Published: 28/11/2014
ISBN: 9781784620578
eISBN: 9781784628079
Format: Paperback/eBook



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In 1967, considering herself to be destined for a life of mediocrity, Barbara Spencer hi-tailed it to the West Indies to watch cricket, the precursor to a highly colourful career spanning three contin... read more

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The Amazing Brain of O C Longbotham
by Barbara Spencer

Philip James Longbotham is twelve. His nickname is OC and he possesses a most amazing brain. It might not go round corners but it’s a whiz at science and plays chess like a dream. It also has a nasty habit of seizing up at the wrong moment; Kitty says it only does that because it’s overloaded with maths equations. Kitty and Anna are OC’s sisters and they’re the reason Mum wants to leave home.

OC’s best friend is Charles Andrew Sheridan Harris. He lives next door and goes round in an excessively speedy wheelchair. Nicknamed 'The Cash', his ambition is to become the world’s greatest villain and make a bankful of money. He’s not doing such a bad job of it either! While OC plays chess and does maths and science homework for lazy kids, Cash has a nice sideline in forging sick notes and shop-lifting.

When a chess tournament lures the four friends to Birmingham, Cash takes OC to meet Jim Bowie, one of the all-time great villains, with the intention of asking if he can become an apprentice villain. Told they don’t hire kids in wheelchairs, Cash is devastated. If villains don’t want him, what is he to do with the rest of his life?

With Cash in decline and refusing to go to school, OC attends the carol service on his own in Gloucester. He witnesses some suspicious men board his coach and recognises one of them as Jim Bowie. Remembering that Cash has warned him to never talk to Jim Bowie again, OC stays out of sight. The coach trundles him back to Bristol where the men are intending to rob a bank. Unfortunately, the bank they have chosen is where OC keeps his chess winnings, over three hundred pounds, and he’s not about to let them steal that!

Winner of the BRONZE award in the 9-12 year-old category of the Wishing Shelf Independent Book Awards 2015!

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"I decided long ago that you can either be cowed by the absurdities of life or lampoon them."

My love affair with both life and words began in 1969, when ‘Fashion’ Magazine paid me the goodly sum of £25 to write an article about travel. Other articles followed and from these humble beginnings came children’s books, full of rib-tickling humour and scintillating action.
However, my desire to wax lyrical about the absurdity of life remained and whilst journeying by train to some far distant school or to a signing at Waterstones, I began scribbling down my thoughts. Blogs, anecdotes and short stories followed. Now, of an age to remember the past, I thought, why not? There has to be heaps of people around like me … well, not exactly like me but near enough to enjoy and remember how life once was.

Age and the Antique Sideboard will be published in August 2017.

http://www.barbaraspencer.co.uk/

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