Being Billy is the award-winning first novel by Phil Earle. ***Heroic, Phil Earle's hugely anticipated third novel is out on 24 April 2013***Faces flashed before my eyes. And for every face there was a time that they had let me down. Each punch that landed was revenge, my chance to tell them I hadn't forgotten what they did.Eight years in a care home makes Billy Finn a professional lifer. And Billy's angry - with the system, the social workers, and the mother that gave him away.As far as Billy's concerned, he's on his own. His little brother and sister keep him going, though they can't keep him out of trouble. But he isn't being difficult on purpose. Billy's just being Billy. He can't be anything else. Can he?'Phil Earle writes starkly but sensitively about damaged children in this brilliant page-turning novel. It moved me to tears' - Jacqueline Wilson 'Being Billy was a total page-turner - authentic and gritty. Billy's voice doesn't falter . . . spiky, brave and compassionate' - Jenny Downham, author of Before I Die'Moving and powerful, I loved it' - Sophie McKenziePhil Earle was born, raised and schooled in Hull. His first job was as a care worker in a children's home, an experience that influenced the ideas behind Being Billy. He then trained as a drama therapist and worked in a therapeutic community in south London, caring for traumatized and abused adolescents.After a couple of years in the care sector, Phil chose the more sedate lifestyle of a bookseller, and now works in children's publishing. Phil lives in south-east London with his wife and children, but Hull will always be home.
- Paperback | 272 pages
- 129 x 198 x 17mm | 184g
- 16 Jun 2011
- Penguin Books Ltd
- London, United Kingdom
About Phil Earle
Phil Earle was born, raised and schooled in Hull. His first job was as a care worker in a children's home, an experience that influenced the ideas behind Being Billy. He then trained as a drama therapist and worked in a therapeutic community in south London, caring for traumatized and abused adolescents.After a couple of years in the care sector, Phil chose the more sedate lifestyle of a bookseller, and now works in children's publishing. Phil lives in south-east London with his wife and children, but Hull will always be home.
Our customer reviews
Being Billy was a very realistic book. It is clear from the beginning that Phil Earle has previously worked in care - the authenticity of Billy and the relationships he has with others is incredible. Though I didn't find Billy completely endearing, I found him to be a very interesting character and I could see where he was coming from in a lot of his thoughts and I could admire the fact that he knew he wasn't perfect and had made mistakes. I adored Billy's relationship with his siblings as it showed a more sensitive, paternal side of him. His relationship with Ron also made for a very strong feature in the story. I didn't see the twist coming which made for a really big shock - it was certainly effective and emotive. I can't say that this book completely grabbed my attention, it didn't have me desperate to read on, but it all felt very true to life which is the real quality of this book.show moreby Stephanie Forster (Stepping out of the Page)
Billy Finn has lived in a care home since he was seven years old. His Step-father used to beat him and his mum was always too drunk to look after him and his younger siblings. Billy has anger issues, hates the cares system, school ... pretty much everything really - with the exception of the twins, Lizzie and Louie, his younger siblings. They are the two people in the world Billy would do anything for. The only problem is the social workers want to take them away from him - to send them back to live with their mother now she's cleaned up her act. Billy isn't won't be going with them and makes every effort to try and keep the twins with him - including agreeing to actually go to school. This is made much easier by his new friend, Daisy, who like him is part of the care system. Being Billy is an emotional read that really gets you inside the head of a fifteen-year-old boy living in care and makes you really understand what he's going through. Yes, he's the kind of kid who's always in trouble, who lets his fists do the talking and has no real attachment to anyone other than his brother and sister but the reader gets a real insight into why he's like this.Essentially it's how he survives. It's the realism that really makes this book work. There's no soft sugar-coating to Billy's actions, thoughts and feelings. A debut book by a talented writer, I can't wait to read more from Phil Earle.show moreby Tasha