The Teacher Who Knew Too Much by Rob Keeley

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The Teacher Who Knew Too Much by Rob Keeley

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Jill Murphy
Reviewed by Jill Murphy
Summary: Short and punchy adventure story in which a boy and his teacher run away to the circus. Perfect for the newly confident reader.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 68 Date: November 2023
Publisher: Matador
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1805141877

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Seventeen banks and a jeweller’s have been raided. The police are baffled, but only Ben knows the truth – his Maths teacher, Miss Judson, is really a safecracker! With police and her gangster boyfriend Al on their trail, Miss Judson and Ben go on the run. But Al needs them for one last job...

Goodness me, that Miss Judson is a terror! How on earth did a nice teacher like her manage to get mixed up with a bad 'un like Al? We'll find out. Luckily for Miss Judson, the pupil who discovers her terrible secret is Ben, the son of a famous magician who has ambitions to be as good as his father some day, and who thinks Miss Judson is worth saving. Luckily too, for Miss Judson, Ben has a grandmother who is not only an ex-teacher herself but also more resourceful than your average grandmother. She arranges for Ben and Miss Judson to run away to the circus, where they can hide out until the danger from Al has passed and where Ben can start to hone his magic act. Unfortunately for our runaways, Al has a trick or two of his own up his sleeve....

Will Al's dastardly plan be successful? Will Miss Judson ever teach again? And can Ben make it on the stage? Read the book to find out!

As with all of Rob Keeley's delightful stories for children, there's a lot to like about The Teacher Who Knew Too Much. It is, primarily, a fun read. Being entertaining is what matters most in books for children. If you grab their attention with some fun and excitement in a story with plenty of action and familiar characters, you'll have it for life. And that's what we want, isn't it, if we care about literacy and storytelling and want our children to care about it too? The Teacher Who Knew Too Much is all these wonderful things. But I'd like to highlight some of the more boring, worthy stuff because that's also important.

The Teacher Who Knew Too Much is just 68 pages long and yet it is a fully worked story with an engaging set up, an exciting narrative with plenty of jeopardy flowing from it, and a satisfying ending. It's not easy to get all that into such a tight word count! This makes it perfect for emerging and sometimes reluctant readers. And more: there's a good cast of full-rounded characters, including one who can't be cast as a simple goodie or baddie, which asks readers to think about moral ambiguities and personal redemption. The vocabulary is kept fairly simple but with a good sprinkling of stretching words and there is some lovely, but not too complicated, imagery to get to grips with.

I say it often about Rob Keeley but he really does understand his audience and he writes for them, not for himself, for parents or for a school curriculum. His stories are straightforward entertainment for children done really well and with a genuinely good heart.


Rob Keeley has also written some great humorous short stories for newly confident readers to enjoy. Childish Spirits is the first in his ghost story series for middle graders.   Please share on: Facebook Facebook, Follow us on Twitter Twitter and Follow us on Instagram Instagram

Buy The Teacher Who Knew Too Much by Rob Keeley at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Teacher Who Knew Too Much by Rob Keeley at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.

Buy The Teacher Who Knew Too Much by Rob Keeley at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Teacher Who Knew Too Much by Rob Keeley at


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