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3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  340 ratings  ·  76 reviews
A boy finds a one-word message -- HELP! -- sealed in a tin can and is sucked into a thrillingly gruesome adventure.

Fergal Bamfield doesn't collect stamps like normal kids. He's an oddball (his mother prefers to call him "clever"), and his collection is as strange as everything else about him. Fergal Bamfield collects tin cans.

Then one day he finds a can without a label. Wh...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published March 1st 2008 by Scholastic Press (first published March 3rd 2006)
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If you’re anything like me (and I suppose you probably are - I mean, we’re both into books, right?) you look at the bargain bin at your local supermarket with mistrust. Questions may start to pop into your head upon glimpsing this oddest of grocery store curiosities:

“Why are all those things in there? Baby food AND cologne on the same shelf? They shouldn’t be that close. An what’s with that bag of off-brand Oreos? They look fine … I wonder what’s wrong with them?”

But these are just passing thoug...more
I just didn't buy what this book was selling. It couldn't decide whether it was serious or quirky/funny, and most of the plot "twists" were so contrived I either saw it coming from a mile away or didn't believe that it would ever happen. It seems like lately the publishing industry puts all their energy into interesting cover images and cool titles.
And the reasoning behind the finger ending up in the can by itself was so ridiculous! It was obviously something that the editor picked up on at the...more
Funny, funny, funny book. The first half of this is full of hilarious depictions of a boy in England. Fergal (yes, that's his name) is thought to be clever. Primarily because of how he looks -

"His unruly hair stuck out at all angles and could never be tamed, not even with a pot of gel. And then there were his glasses, which not only enlarged his eyes, but somehow had the effect of making his very head (and by implication his brain) seem bigger than it really was... The general rule seemed to be...more
Canned is a wonderful book about a boy named Fergal Bamfield who lives in England and collects cans. Yes, unlabeled, silver cans from the bargain basket at his local supermarket. His collection started with one can and ended up with fifty cans! (His mother got very annoyed with his hobby more than once in the story!) Fergal finds some very gross, creepy, and weird things in the cans that he opens. (I won't tell you what he finds because that would ruin the story!) While at the supermarket with...more
This juvenile mystery starts out on an interesting note: Young Fergal Bamfield - who people describe as clever - has decided to collect cans as a hobby. Not antique cans or cans with foreign labels; rather, Fergal collects label-less cans from the bargain bin at the grocery store. After opening one particularly light can, Fergal discovers within an earring. Several more interesting, but disgusting, findings follow. Fergal also discovers a friend who collects the same type of can. Here the story...more
Jul 30, 2008 Kstewart5362 rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: middle-school-aged guys
Recommended to Kstewart5362 by: review
Snappy, quick British read which would appeal to those who love books like Millions, by Frank Cottrell Boyce. Here, Fergal is an odd sort who stumbles upon an interesting hobby--collecting cans--which leads to an interesting chain of events including meeting a girl, Charlotte, with a similarly unique interest in cans. If you read this, you'll never look at cans without labels in quite the same way...
Addison Children
Fergal's mother insists he get a hobby. So Fergal begins collecting cans, the kind the grocery store puts in the bargain bin because they have no labels. His parents are not too pleased with this hobby, especially when he never opens them, but prefers to savor the mystery. After Fergal's parents issue an ultimatum �?? no more cans until he opens some �?? and Fergal finds a can that feels empty save for a soft rattle he decides to open one up. A gold post, from an ear. The next can he opens holds...more
This review originally appeared at

In my experience, tins and fingers don't go well together. A few years back I found myself at the hospital after losing terribly in a battle against a tin of kidney beans. Kidney beans are good for iron levels, I hear. Bleeding all over the kitchen floor, not so much. Oh, the agony of my hand and its plaintive sobs of haemoglobin.

In tears, I called up my husband, who did his knight-in-a-shining-Ford-Laser thing and rushed home from...more
This was a pretty good book. Two kids collect cans. In one of them, they fid a note thats says"help". In others they find a gold stud earring, gold ring, a human ear, and a human finger. On the bottom of the cans is a code. It always begins and ends with the same letters. While the girl is on holiday, the boy checks all the cans in the supermarket for the same code. Shortly later, he disappears. You find out that he found a matching code and went to the address on the can. Taking a peek inside t...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

Meet Fergal. He is a loner and a bit of an eccentric. His parents often worry about him. They like to think he is clever, but sometimes even being clever doesn't explain everything.

