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Steady for This

Nathanael Lessore

Bonnier Books UK (11+) 9781471413223 (Paperback)

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A hilarious story with laugh-out-loud moments.  Wannabe rapper Shaun, aka MC Growls, takes part in a live-stream performance intended to platform him and his friends during an MC Battle.  He is left humiliated after it goes viral for all the wrong reasons.  There is a wonderful friendship between Shaun and his best friend Shanks.  There are hilariously awkward set pieces which are underpinned by deep themes around peer pressure, young carers and social inequality that make this a stand-out, highly empathc read.  

Fresh and original use of language and slang gives Shaun a real sense of voice and identity. This is an engaging, pacy read with likeable and relatable characters. There is realistic representation of working-class London, characters develop throughout the story and showcase positive relationships. Sophisticated issues around mental health, bullying and poverty are explored with a lightness of touch and in ways that challenge stereotypes. Serious issues are balanced with humorous moments. A quirky rite of passage novel that is clever, authentic and oh-so-realistic. Growls is a character unlike any other!    

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Nathanael Lessore

Nathanael Lessore was born in Camberwell, South East London, as one of eight children to French and Madagascan parents. Although he spent most of his life in Peckham, Nathanael has also lived in Paris, Strasbourg and Singapore. Nathanael became a marketing executive after graduating from the University of East London, believing at the time that a Creative Writing degree destined him for a career in marketing. Nathanael can run 100 metres in under 10 minutes and has trouble finding sunglasses that frame his face properly. STEADY FOR THIS is his debut writing and it gave him the opportunity to show his South East London childhood as the funny, warm, adventurous world that wasn’t always represented as such.

Shadowers' reviews and artwork

This book covers the current problem in London, of people getting evicted and having other housing and financial issues. This story is told in a very humorous way, which to me makes it truly unique. I thought that the interactions between the characters were good, with some of them being very amusing. The funniest and best part of the book for me was when the main character, Growls embarrassed himself live on-line and then everyone called him “poopoo pants.”

Max Y

LitWits

Steady for This is a brilliant laugh out loud book. It brought out some new emotions that were hidden inside me. Even though it is a very funny story, the characters show us how and why we should respect all the different people in our society and help each other when we can. Reading about the close friendships made in this incredible book gave me a greater understanding of what happens in the wider society.

Pradeep

LitWits

Steady for this is a really interesting book, which reflects the feelings and worries of everyday kids. It is also is extremely hilarious, and is a very well written book.

Ziva

TPS Carnegie Collective

I enjoyed reading this book and felt it was different than others I have read, in a good way. It uses humour to deal with difficult themes making them more palatable to the reader. The list of challenging topics ranged from depression, public humiliation, poverty to child carers. I thought the writing was very witty and my favourite part was Growls first date with Siobhan. I really liked the way Growls the main character, was able to deal with a negative situation and turn it around. He used his rapping as ammunition against his opponents. The only negative comment I have is that the author allows Growls to speak using a London dialect or slang too often for my liking. Overall, a this is a very good book, and I would recommend it to other readers.

Felix

LitWits

This book is entertaining and filled with comedy. Shaun, who calls himself MC Growls, is the main character who loves rapping and when he is met with a few challenges and works out how he is going solve them. He meets a new friend at a basketball court called Siobhan, who is very nice, fun, talented and smart, (in his eyes). My favourite character was Shaun as he was very funny and relatable. When he spoke, he made normal phrases sound funny because he changed a few words. You can relate to it if maybe you have ever made a few mistakes with words and phrases, I know I have! While reading I had a variety of different emotions, sadness when Siobhan revealed the truth about her mother, happiness, when Growls had won the prize, and excitement when Siobhan kissed Shaun. It gripped me like a crocodile gripping onto its prey. The story did keep me guessing about what would happen next and when it was revealed that Siobhan’s mother had been paralysed, it struck me with great awe. My favourite part was the ending scene during the rapping contest final. Siobhan, despite going to live somewhere very far away, still decided to come to support her best friend. It all worked out for the best in the end, but who wouldn't want a happy ending! I thought that the ending was predictable, and it could have made the reader thirst for more by adding some sort of cliff hanger. For instance, will Siobhan ever see Shaun again? Will Shaun get evicted? Overall, I loved this book, it had highs and lows as well as suspense. My rating of this would be 9.5/10, I loved everything, but it would have been better if there was more mystery and action.

