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Fizzlebert Stump: The Boy Who Ran Away from the Circus (and Joined the Library)
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Fizzlebert Stump: The Boy Who Ran Away from the Circus

(Fizzlebert Stump #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  184 ratings  ·  33 reviews
'There are many boys in the world, all slightly different from one another, and most of them are referred to by names. These are often John or Jack or Desmond, but sometimes they are James or Philip or Simon. Once, and once only, there was a boy whose name was Fizzlebert.'

Fizzlebert Stump lives in a travelling circus. But although he gets to hang around with acrobats, play
Paperback, 250 pages
Published June 7th 2012 by Bloomsbury
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Average rating 3.77  · 
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 ·  184 ratings  ·  33 reviews

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Adele Broadbent
Jun 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Fizzlebert loves being part of the circus family he was born into. But sometimes he’d like someone his own age to talk to. When he meets some kids after a show, he enjoys their awe at how he puts his head in the lion’s jaws. But afterwards, when they make fun of his name, Fizzlebert is crushed. He soon discovers a library book one of the kids have dropped as they ran away, and on a friend’s advice, decides to return it. You’d think this would be a lot safer than putting your head in a lion’s mou ...more
Jan 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
I love this. Library-wise, this is not as library-related as "Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library". But it's fun!

Mr. Harrold did a great job writing this piece, mixing Roald Dahl's and Pseudonymous Bosch's styles.. /will be edited soon/

It's all started from a boy named Fizzlebert Stump who lives in a moving circus. His father is a strong man and his mother is a clown. Everyday, Fizzlebert learns many things from the circus' staffs. Fizzlebert himself is also a circus' staff, he helps the lion m
James Vachowski
Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-boys-like
There are many boys in the world and some of them have the same name, but there’s only one Fizzlebert. This boy is as unique as his name, as he travels with a circus and makes a living by helping the lion tamer with his show. Unfortunately, the one bad thing about living on the road is that he never has time to make any friends his own age. During one particular stop, Fizzlebert finds a library book and attempts to return it himself, not knowing that this trip would change his life forever.

The b
Bethany Sawford
Not at all what I was expecting, this book follows Fizzlebert Stump who lives at the circus, an interesting concept to start. His Mum is a clown, his Dad is a strongman and he has lots of adult friends, who teach him all kinds of things, but no other children. One day, he leaves to return a book to the library and doesn’t return... This was laugh-out-loud funny but also dealt with some more serious issues in a lighthearted way, including stranger danger and embracing being different.
Faris Youssef
Nov 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and would give it 10 stars I could even a googleplex.
I liked it when there were mushrooms growing on the Stinkthrottles sink -yuk. I also liked when Fizzlebert put his head in the Lion's mouth. My favourite character was Fizz.
Apr 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Year 4 readers

We enjoyed listening to all of the tricks the people in the circus did. Also, it was lovely to see Fizz had made a new friend who shared stories with each other!
It made us lots of emotions all the way through, like a rollercoaster!
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chatterbooks
A cautionary tale with a humorous plot. Who knew library membership could be so hazardous?
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
we did a great Literacy unit in school on this book and Ashley came for an author visit - he was completely engaging and bonkers!
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Simply brilliant! I loved everything about this book. It's almost like the author is reading it to you himself. ...more
An amusing and entertaining tale about Fizzlebert Stump, a child of the circus and his brush with the dreadful Stinkbottles and the unending joyful prospects that comes with owning a library card.
Ms Doxey
Jul 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
It's just a bit dull really. Not a massive fan. Wouldn't use. ...more
Pop Bop
Jul 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Has Your Fancy Been Tickled Lately?