A recent visit to the grocery store with his mother has Fergal excited about something new. While at the store, he discovered the wonders of the "bargain bin." It is where items with bumps and dents and nearly expired dates go to be rescued by some value...more
Fergal Bamfield has always been known for being clever. And clever people are known for doing strange things. So no one thinks anything of it when he starts collecting cans without the label on them. At least, not until he finds a human finger that leads him and his fellow collector Charlotte Pettigrew to a most dastardly plot.

The thing that drew me to this book was the idea of a boy collecting cans. A most unusual occupation, I thought I might as well read about it. However, once I picked up th...more
Beth Dean
How cool a name is Fergal?!? I wish I had a friend called Fergal with a fro. We'd be unstoppable! Like Batman and Robin..................................

Enough of that and back to business. For a black comedy/coming of age book it worked quite well considering that the whole basis of the plot was someones finger. A strange idea which if it doesn't put you off has to intrigue you which is really half of the battle towards liking this book.

The coming of age aspect was cleverly twisted with the ma...more
Canned was the best book ever. Int he begginning it was so corny and nothing made sence at all. It was really stupid and i was about to abandon it. When the main chartater introduces a nother charater the story became more interseting. At the end of the story it was so interseting beucase Alex Shearer is a really good writing. I really enjoyed it alot!!I lerned from this book is to always follow something that your curious about. The main charater is a can collecter and he went all the way to th...more
Mrs. Luetje's Purple People Eaters
Nov 20, 2008 Mrs. Luetje's Purple People Eaters rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who likes a good book
Recommended to Mrs. Luetje's Purple People Eaters by: Mrs. Luetje
This book I really liked because it contained a variety of different moods. It starts out in your good old english suburban neighborhood where a boy and his mother live. The boy named Fergal Bamfield decides to go to the market and go get there weekly trolley full of goods. All of the sudden Fergal realizes a can with no label on it in the bargain bin. Fergal is so compelled to grab it so he does and he buys it. He starts collecting cans with no labels because he finds them so interesting. One d...more
What an odd book 'Tins' was. And I mean this in a good way :D I knew I wouldn't love it but the unique concept made me know that I was at least going to like it.

It makes sense that the main character of such an odd book is an odd person. Odd in a 'clever' way. The step by step style of narration was refreshing and made me miss middle grade books. Fergal gets into the hobby of collecting tins and while reading through his perspective you really start to get to understand a bit of his habit. Thro...more
Fergal Bamfield has always been known as the clever young boy who collects tin cans. Its just a obsession, and a simple one, he didn't want cool cans from far away distant unknown places he just wanted the ones you found at the store. One day as he rummages through the reduced cans bin he find something special, a can that rattles, he tries to think of any kind of soup that would make this sound, by the time he gets home he opens it to find a tiny gold stud. Along the way of finding all these un...more
Canned by Alex Shearer its a mystery book. I have really enjoyed it. It's about a boy named Fergal Bamfield who as this passion on collecting cans. While collecting a few cans he wanted to open it but when he starts to find really disgusting things like a human finger. He wish he had a friend who collects cans so that he can share his experience but not many people have a passion on collecting cans. One day his dream came true. He met a girl with the passion so they became best friend but one da...more
A decent novel for younger teenagers and children.

The story concerns Fergal, a young boy with a strange hobby of collecting tins. That is, tins with no labels. The mystery of each tin and what they might contain give him thrills, and his mother pains, but when he discovers a human finger in one very special tin everything becomes more complicated.

Story is coherent and easy to follow with good humor, especially when Fergal's mother is involved. Novel slows down when Charlotte (A fellow tin coll...more
Wow, I'm really on the fence about this book. I really liked the plot and the author's style/tone/voice, but the ending was a bit too crazy for my taste. Looking at it from the standpoint of a teacher recommending the book to students, I'm not sure what I would do. On the one hand, it is very well written and captivating. On the other hand, the ending is a bit morbid and not for the faint of heart. But, the overall concept of the book is such a good one! I mean, a kid collecting cans? I wish I w...more
A young British boy begins collecting unmarked tins in the supermarket, and then starts finding body parts and jewelry inside. He begins to investigate with a friend, but soon they find themselves locked in a factory and both in danger...

