia has a real personality and the reader has great empathy for her plight.

I enjoyed this book enormously and would recommend it to all students. It is a bitter-sweet coming of age novel, written in a diary format and set in the late 1970’s, early 1980’s which should be quite a revelation to today’s teenager – no mobile phones and no social media, to me, it was another reason to just love it.

Mrs Blashill gave Mud 5 out of 5 and now plans to read Bone Talk by Candy Gourlay.

Rakia from Southfield Grange Campus:

This book starts off with you meeting 'Lydia', the main character, whose mother has unfortunately passed away about two years ago. Lydia's dad has had to sell the house as he has had problems with money. Lydia leaves her old life behind as she goes onto live with her dad’s new girlfriend and they go to live on a boat. A rusty, old boat. Follow Lydia as she gets used to life without her older sister (Elsa) and life with a new mother and new house (well, if you can call it that) and we'll see how she gets on. She has too make new friend struggle with school work, and maybe just maybe get out of the stinking boat they call a house.

This book was good, just not my cup of tea it reminded me of real life, I don't necessarily like that in a book I like a book to help me get away from reality. If you do like books that are realistic and are something you can relate to than this book is definitely for you.

Rakia gave Mud 3 out of 5 and now plans to read The Book Case: An Emily Lime Mystery by Dave Shelton.