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Barry Squires, Full Tilt

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Barry Squires, Full Tilt

Bookseller Recommendation

Barry Squires, Full Tilt

“ Barry Squires, Full Tilt is the perfect combination of laugh-out-loud funny and tearful sad. Barry dreams of being a Full Tilt dancer, famous and held in high esteem. He sees it as a way to escape being bullied and almost constantly angry. Barry is witty and irreverent, and his antics fluctuate between hilarious and destructive. The person he loves most is his baby brother Gord, whom he takes everywhere. He pushes his stroller around the neighborhood, all around town, and to the harbor. His moments with Gord are his favorite moments of every day. Barry has a loving family, but it is a real family, with sibling rivalry, postpartum depression, and other imperfections and troubles. And it becomes a family of great tragedy. Now angrier than ever, Barry must learn how to navigate his emotions and make his way toward peace. An excellent listen”

Raven Book Store image Nancy, Raven Book Store


Barry Squires, Full Tilt takes readers on a romp through the streets of St. John's and into the Squires household, a place where tragedy strikes but love prevails. Derry Girls meets Billy Elliot with an East coast twist.

It's 1995. When the Full Tilt Dancers give an inspiring performance at the opening of the new bingo hall, twelve-year-old Finbar (Barry) Squires wants desperately to join the troupe. Led by Father O'Flaherty, the Full Tilt Irish Step Dancers are the most sought-after act in St. John's, Newfoundland (closely followed by popular bagpiper, Alfie Bragg and his Agony Bag). Having watched Riverdance twice, Barry figures he'll nail the audition. And good thing too -- it'd be nice to be known for something other than the port wine stain on his cheek. With questionable talent and an unpredictable temper, Barry's journey to stardom is jeopardized by his parents' refusal to take his dreams seriously. Thankfully, Barry has the support of a lively cast of characters: his ever-present grandmother, Nanny Squires; his adorable baby brother, Gord; an old British rocker named Uneven Steven; a group of geriatrics from the One Step Closer to God Nursing Home; and Saibal, a friend with whom Barry gets up to no good.

Told with humor and a healthy dose of irreverence, Barry Squires, Full Tilt is the latest novel by Heather Smith, the award-winning author of The Agony of Bun O’Keefe and Chicken Girl.

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