My Parents are Out of Control, by Pete Johnson
Out of the blue Louis’s parents ask for tips on being cool? At first Louis is amused and teaches his parents how to use words like ‘safe,’ ‘wicked’ and ‘sick,’ and how to touch fists.
But then Louis’s dad turns up outside his school dressed like a rapper, yelling, ‘Yo everyone, I’m looking for my blood. Is he here?’
Soon his parents are trying to ‘friend’ Louis on Facebook and then Louis’s dad is seen wearing a baseball cap round the wrong way … it’s time for Louis to take action – and fast.
Louis and his ‘agent’ Maddy are Pete’s best-loved characters from ‘HOW TO TRAIN YOUR PARENTS,’ which has now been translated into over twenty languages."‘This stand-alone sequel has taken me a while,’ admits Pete (ten years) But I wanted to write something really special. So I hope you’ll think this new comedy has been worth the wait."
Yearling | 272-page paperback
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"Given that it sees life through the eyes of a teenager it is akin to Adrian Mole, Wimpy Kid and Tom Gates – and works for younger fans too. The warmth and affection … shines through so that you really care about the characters and want to know how Louis's adventures will pan out – while laughing your socks off at the same time."
SHORTLISTED FOR THE ROALD DAHL FUNNY PRIZE 2013
‘REMINDED ME VERY MUCH OF ‘ADRIAN MOLE’
'MY PARENTS ARE OUT OF CONTROL is the sequel to HOW TO TRAIN YOUR PARENTS, but I still enjoyed it without having read the first book. As a parent I found it very funny and I’m sure the pre-teen and teen market that it is aimed at would find it equally funny, just maybe not for the same reason!
'The tone of the book, seeing life through the eyes of a teenager reminded me very much of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, that I enjoyed reading as a child. It’s a fun read that will keep book-loving teens and pre-teens amused throughout the holidays.'
Cheryl Pasquier Madhouse Family Reviews
‘A NOT TO BE MISSED NOVEL’
‘A companion volume to the hilarious ‘How to Train your Parents.’ This novel is glowing with Pete Johnson’s trademark warmth and good humour, this is a not to be missed novel with wickedly sharp, perfectly timed writing built upon a framework of care and affection that family and friendships provide.
Jake Hope Droplets of Ink. Inspiring children’s Reading.
‘Amazing book. I liked the ending. The plot was great. I hope there will be a next book in the Louis books.
Boy, Guy Pender. Amazon
‘MY PARENTS ARE OUT OF CONTROL’ PICKED AS ONE OF THE TOP SUMMER READS BY THE SUNDAY TIMES
‘There is a jubilant feel to the following children’s books including My Parents Are out of Control’ … Louis’s parents decide they need to be cooler. It all escalates horribly via slapstick and farce until sense prevails.’
Nicolette Jones, THE SUNDAY TIMES
‘READ MY PARENTS ARE OUT OF CONTROL IF YOU WANT A GOOD LAUGH.’
‘I really, really liked this book. It had me laughing out loud. I can really recommend that you read it, if you want a good laugh.’
L.K. Sheffield, Review of the week, MY CHOICE CLUB
‘A BRILLIANT LOOK AT FAMILY LIFE TODAY.’
‘My Parents Are Out of Control is a brilliant look at family life today. A hilarious story which will appeal to boys and girls alike.’
PARENTS IN TOUCH
"IT HAD ME LAUGHING OUT LOUD …"
MY PARENTS ARE OUT OF CONTROL is, without doubt, the funniest book I’ve read since Marcus Sedgwick’s Mysteries. It had me laughing out loud every other page thanks to its mix of sarcasm and deadpan humour – two of my favourite things!
Twelve-year-old Louis is a comedian, he’s excellent at telling jokes and constantly makes everyone around him collapse in fits of laughter. Everything’s going great until his parents start revisiting their youth, using words like “safe” and “wicked” and wearing clothes a couple of decades too young for them. I’m sure we all agree that would be an absolute nightmare! Louis has to try and put a stop to this before his own reputation is destroyed – but how?
Louis is a larger than life protagonist, one I’m sure lots of kids will identify with and wish they could be friends with. He’s easy going and maybe a bit too smart-mouthed for his own good, as he often finds himself in sticky situations with teachers! He’s the kind of boy I would have been friends with when I was little, someone fun and who doesn’t take life too seriously.
