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#Blog Tour #Monster Max and the Marmalade Ghost #Guest Post by Robin Bennett #Friendship in books for younger readers @rararesources

Thank you to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to participate in the blog tour for Monster Max and the Marmalade Ghost by Robin Bennett. Today I’m delighted to present a guest post by Robin Bennett:

Friendship in books for younger readers

Guest Post by Robin Bennett

Writing for the 6-8 age bracket is a privilege but a tough gig for many reasons: it’s the first time many will read on their own – what they love now will stay with them for life; each chapter needs to be a story in itself and there’s no room for any excess, any digression – one misstep and you’ll lose them. Just like that. Another exciting and important element is that you are signposting the most important things in their world (if you’re doing your job right). Things they are experiencing for the first time but that are so important because these are the fundamentals about how their world works – good, bad and the stuff in between, how to be brave, how to be who you are … how to be friends.

Before the age of about five friendship is not so much a matter of choice as a question of whoever is roughly your age and is close by (i.e. standing next to you) –  you’ll end up reacting to them, even if it is  just deciding to ignore them. When interaction happens, it looks like friendship at first glance, but, when I used to study our three children in the park with other kids, it’s either just mirroring what each other is doing or figuring out it’s more fun if two or more of you chuck sand out of the sandpit, then run around in circles yelling made up words that are mainly vowels and waving your arms.

            All useful bonding and social stuff but it neither discerning nor the basis of something that lasts more than twenty-seven minutes.

            Then, after about age six, something seemed to happen to ours: they figured out what they liked doing and who they liked doing it with. Shared tastes became allegiances, for there can’t be an inside if there isn’t an outside. Friendship became really important and a little fraught.

            So, writing about friendship is not just a marketing tool, it’s a responsibility. It’s fine to show the upside – the fun, the feeling of belonging, the empowerment that comes from being more than one, but you also have to show the potholes along the way.

            The first time Max meets Peregrine in Monster Max, they bond over their mutual dislike and distrust. As the story goes along, events throw them together and, just when they seem to be inseparable, they pull themselves and their friendship apart. The only constant is things are constantly changing. And there’s the lesson.

            It’s tough for Max, who doesn’t know how to react when he falls out with his best friend Peregrine, and it doesn’t always feel that nice, as a writer, to write anything other than nice things about what I think is the icing on the cake of life. But it’s real and the story signposts the way back and shows that if you have friends, all is not lost, the game is afoot and it’s best played together.

Monster Max and the Marmalade Ghost is out 3 Feb 2022 – a tale of fantastic phantoms, missing cats and (very) sticky situations!

Monster Max and the Marmalade Ghost

Max and Peregrine are volunteering at an old people’s home, when strange things start to happen: one resident is walking on the ceiling; one is riding their wheelchair through walls; and Reggie says his marmalade is haunted (although no one listens). Can Max and his friends work out what’s happening to protect his family and the local community? Things aren’t looking good – the Marmalade Ghost is turning into a gloopy Godzilla, Max falls out with his (joint) best friend, and then, just when it can’t get any worse, someone kidnaps Max’s cat, Frankenstein… will they meet a sticky end?

Time to ‘Protect and Do Good Stuff!’

Purchase Links

fireflypress / amazon uk /

Author Bio –

When Robin grew up he thought he wanted to be a cavalry officer until everyone else realised that putting him in charge of a tank was a very bad idea. He then became an assistant gravedigger in London. After that he had a career frantically starting business- es (everything from dog-sitting to cigars, tuition to translation)… until finally settling down to write improbable stories to keep his children from killing each other on long car journeys.

Social Media Links

twitter/ facebook / instagram

Thank you for stopping by and reading Robin’s guest post! Have a wonderful weekend!

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