Billy the conkerer ISBN: 9780141300658
Published by Puffin, 1999
Comic-style colour pictures, simple text and large print are encouraging for young readers beginning to enjoy books on their own. While the story is slight, the theme of bullying manages to show us both how the bully and the bullied feel. Billy is a wimp, a computer nerd. His parents and sister are almost abnormally strong, and they worry about him. When Billy comes up against Killer Karl, the school bully, he challenges him to a conker duel, which he wins by working out the perfect conker formula on his computer. Billy goes on to become top of the National Conker League. Well, yes... All this happens in 27 pages, so not the strongest story for character development, but the idea that brain can win over brawn has its uses.