Timothy

LitWits

This is about a school student, Growls, who messes up his rapping performance online and gets into huge trouble. Faced with even more problems from both home and friends, he goes on a journey to win a contest using his passion for rapping and therefore change his life forever. This story has a unique style, as it uses the expression and way of speaking that many London teenagers use today, known as Multicultural London English, (MLE). The way the main character Growls uses it is hilarious! To me Growls is a relatable character, who is very often shy and nervous, leading him to say the wrong thing, at times. One example of this is when he went to the wedding with Siobhan. Sometimes when we encounter these problems in real life, we aren’t brave enough to overcome them like Growls. My favourite character was Siobhan, because I think she is benevolent and caring to Growls and I admire her bravery to take on the care for her mum as well as being homeschooled. If I were her, I would have already had an emotional breakdown! From this aspect, ‘Steady for This’ did an excellent job of illustrating the difficulties of child carers. The author used humour to deal with difficult themes like child carers and the darker aspects of the book, such as eviction and cyberbullying. Humour served as a neutral area for the writer to dive in when he needed and transition from one theme to another. I felt that Nathanael Lessore handled it brilliantly! The beginning of the story focuses on cyberbullying and the trauma it can cause, but later it is more about pursuing your dreams and showing that no one is perfect. It ends, representing Growl’s skills and personality perfectly, with the core meaning being ‘never give up pursuing your dreams.’ I think this is a flawless ending as it showed the resolution of each character’s development and provided every character with a good result for their actions. I would recommend this book to everyone.

Max

LitWits

Steady for This was the kind of book which reminds you it's fine to get things wrong! I really loved the comedy of the writing, and this book certainly had an uplifting feel, despite the negative things that occurred and were threatened to its protagonist, Shaun (MC Growls). Lessore's use of misnomer to describe Shaun's unusual grasp on language is genius. What's most important about this book is that it reminds us how stepping up to the mark, rather than acting the victim - defying the negative bias of others in order to do your own thing is a massive deal when it comes to growing up.

Mrs C

Woodruffians

5/5 Steady For This is a light-hearted, comedic, uplifting book threaded with more serious themes. From the first page, I was rooting for Shaun AKA Growls and his best friend, Shanks, as they navigated embarrassment, friendship, identity, mental health, and ambitions in life. As the story progressed, the slow but sure change as Shaun realised he could rap to express himself creatively, not just to earn money, live the 'gangster' life, and impress girls, was rewarding to witness. His English teacher, Mr Rix, and counsellor, Karen, were brilliant, worthwhile additions to the plot that helped Shaun discover his identity and demonstrated the genuine desire of schools to support students. In my opinion, a mix of school and home life is important in a Real Life Drama novel for teenagers and Lessore achieved this balance well. Another positive aspect to Steady For This was the way it subtly addressed wider issues in society without obscuring the storyline or feeling forced. For example, Mr Rix and Shaun both mention their experiences of racial prejudice, Adrian is subjected to multiple police stop-and-searches, Shaun's family is harassed by a housing officer threatening eviction, Siobhan is a young carer, and Shanks suffers from anxiety. Lessore incorporates many themes - racism, bias, cost of living, poverty, care, mental health, and more - that have huge relevance to modern England. Finally, in contrast to this solemn subject matter, I have not laughed out loud whilst reading a book in many years! Shaun's misunderstandings, word play, and misdemeanours constantly brought a smile to my face. I highly recommend Steady For This. Even though the cover may be off-putting, it's the engaging, funny, thoughtful plot that counts.

Alice

Book and Biscuit Club

I Steady for This so much. It kept me entertained from start to finish. I think people would find it hard to underunderstand the way Shaun (MC Growls) speaks, but for me that was the most spectacular bit This book is amazing and the story that Shaun is telling us is amazing A definite 5/5 star pick. Well done Nathanael Lassore. I would happily recommend this book to anyone.

Rhea

Bispham Bookworms

Steady for This by Nathaniel Lessore is a good book and has some funny and emotional moments. I think that no matter what you like, there is every genre (except Sci-fi) in this book, which I find cool because it appeals to everyone. This book is about Shaun (a.k.a. MC Growls) who wants to be a famous and viral rapper. When live-streaming one day, his dirty laundry gets exposed accidentally, in an attempt to impress a girl he likes in his class, Tanisha. His best friend Shanks ends up in hospital because of an anxiety attack. Meanwhile, Shaun makes a new friend, Siobahn, and kinda likes her but she is being forced to move and Shaun and hs family get threatened with eviction after his mum loses her job. Although this book tackles some pretty big issues such as mental health and facing homelessness, it does it in a light-hearted way so it isn't a heavy read. The story is written int he first person from Shaun's point of view and he proves to be a likeable character. He's funny and some silly things happen to him in the book. I would give it a solid 3.5/5 stars and I would recommend it to others to read.

Arthur

Blake Student Shadowers

I liked the book. It had a very interesting dynamic with the poor being a favorable class over the rich. It allows you to relate to people who are less fortunate and it makes the story quite thought provoking

Oscar And Jacob

Waddesdon Shadowers

Stead for this is a hilarious story with laugh-out-loud moments. Wannabe rapper Shaun, aka MC Growls, takes part in a live-stream performance intended to platform him and his friends during an MC Battle. He is left humiliated after it goes viral for all the wrong reasons. There is a wonderful friendship between Shaun and his best friend Shanks. There are hilariously awkward set pieces which are underpinned by deep themes around peer pressure, young carers and social inequality that make this a stand-out, highly empathic read. I really enjoyed reading this book because it is perfect on balancing serious themes and hilarious teen moments but most of all I loved the differing personalities of all three characters (Shaun, Shanks and Siobhan) that still managed to get along and revolve around each other throughout the entirety of the story! I would recommend 5/5 Shanyu HG

Shanyu HG

4Shadowers

Mc growls wants to win a rap battle but his live stream goes wrong people make fun of him at school.

