Great news for comedy-lovers across the pond! Helen Rutter‘s smash-hit Middle Grade debut, The Boy Who Made Everyone Laughis published today in the US by Scholastic, complete with its snazzy new jacket!

We can’t wait for more readers to be won over by this delightful debut about facing your fears and finding the funny in anything. Following its mammoth UK success, US attention is already streaming in: you can read Helen’s interview on The Mixed Up Files right now, where American readers can win a copy of the book! She’s also gotten shout-outs on round ups like Imagination Soup, and glowing praise from Kirkus, who called the book “funny, authentic, and moving”. 

And don’t forget that the virtual launch event is happening today, where Helen will be in conversation with the likes of celebrated children’s author Gordon Korman:

In this crowd-pleasing read packed with punchlines and a whole lot of heart, we meet wannabe stand-up comic Billy Plimpton as he attempts to chase his dream – he just has one very specific obstacle…

When life is funny, make some jokes about it.

Billy Plimpton has a big dream: to become a famous comedian when he grows up. He already knows a lot of jokes, but thinks he has one big problem standing in his way: his stutter.

At first, Billy thinks the best way to deal with this is to . . . never say a word. That way, the kids in his new school won’t hear him stammer. But soon he finds out this is NOT the best way to deal with things. (For one thing, it’s very hard to tell a joke without getting a word out.)

As Billy makes his way toward the spotlight, a lot of funny things (and some less funny things) happen to him. In the end, the whole school will know —

If you think you can hold Billy Plimpton back, be warned: The joke will soon be on you!

Readers have gone wild for Helen’s warmth and wit, with tons of positive reviews stacking up:

“Billy’s first-person narrative is funny, authentic, and moving. His maturation as he learns to come to terms with his speech impediment develops naturally and will be encouraging for readers facing similar challenges” Kirkus 

“This book depicts the amazing journey of an 11/12 year old boy with a stammer, starting secondary school. Bullying, friendship, insecurities and personal growth. Had multiple cries over this one!” Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars 

“I laughed and cried in equal measure, what a gem of a book!” Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars 

“Five stars are not enough!!! This book is a must for children – a perfect book about how we treat others and the importance of empathy.” Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars 

Helen Rutter lives 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 – here’s to even more laughs!