I'm generally O.K. with books that are narrated with a wink, but those books come in a variety of flavors. Sometimes the narrator can be too condescending or mocking, and sometimes the narrator is a bit too antic or cutesy, and sometimes the narrator is so intrusive he interferes with the story. This book seemed to navigate away from those excesses. Our hero runs away from the circus, which is a clever premise. The narrator strikes just the right balance in sel
Lou Tennant
Fizzlebert (Fizz) stump has the life that many children dream of. He lives in a travelling circus with his Mum (a clown) and his Dad (the strong man), and is home Schooled by some of some of the circuses more eccentric performers, including his psychic French teacher who does not even speak French! But there is one thing missing – friends his own age.
One day after a performance (which involves him putting his head in the mouth of a lion with rubber dentures) Fizz meets some local kids who initi
Mar 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
So let's just be clear, I didn't give this book five stars just because it's about a boy wanting to join the library (although that whole episode was pretty funny). I loved the writing style and the humour, particularly the way the author is quite transparent about the conventions that writers use to keep kids hooked using cliff-hangers and suspsense. He makes a point of flagging this up to the them all the way through by saying things like 'I know it's the oldest trick in the book but I hope it ...more
Sep 13, 2012 rated it liked it
This book is probably what would have happened if 'The Twits' and 'James and the Giant Peach' had met at a circus, and been smooshed together in some sort of daring act. I like the way this story was told, with the narrator also having his own personality, but some of the copious description did make my eyes flutter across the page for something more exciting to happen. overall, this is a pretty good story for kids to read, and it's kinda educational in its own peculiar way. ...more
Nov 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
I think this book would please readers from 8 to 10. It does have expressions and vocabulary that are not common in North America like sat instead of sitting and biro (ballpoint pen) and tip (landfill). The author offers much advice on writing a novel. It had a good plot, interesting characters and some suspense. The librarian was quite amusing. I didn't care for the illustrations. Even though the Stinkthrottles were nasty, I still feel sorry for them at the end. ...more
Oct 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: good-j-lit, srp-2016
A third graders delight! Can you imagine living in a circus? Well it's not all fun and games. And when you're named Fizzelbert, you find out that maybe you're different.
So when Fizz, sneaks into town to see the library, he's not prepared for what and who he meets.
Very silly writing style with British wording making it extra fun.

Nov 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is fun book with the author using end of chapter opportunities to address the reader and keep them hooked. Fizzlebert has his head in a lion's mouth one minute, encountering a librarian for the first time the next before encountering a seemingly kind old couple and having to clean the world's dirtiest bathroom while being sworn at by a parrot. Plenty to keep a younger reader interested, ...more
Rachael (pagesofpiper)
2.5. Not sure I can call it a lovely book... as it's full of horrible things! But it was definitely an interesting adventure, definitely pro-libraries (thank you Mr Harrold!) Makes me want to read the Enid Blyton circus stories now. :) ...more
Jun 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
I can imagine this being very funny for children as the author breaks the fourth wall a lot to address the reader directly, plus the storyline is very appealing to the age group it is aimed at. I thought the message it was aiming to get across to children was also pretty well done.
MissMarkey gave me this to read while I'm at her place as the author is one of the authors doing a talk at the Oxford convention. I thoroughly enjoyed the book, and it reminded me a bit of 'The Twits'! ...more
Bobbi Bullard
Aug 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a young adult book so don't expect anything deep. This book is just fun and I recommend it for when you're looking for something light. ...more
Sep 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
This was a pleasure to read! The perfect story for children aged 5-8 with everything they love best - adventure, friendship, humour and all things smelly.
May 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Incredibly funny Very entertaining
Oct 22, 2014 marked it as to-read
Shelves: spike
Recommended by Slightly Foxed.
Jan 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Lovely ode to libraries wrapped up in a bonkers tale full of circus acts, Twits-like characters and brave boys. Plus one very knowing authorial voice. I think this would be a great read-aloud.
Novia Indaryani
Feb 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
The story is funny, fantastic and ridiculous. Fizz, the boy who live in Circus had a great advanture when he's joined the library. I do love this book. ...more
Aug 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
My little brother read and said he enjoyed because it was a page turner. I would recommend it
Clare Doornbos
Nov 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Bonkers Dahl-esque story. Lots of great descriptions and narrative fun.
Apr 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
No so sure about this one, it felt that it was sometimes not too children friendly. Maybe it's just me. ...more
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A.F. Harrold is an English poet. He writes and performs for adults and children, in cabaret and in schools, in bars and in basements, in fields and indoors. He was Glastonbury Festival Website's Poet-In-Residence in 2008, and Poet-In-Residence at Cheltenham Literature Festival in 2010. He won the Cheltenham All Stars Slam Championship in 2007 and has had his work on BBC Radio 4, Radio 3 and BBC7. ...more

Other books in the series

Fizzlebert Stump (6 books)
  • Fizzlebert Stump and the Bearded Boy
  • Fizzlebert Stump: The Boy Who Cried Fish
  • Fizzlebert Stump and the Girl Who Lifted Quite Heavy Things
  • Fizzlebert Stump: The Boy Who Did P.E. in his Pants
  • Fizzlebert Stump and the Great Supermarket Showdown

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