Jonathan

Macaulay Book Club

Steady for This” by the shortlisted Carnegie author has a good story, but I didn’t enjoy the way it was written. The language keeps changing throughout the book, which makes it hard to follow. This inconsistency makes it difficult to get fully absorbed in the story or connect with the characters. The author’s use of language varies too much, switching from complex and flowery to simple and blunt. These shifts disrupt the reading flow and make the story feel disjointed. When the language is too ornate, it feels out of place, and when it is too simple, it lacks depth. Despite these problems, the main plot of “Steady for This” is interesting and has a lot of potential. If the language were more consistent, the book could be much better. The story itself has engaging elements, but the way it’s written needs improvement.

Milena

St Augustine’s Challenge

Steady For This is a modern book which correctly and quite nicely embraces the language of modern day slang. The amount of connection this book has with modern day youths is what makes it quite engaging - it is different to the your usual action, mystery, or other books of the modern genre. This book portrays the life of a young struggling rapper, and his story of getting to the top is rather inspiring - a must-read book for all those aspiring young people out there! With unpredictable comedic moments, like how Shaun’s live stream goes laughably wrong, each page will never get boring. Many modern day problems and stereotypes are portrayed in wonderfully subtle ways, balanced out with just the right amount of humour. A novel unlike no other, exploring the struggle in school, and in the outside world.

Tao

DCGS1624

Amazing book with lots of character development. 8/10

Sonia

EJM Carnegie Crew

Nathanael Lessore's Steady For This, a novel that pervades with topical concepts of poverty, social status translating into self worth, ridicule, and individuality, is ultimately a tumultuous read. The relatively short piece is a work that delves into the depths of the highly dim-witted protagonist, Growls', escapades while he debuts as a lyrical linguist. Crafted into an immensely comedic plot, several regions of this tale were genuinely entertaining and amusing, admittedly bringing an incredulous grin to my face. At times though, I personally saw the repetitive usage of colloquial jargon as a predominantly negative aspect, as it hindered my ability to comprehend particular excerpts of the text, and, I believe, would restrict the inclusivity that the author had aspired to facilitate. In addition, certain character figures seem to have been portrayed through a slightly patronising lens: Growls and Adrian were greatly immature in depiction and perpetuated stereotypes associated with age that may not be directly relatable.

Lily-Rose

Fortismere

I rate this book 5/5 stars. It is the best book on the Carnegie Shadowing by far. What I really like about this is the fact that it is about a boy my age growing up in South London facing problems that children from richer backgrounds won't have to face. It about the power of friendship and the fact that even if your friends aren't there, doesn't mean that you're alone.

adebowale

Macaulay Book Club

None of my friends did, but personally, I quite enjoyed this funny and heartfelt book! I found Steady For This to be powerful, laugh-out-loud ridiculous and somewhat thought provoking. I liked that it dealt with some difficult subjects in an easygoing and kind manner, but with an added pinch of humour. It definitely took a bit to get into properly, but was still well worth a read.

Emma

PHS Reading Ambassadors

An excellent book that examines the kudos of a teenage boy who lives in his own world of being the greatest rapper. An accident with his social media podcast and his mother humilates him to the point where he retreats in to himself and his best friend disappears into his own pit of despair. A chance meeting with a young carer leads to him exploring his real self and a chance to compete in a rap competition that affects not only his and his mothers future but that of the young carer as well.

Mark

Tenbury Page Turners

I was positively surprised by Steady for this. A few months ago, I had started reading it, and I didn’t enjoy the beginning do I stopped. Later, I decided to give it another try and found out I loved it! I had, at first, disliked the quirky and humorous tone it was written with, but upon reading it again, I found that it gave the book its originality. Shaun (aka MC Growls)’s personality makes the book even more (original?): an unusual main character makes the book even more interesting. Steady for this really is an amazing book!!

Elodie PMC

4Shadowers

This book is about a wannabe rapper named Shawn who takes an online performance with his friends and his best friend was put in hospital and it was the saddest thing ever and he was not allowed to visit him this book was rather funny and easy to read. I did not have enough time to fully complete this book.

Laila a

VISTA Academy

I did not have the time to fully read this book but from what I did read online the book is about a wannabe rapper named Shawn who takes an online performance with his friends this book was rather funny and easy to read.

dexter

VISTA Academy

I really enjoyed 'Steady For This' because it was easy to read and wasn’t about adventures. It was kind of relatable to normal life. I also liked the humorous parts as they were quite frequent.

Nathan

St Martin’s Bookworms

Sarah

THS Shadowing

This book was really fun to read. The way that the boy spoke was different to any book I've read which was interesting. Sometimes, however, I couldn't tell whether he was speaking or if it was in his head, so I didn't like that much. The constant rapping is an example of this, it was very fitting with the book but it got a little boring towards the end. Overall I really enjoyed it.

