Books·Canadian

Barry Squires, Full Tilt

A YA novel by Heather T. Smith.

Heather T. Smith

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 humour and a healthy dose of irreverence, Barry Squires, Full Tilt takes readers on a rowdy romp through the streets of St. John's and into the Squires household, a place where tragedy strikes, but love prevails. (From Penguin Teen)

Heather T. Smith is Waterloo, Ont.-based author. Her novel-in-verse Ebb & Flow was a finalist for the 2018 Governor General's Literary Award for children's literature — text and won the 2019 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award, a $50,000 prize that recognizes the best Canadian children's book of the year.

Other books by Heather Smith

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