A rip-roaring mystery adventure with the most unlikely hero ever.
Johnny Swanson is in shock. His friend Doctor Langdon and his wife have disappeared without a trace. And that's not all . . . it appears they have been murdered.
But things are about to become much, much worse. A suspect has been arrested . . . and it's Johnny's mother. Johnny knows she didn't do it. And now, he needs to prove it - fast.
Join brave, determined, ingenious Johnny as he embarks on a fast-paced hunt for the true killer - and exposes a deadly, dangerous secret along the way.
Praise for Johnny Swanson
This is a lovely story, full of fascinating and accurate period detail, social injustice and moral quandaries, that revels in a child's determination to play the unfair system to his advantage. Young fans of Updale's Montmorency series will find this equally entertaining.Sally Morris, The Daily Mail
Eleanor Updale is an excellent storyteller, building up character, plot and excitement until the reader is compelled to stop everything else until the book is finished.Jane Sandell, The Scotsman
Eleanor Updale's very funny Johnny Swanson introduces a great character...The story swings along, providing dastardly villains, inept policemen and a satisfying denouement.Marilyn Brocklehurst, The Bookseller
Johnny Swanson is a charmingly old fashioned - in the very best way - adventure novel. This is a great read, it zips along and illuminates a period of history that is usually forgotten.Write Away
Super old-fashioned adventure story set in 1929, featuring murder, mayhem, scam adverts and medical malpractice. Thank heavens for the dollop of courage and tenacity. A truly fun read.The Bookbag
there is help and friendship... and there is a lot of humour in the book, even though the setting is grim.The Bookwitch
many twists and turns, much humour, lots of adventures and a good dollop of fascinating period detail... Altogether most engaging and entertaining: the sort of book that is blissfully easy to read without being mindless. Smashing fun.Adele Geras, An Awfully Big Blog Adventure
Like the best children's books, it's about children, not simplified or toned down for them.Michael Morpurgo, The Times
Updale is a superb storyteller and her plot is totally original.Claire Larson, Read Plus
This book is distinguished among other features by the immensely convincing background detail of the period setting...The characterisation is exemplary, Johnny and his mother being convincing and winning protagonists. This is a remarkable book and a worthy successor to the work for which Updale won the Blue Peter Award.Armadillo Magazine
A novel that displays talent of the kind that makes Goodnight Mr Tom a classic for 8 - 12s is Eleanor Updale's Johnny Swanson, set in 1929. Its young hero, bullied but not indomitable, begins by conning people with clever small ads and ends by saving his mother from a charge of murder in a medical thriller that is as funny as it is touching. Beautifully written, with a cast of characters you never doubt, this is perfect from a country holiday.Amanda Craig, The Times
Filled with action and suspense, this is a book you will not want to stop reading. A great plot, with an unguessable villain!Scribbler Magazine
There is a kind of children's book which is rare, but which includes some of the very best literature for the young. The Silver Sword, Goodnight Mr Tom, The Butterfly Lion, The Railway Children and Kim all belong to a genre in which there is no magic, but a tremendous sense of what real children in adversity might achieve with courage, cleverness and luck. Eleanor Updale's Johnny Swanson belongs to this category, and it deserves the highest praise.Amanda Craig, The Times