Rose

Tenbury Page Turners

Steady For This written by Nathanael Lessore is a story about a 13 year old boy called Shaun (Mc Growls) who is determined to win a rapping competition called Raptology with his best friend Shanks. However, when his livestream (in the aim to impress his crush) goes wrong, he goes viral but for the completely wrong reasons. Humiliated at school and having trouble at home because of the rising cost of living and threat of being evicted, Shawn feels discouraged. Thankfully, he meets a new friend Shavan who helps him understand he is the only solution to helping his family. I thought that this book was mediocre because although the plot was easy to understand, it felt rushed and not very literal. I also felt that even though it was quite relatable, it didn't come across as a "real" story. However, this might simply be because it wasn't my type of story genre. However, I thought that throughout the book, there were some very important morals such as FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS and NEVER GIVE UP which I found really encouraging and this I could relate to. Some parts of the story were really comedic and brought a smile to my face because it was so innocent and accidental (such as the dirty laundry incident:) )

Léonie

Euro Bookworms

Steady for This is a heart warming story, narrated by Shaun aka Growls. Whilst trying to impress a girl Shaun likes, by going live to rap with his friend Shanks, it all goes wrong. His mum reveals Shaun's dirty underwear, and Shanks, not knowing they were live, started smelling his armpits. Because it was live, the whole world was watching, and they got a whole lot of backlash and Shanks wouldn't go into school. Shanks got ill and had to go to the hospital Shaun was struggling in his school. He starts hanging with this girl who is home schooled and doesn't have a phone- she doesn't know about what happened. Then Shaun's family is about to get evicted and the only way to save them is for Shaun to win raptology....alone. Families come together and friendship is key in this story. Great for ages 13-16. Have fun.

Leah

Blake Student Shadowers

Amazing. Hilarious. And overall completely great. This book is about a boy called Shaun who dreams that his raps would go viral, but every time he tries.. it goes wrong. Like the time his mom showed a pair of dirty pants as he was going live, or the time he pushed himself into a pram and couldn’t get out. Meanwhile at the same time he is trying to impress his crush and also deal with family problems… which is a lot to juggle. This book is an excellent book that I would recommend to basically anyone who is looking for a great, easy read, hilarious book.

Elisa

Weald of Kent Sevenoaks

I found 'steady for this' a very enjoyable read. I loved the comedic parts and I found they lightened the mood of the book which was discussing some sad topics. It was nice to see Shaun's friendships and relationships improve as the book went on and I loved how much courage his friends and family sparked in him at the competition. The language it was written in sometimes confused me but by the end of the book I had become accustomed to it and actually enjoyed it as it made it even more 1st person and unique to Shaun.

Hazel

Fortismere

Steady for this is about a boy called Shaun preparing for a rap competition whilst having other struggles at home. I did not think I was going to like this book, and I did! The first few chapters were almost impossible to get through for me but after a while I started to enjoy the book a bit more and now I see it as if you look at the book inside on a first glance it's a very different book to if you actually read it. I was not the biggest fan of this book but that doesn't stop it from being a very well written book with many enjoyable moments such as my favourite the wedding chapters. I also liked how the book told an interesting story with a lot of comedy. My favourite character was probably the English teacher because i thought he had some nice moments, it was either him or the therapist. I would recommend this book for kids ages 11-14 who are into comedy books. I think this was a good book with some nice moments even though it was not for me.

Archie

OLA Shadows

Steady For This is a story about a 13 year old boy called Shaun who is determined to win a rapping competition called Raptology with his best friend Shanks. However, when his livestream practice goes disastrously wrong, he has become viral just not in a good way. Now under humiliation at school, everything seems to be going wrong for Shaun, until he meets a new friend who points out that Raptology could be the answer to all his problems. Now that Shaun, his brother Adrian and his mum are facing the threat of eviction and struggling through the cost of living, it’s down to Shaun to think of an answer. Can he save his family through his rapping skills? I think it is important to read about families going through eviction and money problems because many people go through these situations today. My favourite character is Siobhan because she is a great friend, and really kind and caring because she helps her mum out a lot. I think steady for this is a great, funny book and I would recommend it to other readers.

Florence

OLA Shadows

Steady For This is a book about a boy nicknamed Growls who faces the challenges of poverty. He is a wannabe rapper who enters a rap battle competition and needs to win to keep living in his flat. I think this book was good although there was quite a slow start and it dragged on a bit at the beginning but it gets better as you read on. I liked that it show the challenges of living in poverty.