I really, really enjoyed this book. I love books for younger readers that are funny – I don’t think there’s anything better than kids reading a book that will make them laugh. Pete Johnson has written a great book here and I’m glad I have read it. Obviously I’ll now have to get a copy of the first book in the series to catch up with Louis and his comedy adventures.
THE MARATHON BOOK SIGNING AT THE ‘MY PARENTS ARE OUT OF CONTROL’ LAUNCH AT THE
CRUCIBLE THEATRE, SHEFFIELD.
PETE ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS ABOUT HIS EAGERLY AWAITED NEW BOOK ‘MY PARENTS ARE OUT OF CONTROL’
‘MY PARENTS ARE OUT OF CONTROL’ IS THE SEQUEL TO ‘HOW TO TRAIN YOUR PARENTS.’ BUT IS IT TRUE IT HAS TAKEN YOU TEN WHOLE YEARS TO WRITE IT?
It really has. Let me tell you why. First of all when you have a big success such as ‘How To Train your Parents,’ which has been an international best-seller – now translated into twenty-four languages – it’s fantastically exciting. But writing a sequel can be very scary. You want the sequel to be at least as good as the original –and hopefully even better. So you put off doing anything until you have a really brilliant idea and you wait and wait …. and wait some more.
SO HOW DID YOU FINALLY GET THE IDEA?
Right out of the blue, one evening my niece was complaining about her dad (my brother-in-law) she was saying, ‘He promised me faithfully he wouldn’t tell any jokes when my friends were here. But instead he told them three jokes ands they were all terrible and I’ve never been more embarrassed.’ So that got me thinking – parents who think they’re still young and try and get down with their kids. This was such a funny idea, I forgot all my nerves and started working – at long last – on a sequel.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE WRITING ABOUT LOUIS, MADDY AND LOUIS’S PARENTS AGAIN?
To be honest, it was just like meeting up with old friends you hadn’t seen for a long while. After a few minutes you’re back again, just like before. Soon I could hear Louis and Maddy’s voices in my head again. There are also some great new characters including Edgar, who Maddy likes – but Louis hates on sight.
WERE YOUR PARENTS AS EMBARRASSING AS LOUIS’S?
No. My dad would say if ‘Top of the Pops was on, ‘Switch off that rubbish.’ But he’d never try and talk about modern music or learn all the latest teen words. He was quite happy in his own world. This phenomenon of parents wanting to be ‘down with the kids’ is a new one, which made it such a funny and topical thing to write about.
DO YOU EVER TRY AND BE ‘DOWN WITH THE KIDS?’
What a mean question? The thing is I’m roughly the age of the Dad in the book so I did know where he was coming from. He doesn’t think he’s that old and neither (whisper this) do I.
WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE MOST EMBARRASSING THING LOUIS’S PARENTS DO?
If I have to choose just one, it’s when Louis’s dad goes out wearing a baseball cap round the wrong way, Louis says, ‘Let me tell you there’s no horror like seeing your dad in a baseball cap round the wrong way.’ And I think I agree with him.
YOU’VE BEEN CALLED ‘DEVASTATINGLY FUNNY,’ AND ‘A HILARIOUS WRITER.’ IS IT HARD TRYING TO BE FUNNY?
Yes – but I never try and be funny. That’s far too scary. So in my first draft I just set out to establish strong, contrasting characters and situations which will really test them. If the characters and situations are good enough then the humour should bubble out of the story. Comedy has been called tragedy at a different speed. I like that. I also like the quote, Comedy is ‘Common sense dancing.’
LOUIS IS A BIG FAN OF P.G.WODEHOUSE, THE COMEDY WRITER. ARE YOU?
Yes, I really am. ‘Joy in the Morning,’ a Jeeves book, is a special favourite. I would also recommend two classic authors. Richmal Crompton, author of the marvellous, ‘Just William’ books and Anthony Buckeridge, who wrote the still hilarious Jennings stories.
ARE YOU PLANNING TO WRITE ANOTHER BOOK ABOUT LOUIS AND MADDY – AND CAN YOU BE QUICKER THIS TIME?
I had such a good time writing ‘My Parents are out of Control,’ that I’d love to write one more book about these great characters. I just need another really strong idea. But already I’ve got one or two funny ideas – and I really will try and be a bit quicker this time.
WHICH OF THE CHARACTERS IN ‘MY PARENTS ARE OUT OF CONTROL’ IS MOST LIKE YOU?
All of them. There is certainly something of me in Louis’s character. But also I can relate to Maddy, Louis’s parents, even the ghastly Edgar. In fact, the bad bits of any character are usually inspired by me!