Humour Teen Fiction About Pete Home

Rescuing Dad

How to Train Your Parents


Phantom Fear

The Creeper

How Pete Johnson's Books are used in Schools and Libraries  

[Click here for information about Pete's visits and how to arrange one.]

any of Pete's books are either comedies or thrillers. Sometimes schools study a particular genre - and compare the different books.


Rescuing Dad uses the first person narrative.

  • Why does Pete Johnson do this, rather than write in the third person?
  • What are the advantages of this? e.g. more friendly; encourages identification; builds up comedy characters.
  • Pete Johnson claims Chapter 21 is one of the funniest chapters he has ever written. Do you agree?
  • The book examines a serious topic - your parents separating - with a light touch. Did that work for you?
  • How is it different from other stories dealing with parental problems?

How to Train Your Parents and Trust Me, I'm a Troublemaker have two very different narrators: Louis in Parents and Archie in Troublemaker.

  • Imagine them meeting - how do you think they would get on?
  • Pete Johnson uses diaries and letters in Troublemaker. Look at the two different ways he tells the story.
  • In How to Train Your Parents, Maddy pretends to be Louis' mum (p163/170). Describe the incident from Maddy's point of view.

Help, I'm a Classroom Gambler begins with Harvey pretending to be an ape.

  • Why does Pete Johnson begin the book like this?
  • What do we find out about Harvey?
  • Is this Pete Johnson's funniest book?
  • Which one would you choose?


Avenger is both a fantasy and a thriller.

  • Look at how the two themes are integrated.
  • This book has been praised as a different look at bullying. There is very little fighting. So how does the bullying show itself?

Traitor has got a famous opening which pulls you into the story right away.

  • Look at how Pete Johnson creates suspense and menace in the first chapter.

The Ghost Dog. Look at the ghost telling night (p.45-56) and imagine you were there.

  • What eerie tale would you tell?
  • Compare with The Creeper (below).
  • Look at Danny's changing relationship with Aaron.
  • How does The Ghost Dog help them become friends?

Phantom Fear consists of two books: My Friend's a Werewolf and The Phantom Thief.

  • My Friend's a Werewolf is a spooky story which also looks at how we treat people who are different. (Look especially at Chapters Ten and Eleven) What do you think the book is trying to tell us?
  • The Phantom Thief. Look especially at the last two chapters. Did you guess the ending?

Eyes of the Alien.

  • Read up to p.102, then jot down what you think the ending will be. You may be surprised when you read the real ending.

The Creeper. Compare with The Ghost Dog. Both are about spooky stories that seem to come true. The Creeper is from a girl's perspective (Lucy).

  • Does this make a difference?
  • It is also a story about friendship. How does Pete Johnson link the two themes?
  • The twist in this book is Pete Johnson's own favourite. (Chapter 15) Did you guess it?

The Frighteners. Some people think this is Pete Johnson's spookiest book.

  • What would you say is the scariest scene in the story?
  • Give reasons why.

[Click here for information about Pete's visits and how to arrange one.]