Zoe

OLA Shadows

Steady for This is a charming and hilarious book. It is told through the perspective of Shaun, aka MC Growls; an aspiring rapper, who is also dealing with the stresses of poverty as a teenager. Shaun’s perspective of the world is where a lot of the comedy comes from, so I think that Shaun makes for a brilliant protagonist. The main thing I loved about this book was the mix of emotion you felt while reading. On one hand, the story, Shaun in particular, is incredibly funny. Yet on the other hand, Steady For This dives into the darker side of life, and as the reader, you start to feel more stressed the more you connect with the characters. This mix of emotions is something that separates Steady For This from other books in the Carnegie challenge, and one of the reasons why it is towards the top of my rankings. My only slight complaint with this book, is that some chapters or pages may feel a little stale. Due to the setting of the book being rather ordinary, the author must put in lots of effort to write an entertaining story. I am by no means saying the author has not achieved an amusing book, there were just bound to be some pages that felt less exciting than others. Overall, you will have no regrets for reading this book. Even if you do not enjoy rap, or cannot connect with the protagonist, the story is a pure pleasure to read, and I cannot recommend it enough.

Harry

OLA Shadows

‘Steady For This’ is a book about a boy called Shaun Thompson aka Growls. He grows up in Peckham to a family with split parents and not a lot of money. He struggles with not being great at school related things. Growls’ mum does not have a highly paid job and is threatened with eviction. The person who threatens her with eviction is later charged in court for harassment charges. Growls is a keen and very talented rapper and dreams of becoming famous online and earning enough money to let his family live a comfortable life. When he is live streaming once, his mum holds up his dirty laundry and tells him off and his partner in crime called Shanks checks whether his armpits smell of not. Their video goes viral and Growls lives in fear of the public because they all know him for the wrong reasons and his friend Shanks has an anxiety attack and must go to hospital. When the adults find out what is happening, they give him counselling and his English teacher, Mr Rix teaches him about rap. Growls dreams about winning a competition called Raptology where young rappers have a chance to win a cash price and they become famous. The book is a good tale to young children that there is always help if you speak out and that if you chase your dreams then they might just come true. The author has used language that children in that area at that age would use rather than just standard English which I think makes it a lot more realistic. I would very much recommend the book as I really enjoyed it, I think it would only be suitable for older readers though.

James

OLA Shadows

Aspiring young rapper Shaun (aka Growls) is determined to win the heart of his long time crush Tanisha. However, being the stereotypical ‘weird kid’ means this is easier said than done. Despite the ever-stacking odds against him, Growls and his best friend Shanks decide to form an iconic rap duo named MC Squared in order to enter the famous contest Raptology, in which the coolest kids in the area compete for the title. Unfortunately, when they decide to show their incredible raps to Tanisha (along with his entire school) on a live stream, a mortifying laundry incident leaves MC Squared as the laughing stock of the town. With Shanks seemingly disappearing off the face of the Earth, Growls is left feeling lonely and dejected until he meets a group of people that teach him that music isn’t just about fame and money - it’s about passion, friendship and love. But will Growls learn this lesson before it’s too late? And will he be able to save his family from being evicted? Despite being seemingly lacking in intelligence, Growls uses his flaws and gaps in knowledge of the English language to his advantage when creating lyrics, crafting ingenious verses that the reader can really engage with. Also, while at the start of the book we think of Growls as being incredibly ignorant, his character development is truly remarkable and very well written - it isn’t instant or unrealistic as this is a very true to life story, where forgiveness and relationships can be messy. I really liked how Siobhan was presented as a young carer - as a young carer myself I felt that she is excellent representation and an extremely interesting and layered character. Lessore has explored some very important real life themes and woven them in with humour, which was very interesting to experience. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get engaged in this book. Personally, I felt that the slang was very out of place and difficult to understand, while the characters were quite unlikeable and arrogant. Despite this, I did really enjoy the many sweet moments of love, friendship and family that were peppered throughout the book, which somewhat made up for my doubts. Additionally, I loved the bright, colourful cover art, which really set the scene for the story. Overall, I would rate this book 1.9 stars out of five and probably would recommend it to those who don’t particularly enjoy reading and want something more true to their own lives.

Emma

Glossopdale Readers

In my opinion Steady For This is a really good book if you like realistic style books that can actually happen in real life. It is set in an urban estate and it is about a boy who really likes to freestyle. He really wants to get into a rapping competition with his best friend but things get in the way... Who would enjoy this? Anyone who likes books set in an urban setting. 4/5 stars

Lewis

SCC Prolific Bookers

Steady for this is a very interesting story, a modern approach of what seems like a basic storyline, but with funny plot twists along the way. A modern teenage boy has his musical future ruined by having his livestream interrupted by his mum, and it is widespread over the internet. This book is a really good example of how quickly information can spread over the internet, to warn us, the teenage audience to be careful using social media. Then cyberbullying happens, and their landlord is going to evict them from their house. I love how Growls doesn't like his brother, but when times are tough they unite with each other to solve the issue, and are supportive of each other. Then he meets a teacher that is totally different to him, instead of liking rap and gangster like, he listens to classical music and is posh, as Growls describes him. Then he meets a counsellor, who helps both the main character to solve his problem and his friend. It shows us how a little bit of advice and help, like allowing someone to spend their break with you and giving someone in need a counsellor's phone number can really brighten up their lives.

