We are delighted that The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh by Helen Rutter is released today with Scholastic. This heart-warming and hilarious middle-grade debut is sure to have readers in fits of laughter, as well as shedding tears.

Inspired by Helen Rutter’s son, who has a stammer, this is a doubly emotional publication day. She wanted to write the book that he would love to read, starring a child like him, and now it’s finally out in the world.


Billy Plimpton is an eleven-year-old boy with a big dream. He wants to be a stand-up comedian when he grows up: delivering pinpoint punch-lines and having audiences hang on his every hilarious word. A tough career for anyone, but surely impossible for Billy, who has a stammer.

How will he find his voice, if his voice won’t let him speak?


Praise has been flowing for this gorgeous book, including from none other than Jacqueline Wilson:

.”Very funny, very touching, very truthful – a total delight to read.” Jacqueline Wilson

“Amazing.” Noel Fielding

“This incredibly debut tugs at your heartstrings and makes you laugh out loud in equal measure. I guarantee you’ll be cheering along in the final pages!” Lisa Thompson

“It’s Wonder with one-liners.” Scott Evans, The Reader Teacher

“As warm and wise as it is funny.” Shappi Khorsandi

“A laugh out loud story, the like of which I’ve never read before.” Kerry Godliman

“This book is a great way of showing children how to be confident and winners by having a sense of humour and making others laugh.” Baroness Floella Benjamin

“This book is brilliant. It is funny, wise, kind and exciting.” Marcus Brigstocke

“So funny and joyful.” Rachel Parris

Earlier this week Helen appeared on Sky News with her son Lenny, as well as on BBC Radio 5 Live: https://twitter.com/bbc5live/status/1351528895393230854. Named as ‘one to watch’ in The Bookseller, and chosen as Book of the Month on BookTrust, it’s amazing to see this book off to the flying start it deserves.

Helen Rutter lives in Bamford near Sheffield and has worked as an actress for many years. In recent years, she has written and performed her own work. The idea for her first novel, The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh, came from her son Lenny who has a stammer. She wanted to write the book that he would love to read. She hopes that children will be able to relate to feeling unheard, different from the rest and unable to find their voice.

Congratulations, Helen! We are all so overjoyed for you and your wonderful debut.