Interesting premise. The first half of the book was slow-paced and the dialogue between parents and child wasn't believable, but pacing at the end picked up as drama intensified. I also didn't find it believable how the children repeatedly tried to tell adults...more
If you like suspense, this is a good one. I used this one with my Lit Study groups, but ended up just letting them read them individually because they literally BEGGED me to read this one over and over.
It's about this kid named Fergal, who's not your average kid. Normal kids collect stamps, or coins, but Fergal collects cans without labels. His collection starts to get too bug, and his mom tells him he cannot get anymore cans until he gets rid of some. Fergal decides on one that is unusually li...more
Tabitha Paschalis
I remember reading this book when I was younger, it was in fact one of the first books I ever read and it got me into reading. However, I feel as if the ending was a I was expecting something a little bit more logical than what actually happened.

However I loved the central character, and truly felt for them.

I do recommend this book for a younger audience, although it does have some scenes of violence which I wasn't expecting as much as it was received.
Fergal's just another odd kid who collects cans -unlabeled cans- instead. But as he collects a can, he finds a message. Then a bodypart, a finger. Mysteries overflows him and wondering sensations circles around him. It's a great modern mystery book with unique characters. And yes, the plot twist. The plot twist in the end, and the discoverance of the mysterious meanings really just thrilled me. I rate this book 5/5 and it deserves so.
Laura Gardner
Ridiculously funny/weird book about a kid, Fergal, who gets obsessed with collecting unlabeled tin cans...until he finds a human finger in one and a message that says "help" in another. Soon he realizes that his fun hobby could actually help save someone's life if he and his fellow collector Charlotte can figure out the mystery in time. This book is fast-paced, a bit strange (certainly not for the squeamish!), but overall quite good.
Walter F.
The book I read is called Canned. This book is aboute a kid who thinks his life is boring. But when he finds a finger in a can everything changes. Sorry but I do not have schma for this book.I have never found a finger in a can. What I want to remember about this book is how Furgal`s friend helped him get out of a tight spot.I think this book is really exsiting it has a lot of cliff hangers and I think you should read it.
Cynthia Ainsworth
Fergal is a likeable character...a bit of an odd duck but hey! aren't those kids the most interesting?! At first the thought of finding a severed finger in a can made me squemish. But as the mystery develops I got past the gruesome aspects of the story. The conclusion to the mystery was good but a tad anticlimatic. I can see 5th-7th grade boys really getting into the story...though girls will like it, too.
Allison Armstrong
This book is written by a British author which was easy to see as I got into the book. I assumed it took place in America, but clearly it takes place in England somewhere. I liked the book although the premise was a bit wild, but it was interesting to see how it would be resolved. It is a fast read and would be good for students who like mysteries and can adapt to British sayings without being thrown for a loop.
Being always on the lookout for a good horror book I took a chance on this one. It was okey not great not rotten just okey. I had trouble that the all the adults were of no help and felt things got forced. The novel seems indesive as to what it wants to be quirky funny or horror and ends up as neither Kids will probably like the gross out factor. Does try to make a point about child slavery.
Weird and gruesome and a compelling mystery. I really liked the bit about Fergal and Charlotte both being clever as an explanation for their odd hobby. Initially the Possum suggested I read this, and then, when she finished, she worried I wouldn't finish it in time to return to the library. Ha, silly girl. Anyway, I'd recommend it to middle school readers.
I thought this book was pretty good. One of the parts I liked is when the narator opens a can and a finger with a ring on it falls out of the can. It was kind of gross to think about that happening to yourself, but it made me want to keep on reading. The other parts weren't the most exciting but over all it was pretty good
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What's The Name o...: Boy collects cans with body parts in them? [s] 9 64 Feb 22, 2014 01:27AM  
Canned letter 1 1 Nov 10, 2012 07:32AM  
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Alex Shearer started his writing career as a scriptwriter and has had great success in that field. His credits include The Two of Us, the 1990s sitcom starring Nicholas Lyndhurst. More recently he has started writing for children. His Wilmot stories have been adapted for TV by Yorkshire television, and his children's novel, The Greatest Store in the World, was screened as a feature length TV film...more
More about Alex Shearer...
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