Clayton

Bookiewookiedoodaas

Personally, I really strongly disliked the book 'Steady for this'. The plot was extremely childish, and incorrect representation for teens or preteens these days. The entire storyline was based around his dirty underwear and a child's crush, which, compared to the other books shortlisted for the Carnegie medal, was extremely shallow. Although he has passion with his rapping, I felt that I didn't learn anything from this book, and I regret reading it. The other books in the Carnegie medal have taught me about different culture and have inspired me to learn more or donate to charities, but this book wasn't like that, I felt as thought the message wasn't strong and it was very boring.

Tess

Perse Carnegians

This book was a roller coaster. It worried me one second then the other second l was laughing then the other second l was worried once again. I enjoyed this book it was funny and growls sure is stupid! I loved the characters (of course except the people who get in the way of things going smoothly) and l deeply loved the relationships between the families! I loved this book! It was quite snappy as it was rappy!

Salma

Bellerive Bookies and Cookies

Although many of the people I know who have read this book have had more negative thoughts on the book, I personally found this quite an inspiring but light-hearted read which I really enjoyed. The book covers some deep themes, many of which address the often-overlooked challenges presented in young peoples’ lives and were somewhat relatable for me. I felt that humour was relatively well-incorporated, but occasionally a bit overdone, making the effect a bit exaggerated if not slightly irritating at the repetitiveness. The book was rather simple, and I would have appreciated greater depth delving into some topics. One point that struck me quite strongly was the language used – to me it seemed to be a slightly odd interpretation/representation of the vocabulary range and behaviour of teenagers of Shaun’s (or MC Growls’) age – as a result, when reading it, I found that sometimes the actions or thoughts of the characters seemed illogical and were not the easiest for me to comprehend nor sympathise with, so I did get a little confused. This did not bother me too much though –I have learnt a good amount from this book. It was informative; piecing many themes and issues I had mulled over before into a slightly more complete puzzle and helping me see a slightly fuller picture. I thought that many sections were extremely well-phrased, and I have been able to reflect much from them; in particular, ways to approach problems, or helping others through their hardships. This book was, for me, a rather fascinating read.

Lei

Perse Carnegians

Steady For This was a book very much out of my comfort zone. The book brings the reader along for one hell of a ride as the story, following Shaun aka MC Growls, progresses. Shaun dreams of becoming a rapper but his life is turned upside down throughout the book and really makes the audience feel a range of different emotions, bringing both laughter and tears. The inclusivity of rap throughout the book was engaging for the reader and to see slang used by teenagers throughout the book made it more appealing to a teenage audience.

Tilly

Horsham BOok HUNTers

Steady for this" is an incredible read that kept me hooked from beginning to end. The author masterfully weaves together a captivating story with relatable characters and thought-provoking themes. The writing is beautifully descriptive, allowing the reader to fully immerse themselves in the world of the book. I highly recommend "Steady for this" to anyone looking for an engaging and moving read.

Jesse

Horsham BOok HUNTers

Steady for This, is an interesting novel about a young rapper (or MC) called ‘Growls’. As it deals with topics such as ethnicity, discrimination, and race, it is considered to be a young adult book. I have had many people tell me that it was not good, and they found the characters irritating. Personally, I rather enjoyed the story. However, I did find that sometimes, Shaun’s grammatical errors felt unnecessary and childish. Overall, it was relatively enjoyable to read. But it was written in a childish tone, with content for teenagers. I did quite enjoy it, but I don’t think it measures up to the standard of the other books on the shortlist.

Flora

Ely College Reading Group

"Steady For This " is a fantastic book . Its full a humour , emotion and a bit of romance . The main character , Shaun, who is also known as Growls , has the passion for rapping his heart out . He is humorous , loyal and somewhat humble . Growls has a heart desired for this girl at school and desires for her attention but his love language is messed up when he goes viral for the embarrassment he has caused himself and his best mate. Things slowly drift away from Growls such as his relationship with his best mate and his family . Things start to take a toll for Growls but he then decides to enter a rap competition which changes his life for the better . Overall I give this book a 5/5 . The story is written in a comedic but serious way which brings in both aspects of a story which I love. I love the story plotline and I love how Nathanael made the main character have two completely sides of characteristics with the appropriate atmosphere .

Paula

Lionheart24

This book review is about Steady for this, By Hugo hunt Steady for this is a hilarious book which will causes you to laugh to your hearts content. It follows a wannabe wrapper Shaun and known by the world of rappers as M.C growls. Him and his best friend take part in a live stream which goes dastardly wrong they both then go viral for completely unwanted reasons. The story’s friendship between shanks and himself is heartfelt. It goes through the hard and fun times of Shaun’s life. The use of language and slang terms really brings a sense of individuality to the book and the way its written and how you read it. This is an engaging book, and I personally did not want to put it down! With fun and likeable characters who we could all relate too and feel what they felt in some way or another. It highlights important topics such as bullying, mental health, and poverty and injustice shown to the poor in some places.

Hugo

Bookwizards

Steady For This is a story about defeating the odds. In this book Shaun works on his rapping while dealing with a hard teenage life. Shaun has to deal with embarrassment from his fellow teenager, deal with his friendship between him and his best friend Shanks, explore his own feelings and deal with the possibility of eviction. In the end Shaun has to win a rapping contest to prevent his family from losing his home. In the final rapping contest he shows the readers about honesty to yourself and the importance of your family. He manages to win thanks to his family and friends belief in him and his mothers finds a job. This story shows the power of yourself and encourages self confidence.

