The Unluckiest Boy in the World

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The Unluckiest Boy in the World by Andrew Norriss

Winner of Lancashire’s Fantastic Book Award
 In Book Trust‘s Best Book Guide 2006

“This is the story of Nicholas Frith, who falls under an ancient curse while on holiday in Spain, and finds that misfortune and calamity now follow him wherever he goes. Naturally, not many people want to be friends with him, but at his new school, one girl is prepared to take the risk…” Andrew Norriss

‘What we particularly liked was the message: if you believe in yourself, anything is possible. We also agree that being happy is a decision we can all make.’
Written by ‘difficult’ year 6 boys in Eastbourne.

A Year 5 teacher reported that maths results improved as a direct result of her class reading  The Unluckiest Boy!

Information, Resources & Reviews

Click on the links:

Badger Learning
Enjoy Guided Reading: Year 5 Pack of 6 books Gifted &Talented Year Five Pack
Teacher books are also available to support with lesson planning and offer chapter synopsis, comprehension and discussion questions, as well as follow-up extensions and assessment grids based upon the curriculum objectives.

Readers’ Theatre
Click here or an extract fromThe Unluckiest Boy ready to print and act out. Different colours for each part. Read, interpret, act out and listen to and watch the perfomances. Record on audio or video for extra value. Great fun and KS2 Literacy at the same time. What more could you ask for!

Extracts to download, print & read aloud

Activity sheets

Quizlet: Vocabulary definitions, games & tests for: Chapter 1 & 2     Chapters 2 & 3

Guided Reading Notes


The Unluckiest Boy in the World

Synopsis: Nicholas Frith has always considered himself to be about as lucky as the average boy. But while on holiday with his mum, Nicholas accidentally disturbs an ancient tomb and everything changes. Nicholas falls under an ancient curse and suddenly misfortune, calamity and disaster follow him everywhere! The curse can’t touch Nicholas himself, but bad things happen to everyone else around him. Forced to move from school to school, Nicholas loses hope of ever lifting the curse or ever finding someone who will risk being his friend. But one day he meets Fiona – the one person who is prepared to take that risk. Through Fiona’s friendship, Nicholas learns to believe in himself and break the curse at last, changing his luck for ever.

Review:Right from the very first page of this story, where Nicholas’s adventure begins, Andrew Norris keeps the reader hooked through narrative that is both comic and touching. He has the ability to make a fantastical notion such as an ancient curse completely believable, and the real story is how Nicholas attempts to live a normal life while mayhem and chaos occur around him.

Some of the funniest moments are the descriptions of the accidents that befall the teachers that Nicholas encounters in his new school (he has been asked to leave two schools since the curse began). These involve a range of hazards including insects, sulphuric acid and falling Bibles! Nicholas’s friendship with Fiona and his subsequent meeting with her dad, make him reassess his situation and begin to realise that luck can be as much about your outlook on life as about the situations you find yourself in.

Norriss’s experience as a teacher help him to vividly bring to life the school environment and the people- head teachers, teachers, support staff and pupils – who work within it. Readers will identify easily with the characters within the book and the message of having a positive out look on life and controlling feelings of frustration and anger make for interesting discussions within the classroom.

An appreciative mother wrote this:

“… The Unluckiest Boy in the World however has had a profound effect on him – as we progressed through the book James was clearly making stronger comparisons with his own life. This book has reached our adopted son with the message we have wanted him to hear in a way we could never have done. We laughed together and cried together while reading it and it helped him get to the end of year six with a stronger belief in himself.”

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin (5 Jan 2006)
  • ISBN-10: 9780141318776
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141318776
  • ASIN: 0141318775

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