"Anyway, do Just William and According to Jennings count as proper books?"

Just William cover
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeJust William cover - Credit: Richmal Crompton

Just William is the first book of short stories by Richmal Crompton about an unruly eleven-year-old boy and his gang, called the Outlaws. It was originally published in magazine form in 1922 and was the start of a popular series that has not only produced a crop of William Brown stories in book form but also on television, radio and film. The term Just William is often used to refer to the range as a whole. Even though the stories relate to an earlier period, children in the late 1950s still identified very strongly with the lovable rascal William and his gang.

Listen to Martin Jarvis read an extract from a Just William story.


According to Jennings (published 1954) is one of the books in a series of Jennings novels about a boy and his friend at preparatory school. Author Anthony Buckeridge based the books on his experience of going to boarding school in Sussex from the age of eight and his later work as a tutor in a preparatory school. His model for Jennings was an old schoolfriend Dairmaid Jennings, who was constantly getting into scrapes. The 'Jennings' titles have sold over six million books worldwide.


Follow this link to read extracts from According to Jennings on Google Books.