Isaac

Perse Carnegians

"Steady for this" by Nathanael Lessore is a book about a boy passionate about rapping, called Shaun (a.k.a. Growls), who perseveres with the help of his family, friends and teachers, in very unfortunate conditions (his embarrassing video posted online, his best friend got sick, almost getting evicted from his house and living poorly) but he still entered a competition called Raptology, and succeeded. The book seems boring at the start, but as you move on the pace speeds up a little, and the plot got a bit more interesting. The language used is in a very humorous manner, which made me smile a few times, but sometimes it's too colloquial and I had some trouble understanding them. It's also interesting that there are many nice verses in the book which I think described the plot in a very unique way. (like the "Bonus Track" at the back) It taught many life lessons as well. However, I would recommend this to children who are aged 10-12, as the plot is quite interesting, but sometimes it's a bit boring for me; but the jokes and homophones are really funny. It's a good book to read for fun. Overall it's a really funny book, but I think sometimes there are too much jokes in the book that made it somewhat hard to read. 7.5/10

Rachel

Perse Carnegians

I enjoyed some aspects of the book but i would not say it was my favourite from the books I have read so far. The main character gave me second hand embarrassment during some part of the book and also I don't like how some part of the book is trying a bit tooo hard to relate to teenagers which just makes me cringe at some points. The storyline itself is not bad but this is not my favourite type of book genre. Overall I would give it 6/10.

Maimuna

Plashet School

Steady for this is a short novel about Shawn, or MC Growls, who pursues a career in rap with his best friend Shanks. During the book, his family encounters problems with money and Shawn decides to win Raptology, a rap battle competition in order to earn his mother the money in order to pay off their debt. Will he win or will he lose? During the story Growls gets mixed up in many problems, like his crush on Tanisha, his embarrassing video that went viral and problems with his brother, but maybe this new girl Siobhan will help him out? This book is brilliant! Even if it isn't fantastically intricate, it still tells a deep and meaningful story as well as bringing up real topics and writing interesting characters. I enjoyed every minute of reading this book, it is really a laugh-out-loud book!

Emilie

Euro Bookworms

I loved this book and how the language was literally the same as my whole year group! I really enjoyed the story and topics they covered and thought it was an overall great story and book!

Ben

Denbigh Shadowing Group

“Steady For This” is a hilarious and heart-warming read filled with laugh-out-loud moments and deep themes. The story of Shaun’s live-stream performance going viral for all of the wrong reasons makes for a rollercoaster of emotions and awkward situations. The friendship between Shawn and Shanks adds a lovey touch to the narrative. The great blend of comedy and serious themes makes this book standout, offering both entertainment and thought-provoking insights. It is definitely a book that strikes a balance between humour and meaningful storytelling!

Philippa

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

I liked this story and it was interesting to read how he faced the challenges.

William

The John Mason Shadowers

I was not expecting the writing style for Steady For This, and I honestly quite disliked how the story was written. The characters were unrealistic and unrelatable, and I feel like the slang was overused to come out to be incredibly cringey and hard read through. To be truthful, I did not find any of the contents funny. I wouldn't say this would be a mature book, however younger readers may (or may not) find the contents funny due to its radiant slang and style. However, on the other hand, there was a lot of character development, and the moral of the story was clear.

Seungah

Perse Carnegians

Aarav

Bispham Bookworms

This is a wonderful book because the author has used real situations that might happen to children like us, then solved it. I rate this book a five out of five. I recommend this book to people who like rapping and saying slang words.

Aarav

Bispham Bookworms

In my opinion Steady for This is a very comedic and interesting book. I love how the author weaves in different plots to make one complex story. This book is all about a teenager named Growls who dreams of being a rapper when he is older. However, his friend, Shanks, falls ill with anxiety after Growls put something online which embarrassed them because it showed them doing weird stuff. Then his mum loses her job and his family are destined to be homeless. He becomes lonely and the only thing that keeps him happy is his new friend Sioban. In the end he ends up winning a rapping competition and gets his family out of debt. I would recommend this book to people who like funny but touching books. This book gets an 8/10.

Husayn

Perse Carnegians

A live-stream rapping session goes epically wrong, a family is about to be evicted from their home, a young man fails to charm the girl of his dreams; this all comes together in a comedic and poignant story of ‘MC Growls’ who has to save his family and friends before everything he knows gets taken away from him. Set somewhere in London, the story explores relationships between young people and adults and the challenges of modern life during the cost of living crisis. One of the stand out elements of this book is its humour. A favourite quote of mine is when Growls is presented with prosciutto in a fine Italian restaurant and comments, ‘I may smell like Lynx Africa, but that does not mean that I have the same dietary requirements as Simba!’ These laugh-out-loud phrases are set against the difficult and sad events that Growls and his friends have to face. The plot took a while to get going, but once it did, the book was difficult to put down. The characters are what makes this book so readable. Despite everything that happens to them, they are relatable and believable. I would recommend this book to those who like a modern story with slang and rapping, but also a touch of romance.

