Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot


By Horatio Clare | Illustrations by Jane Matthews
Published September 2015 | ISBN 9781910080283

Aubrey is a rambunctious boy who tries to run before he can walk and has crashed two cars before he is old enough to drive one. But when his father, Jim, falls under the horrendous spell of the Terrible Yoot, everything changes. With the help of the creatures of Rushing Wood Aubrey sets out to break the spell. Everyone says his task is impossible, but Aubrey will never give up, even if he must fight the unkillable spirit of despair – The Terrible Yoot – itself!

Funny and fearless, Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot is a modern-day fable that mixes real family life with fantastical woodland creatures and a more than a touch of myth and mystery, to tackle the theme of depression head on, complemented by powerful line drawings by illustrator Jane Matthews. Why not explore our full range of middle grade books for 9-12 years old.

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Praise for the book

WINNER of the Branford Boase Award 2016Longlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2016

‘Here is writing and storytelling at its best. Here is a wondrous tale … that sweeps you along inside its magic, and its hope. At once bubbling with joy, and at the same time dealing with the great sadness that overcomes so many of us in our lives, the Terrible Yoot of the title. A daring book, beautifully conceived, and supremely well written. Horatio Clare has the voice of a great storyteller. As I said, a joy, a sheer joy!’ Michael Morpurgo

‘A treasure … rambunctious spirit, massive heart, and a poet’s eye. It’s also really funny.’ Frank Cottrell Boyce

‘This is a special and unusual book. It features some beautiful writing, and conjures up the sights, sounds and smells of the English countryside with such clarity that you’ll feel the damp ground beneath your feet, but it’s also a moving and thoughtful … When [Aubrey’s] father, normally so cheerful, is weighed down with a terrible sadness, the wild animals help Aubrey find ways to help, and even advise him on how to tackle the cause itself – the Terrible Yoot. It’s a story full of tenderness and understanding.’ Lovereading4kids

‘A jewel not to be missed is Horatio Clare’s debut children’s book Aubrey and the Terrible Yoot … about a rambunctious boy’s quest, helped by talking woodland animals, to break the spell of despair that has overwhelmed his father. This is a funny, big-hearted, nimble, original story, with a quality of fairy tale, informative footnotes, a sensitive way of dealing with the important subject of depression and engaging black-and-white illustrations by Jane Matthews.’ Nicolette Jones, Sunday Times 2015 children’s book of the year

‘A poetic and profound story … With captivating drawings by Jane Matthews, it’s a magical wintery adventure told with a unique mix of robust humour and imaginative insight. Highly recommended for children aged eight-plus.’ New Statesman‘s best children’s books of 2015

‘A heartening reminder that while the world may be puzzling and fraught is also full of beauty and magic.’ The Independent

‘This clever book mixes myth, fable and modern family life to create a vivid story that is not only full of magic but also looks sympathetically at complex issues such as depression… This is an enjoyable book that deals with important issues not often covered in writing for this age range.’ Books for Keeps Book of the Week

‘This is not only an enjoyable story that combines myth, fable and family life but it is also a subtle and empathetic look at depression and the impact it has, such as the inability to function and suicidal thoughts. It addresses this difficult topic in an age-appropriate way.’ Armadillo

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