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Barrington Stoke Follows The Last Days of Archie Maxwell

The Last Days of Archie Maxwell

Another brilliant YA novella is coming to Barrington Stoke later this year in the form of Annabel Pitcher’s The Last Days of Archie Maxwell. Please, can’t it just be November, already?

Full of love, humour and heartbreak, this beautiful novella from the multi award-winning author of Ketchup Clouds and My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece is a compassionate and distinctive tale of modern family life and its issues.

The Last Days of Archie Maxwell is the latest in Barrington Stoke’s bespoke range of super-readable and collectable YA fiction. Other titles include Unboxed by Non Pratt, Mind the Gap by Phil Earle and the upcoming Grave Matter by Juno Dawson (illustrated by Alex T. Smith).


Novella, The Last Days of Archie Maxwell, by award-winning UKYA author Annabel Pitcher, to Barrington Stoke

World rights to Annabel Pitcher’s The Last Days of Archie Maxwell were acquired by Barrington Stoke Editor, Emma Hargrave, from Catherine Clarke at Felicity Bryan Associates.

Annabel Pitcher is the award-winning and much-loved author of My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece, Ketchup Clouds and Silence is Goldfish. This original story for Barrington Stoke is full of tenderness and spirit, showcasing Annabel’s distinctive, punchy and entirely true-to-life voice. The Last Days of Archie Maxwell turns the traditional teen-coming-out narrative on its head, reversing the roles of father and son in a fresh, candid tale of modern family life.

Dads leave home all the time. It’s not that unusual, really. Leon’s dad ran off with another woman. So did Mo’s. But Archie’s? Well, that’s a different story – a story that Archie must keep secret at all cost. Archie knows he should accept Dad for who he is, so he hides his turmoil until he can stand it no longer. With nowhere else to turn, he finds himself at the railway track. The track has been calling to him, promising escape, release. The only problem is, it’s been calling to someone else too…

A courageous and compassionate story that tackles homophobic bullying, suicide, grief and guilt, with a cast of oh-so-real characters and plenty of Annabel’s trademark humour. This is a joyous celebration of love of all kinds that will make you laugh, even as you grab for the tissues.

The Last Days of Archie Maxwell by Annabel Pitcher will be published in November 2017, joining Barrington Stoke’s new bespoke collection of YA titles in beautiful, collectable and super-readable editions (£7.99 paperback).

Emma Hargrave, Editor, says of the new acquisition:

“We are thrilled to publish Annabel Pitcher for the first time, and what a stand-out novel she has written for us. Inspired by a passion to articulate the complex realities of life for teenagers – especially boys – around sexuality, loss, depression and family dynamics, Annabel has created an extraordinary narrator in Archie, a fabulous plotline and a cracking cast of characters as the story is propelled towards a remarkable final encounter. We love the know-it-all older sister; the fresh-out-the-closet dad; Archie’s crush, the seriously hot Tia; and her wise-cracking sidekick … Annabel’s pitch-perfect ear for the details of teenage life at school, home and on the wrong side of the tracks brings this story to vivid, unforgettable life.”

Annabel Pitcher adds:

“I was thrilled to be approached to write for Barrington Stoke, having been such a fan of the exciting and important work that they do. As an ex-English teacher, I have seen first-hand how much these books mean to readers who long to access stories but are daunted by words. The idea for The Last Days of Archie Maxwell emerged on a dog walk by a train track near my house in West Yorkshire and I’ve spent many hours wandering alongside it, imagining Archie doing the same as he contemplates taking his own life. As a mum of two sons, it was interesting trying to get inside the head of a teenage boy. I’ve loved getting to know Archie and can’t wait to share him with the rest of the world.


About Annabel Pitcher

Annabel graduated from Oxford University with a degree in English Literature and an ambition to be a children’s author. She had a variety of jobs before deciding to travel the world and focus on writing. Annabel now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and two young sons.

Her first book, My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece, won the Branford Boase and a Betty Trask Award in 2012, and Ketchup Clouds won the 2014 Waterstones Children’s Prize. Annabel’s work has been shortlisted for numerous prestigious awards including the 2012 CILIP Carnegie Medal, Dylan Thomas Prize, the Galaxy British Book Award and the Red House Children’s Book Award, and longlisted for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize.

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