By: James Valentine
Genre: YFB - General fiction (Children's/Teenage)
Published by: Penguin
Published: 02 May 2016
ISBN: 9780143308973


Stuff Happens is an important series for boys about everyday challenges. Created by Susannah McFarlane, the series editor, the series includes stories by authors Tony Wilson, Andrew Daddo, Philip Gwynne, Will Kostakis, Oliver Phommavanh, Scot Gardner, Pat Flynn, Alex McDiarmid, Justin D'Ath, Adrian Beck, James Valentine and James Roy. Each book features a different character and follows them as they overcome a particular everyday challenge.

Aimed at boys aged between 7 and 11, the Stuff Happens series explores those everyday struggles in life that boys can sometimes be reluctant to express: quarrels with mates, a bad day at school, fear of disappointing mum and dad, rejection and not fitting in.

Stuff happens sometimes. Everyday stuff. At school, at home, with sport, with mates.

For Luke it happened on public speaking day.

Stuff Happens. Real-life stories for boys. Suitable for beginner and newly confident readers.


We all know ‘stuff happens’. This series really highlights that happens to everyone and it is how we deal with things that matter.

At the end of Year 4, Luke is dreading who is teacher will be in Year 5. He worries about it the whole summer holidays. He doesn’t know what he will do if he gets Miss Hobbie. Not because he doesn’t like her, but because in Term 2 her class has Speech Week! And speaking in front of the class is just something that Luke cannot do.

When his worst fears are realised on the first day of Year 5, Luke is terrified and not sure how he will cope. With a little help, understanding, perseverance and thinking outside the square, can Luke pull off his biggest achievement?

This is a fabulous story that shows us all that there are many ways to overcome our fears and the challenges that we face in life.

Reviewed by Sam