Keith Gray


Keith was born and brought up in Grimsby. His first book, Creepers, was published in 1996 when he was only 24. His book was translated into several languages and was a big hit in America. After that his career went only up. His major works are The Runner, Warehouse, Happy, The Fearful, Ostrich Boys,… Book Ostrich Boys was shortlisted for the 2008 Costa Children’s Book of the Year Award. He also got many others awards. His book Malarkey, for example, won the South Lanarkshire Book Award as well as being shortlisted for the Book Trust Teenage Prize, the Angus Book Award, Calderdale Book Award, Lancashire Book Award, Leicester Book Award and Wirral Paperback of the Year.
Keith has now published several teen novels as well as his younger fiction titles. His aim is to write strong fiction for the sceptical and hard-to-please readers as was once he. Keith lectured for two years in Creative Writing at the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside, where he really enjoyed working with people who shared the same interests and ambitions as him. Now he lives in Edinburgh and spends much of his time visiting schools passing on his love of books.


John Malarkey is the new kid at Brook high school. He's the wrong person in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Through what at first appears to be a random meeting (with a girl called Mary Chase) it soon develops into serious trouble. He got subsequently accused of stealing report cards to sell to students so they can write their own bogus reports. He quickly realised it was all set-up, and that he has been used to take the fall. Teacher thinks that is his fault and he got one day to prove his innocence. That is how his adventurous and dangerous trip began.

He discovers that the name of the organisation's leader is Freddie Cloth, and Mary Chase turns out to be Cloth's girlfriend. Malarkey is soon noticed because he asks so many questions and receives warnings and then threats to back down. But, with time quickly running out for him, he still has to prove his innocence. And the only way to do this is to get to Freddie Cloth. He's also noticed the peculiar fact that so many kids at Brook wear Adidas trainers - black with the three white stripes (one of them or more are blacked - it depends on position in the gang). He realises that these are the badge of membership worn by those involved in the school's gang. He is very smart kid and he came up with a good plan. He stole the phone with all important messages (proves of his innocence and the quilt of school gang). That is how he became extremely endangered by school gang and he started to run.

At the and he unmasks the gang.

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I really like the book. It is full of surprises and secrets. In my opinion this is definitely one of the books that are worth reading. I really liked the main character – Malarkey. I found his way of solving problems really fun. He is very smart and has a lot of good ideas. Story is interesting because of the secrets that you find the answer on from Malarkeys eyes.

I really like the way of writing that Keith Gray have in general. His stories are always interesting because of well- designed characters and his ability to pull you into the story.

I do not have any bed opinion about the book and I think it is worth of reading.

Creative Writing Masterclass 2: Characters