'A real find!' Northampton author's children's book nominated for distinguished prize

A Northampton writer's debut children's book is relying on public votes to win an award for as-yet undiscovered authors.

Tuesday, 11th April 2017, 5:51 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 8:19 pm
Escape from Nettle Farm by Justin Davis, has been nominated for the People's Book Prize.
Escape from Nettle Farm by Justin Davis, has been nominated for the People's Book Prize.

'Escape from Nettle Farm' by Justin Davis, has been submitted for The People's Book Prize Spring 2017 collection, after receiving 5* ratings on Amazon, Waterstones, Goodreads and more.

The People's Book Prize is touted as being "the home for new and undiscovered works," with the winner decided completely on nominations made by the public.

Mr Davis - a senior programme manager by day - took up writing children's books to help his son learn to read.

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Justin Davis.

He said: "One of my sons always struggled with reading which then impacted his writing.

"This was most apparent when the children chose their own school library books to read and my son chose books that his friends were also reading.

"These books had lots of character and place names that were often very difficult to pronounce. This led to a break in the flow of the reading and made it difficult to engage in the story, resulting in a visible frustration, a lack of interest in reading books and a challenge to get him to read on a night.

"Despite the school helping, I wanted to do more. I took a course in book writing and wrote an engaging chapter novel that felt like a grown up book but kept it simple with a captivating story line and beautiful illustrations."

Justin Davis.

His first book is the story of Harvey, the smallest of a litter of puppies bred on Nettle Farm.

"His brothers and sisters have all found new homes, and he doesn’t fancy hanging around to see what grumpy Farmer Greaves has in store for him," reads the book blurb.

"Escaping from Nettle Farm, he’s found by Millie and her Dad and starts to settle into a loving family, believing that he is safe and all is well - but he hasn’t seen the last of Farmer Greaves just yet! It’s just the start of the adventure for Harvey…"

Escape from Nettle Farm was released in November 2016, and parents have given it the thumbs up so far.

An Amazon reviewer, said: "A real find! A fun, dramatic and accessible story with beautiful illustrations. This is a great bedtime story that has really helped my seven year old show just how far his reading and comprehension has come. One to pick up again and again!”

And a Goodreads reviewer heralded his first work: "A brilliant story with just the right number of beautiful illustrations to add to the plot without distracting my kids from it."

He has already written the second book in the series, Spy Danger, which will be available later this year or early in 2018.

Voting is open until May 14, 2017. Successful authors will be announced at The People's Book Prize Eighth Awards Ceremony on May 23, 2017.