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198 x 129mm


288 pages

Pub Date

Sep 7, 2023



Age 8+

The Final Year

By Matt Goodfellow
Illustrated by Joe Todd-Stanton

The first novel, told in verse for middle-grade readers, by a leading children’s poet, with atmospheric pictures by a Carnegie-shortlisted illustrator

Life can be tough in your last year of primary school. Tests to take, preparing for the change to high school. Nate is ready for it all, knowing his best friend PS is at his side - they’ve been inseparable since Nursery.

But when they are put in two different classes and PS finds a new friend in Turner, the school bully, Nate's world turns upside-down. As he struggles to make sense of this and forge new friendships, he’s dealt another blow when his youngest brother, Dylan is rushed into hospital.

His new teacher, Mr Joshua, sees a spark inside of Nate that’s lit by his love of reading and writing and shows him how to use this to process what’s going on. But with so much working against him, and anger rising inside him, will this be enough?

A powerful and lyrical story about finding your place in the world and the people that matter within it.



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"I am pleased to report it is EXCELLENT in every way. Told in verse, with illustrations, it focuses on a young boy going into school year 6. Think friendships, SAT’s, family life. This book will steal your heart, rearrange it and return it. Lovely references to David Almond. This is most definitely recommended to all age 8 upwards, all parents, all teachers. Simply go buy it!"

Fiona Sharp - Independent Book Reviews

"Matt Goodfellow is a stunning poet, well known for his beautifully crafted, often poignant work, which is highly relatable. In ‘The Final Year’, he has brought all his skill with language to create a very powerful verse novel which is sensitive and incredibly relevant..."

Through The Bookshelf

"A beautiful story of friendship, family, grief, falling apart and putting yourself back together again. Also a love letter to David Almond who I agree is one of the Greats of All Time."

Manjeet Mann


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Matt Goodfellow


Matt Goodfellow trained as a primary school teacher and still works part-time in schools in addition to his highly popular, high-energy performances and workshops. He is particularly concerned to write verse for children in a way which effortlessly combines learning, confidence and entertainment for young readers. He lives in Manchester.


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