Gabriel

Euro Bookworms

WOULD YOU RATHER (Carnegie Edition) Steady For This question: Would you rather be a successful music artist or a successful athlete? - Next is a question linked to Crossing The Line: Would you rather be a drug dealer for 3 months or be homeless for 3 years? - Finally, a question on reading in general: Would you rather be able to read a 200 page book in 1 hour but only understand 50% of it or be able to read it in 4 hours and understand 100%?

Timo PMC

4Shadowers

Steady for this is a funny book with lots of emotions that are changing all the time. Shaun (also know as Growls) likes to rap and dreams of going on to Raptolgy. His best friend Shanks gets humiliated on a live stream video. There is love and laughter and tears in this book. It was good to read a book I wouldn't normally read. I would rate it 4 stars.

Shaniece

Larkmead

The book "Steady for this " at first pushed me away due to it's "cringe" writing style but pulled me back for it's plot. all in all, it's beautiful book and a must read for any one.

zai

Chiswick Carnegie

Shaun aka mc growls is an exited rapper with dreams of winning rapology but disaster strikes when growl’s dirty laundry is shown live [figuratively and literally] now everybody knows about it and he has become a laughing stock at school. And it becomes even worse when Shanks [the other person in the duo of mc squared] seemingly disappears. Now Shaun is left all alone, so he thinks when an unlikely friendship forms Shaun has someone new backing him up but when the council comes banging on his door Shaun has only two options get evicted or perform at rapology. Can Shaun step up to the mike or will he cave under the pressure… I really enjoyed reading this book as it was so funny, and I loved Shaun’s gaps of knowledge not in a way that made me think he wasn’t smart because he sometimes [mostly] doesn’t pay attention in class the author used a lot of complicated “Rap terms” that I didn’t really understand so in future when using dated language/group language e.g. rap I think it would be good to add an index of what the words mean but all around I loved this book 9/10

Isabel.S

Larkmead

I absolutly loved this book and it's my top favourite from the carnegie shortlist. I think becuase of how it is written in a language that most teens speak nowadays, they would really be able to relate to this book and like this book. Also the storyline was very new and different for me which i really liked.

Shruti

TCOLC Perfictionists

This book was amazing! The way a normal high school kid who you don't feel much of a connection with at the beginning, can turn into a different life, as someone you really connect with. The inclusivity of rap throughout engaged the audience further into reading it. The different characters created in this book make it really relatable more engaging, I especially loved the character of Siobhan as she had such a complicated life. I also loved the way the author made Growls, who misunderstood so many things, it was very difficult not to laugh reading this, but at the same time not to feel a connection to Growls.

Swan

Denbigh Shadowing Group

Steady For This is a book about a young boy called Shaun, or to use his stage title, MC Growls. He has a crush on this girl called Tanisha and asks her out on a date to the movies. It all goes well until Shaun brings a yogurt pot instead of snacks and Tanisha walks out on him. Now he wants to win her back, so he and his friend Shanks try to do a livestream, but right in the middle of this, Shaun’s mum came in and holds up a pair of his pants covered in poo. From then on, he is known as the kid who poops his pants, and he can’t even escape at school. His entire social life is ruined and to make matters worse, Shanks, his best mate, gets seriously ill and isn’t around anymore. Things seem to be at an ultimate low for Mc Growls, but then he meets up with a new girl called Siobhan, and they start hanging out together. But then, the council come to his door with an eviction notice, and with no Shanks to help him, and Siobhan having a crisis of her own, how will Shaun keep his home? The answer is in his talent and passion for Rap… I really liked this book but the start of it was, not going to lie, Quite Terrible. But as we got to know Shaun a bit better, and as we learned the basics of the slang that he constantly uses, we could really see how well this book was written, and it also made me laugh a lot too. It had some heartfelt moments, it had some cringe moments and it had some incredibly funny moments, so everything you could ask for from a book. I just wish that the start of the book could be more gripping, as if it weren’t for the shortlist, then I would have probably not finished the book. I give this book an 8.5/10.

Richie

Euro Bookworms

Steady for this is a book about a young boy called Shaun, or to use his stage title, MC Growls. He has a crush on this girl called Tanisha and asks her out on a date to the movies. It all goes well until Shaun brings a yogurt pot instead of snacks and Tanisha walks out on him. Now he wants to win her back, so he and his friend Shanks try to do a livestream, but right in the middle of this, Shaun’s mum came in and holds up a pair of his pants covered in poo. From then on, he is known as the kid who poops his pants, and he can’t even escape at school. His entire social life is ruined and to make matters worse, Shanks, his best mate, gets seriously ill and isn’t around anymore. Things seem to be at an ultimate low for Mc Growls, but then he meets up with a new girl called Siobhan, and they start hanging out together. But then, the council come to his door with an eviction notice, and with no Shanks to help him, and Siobhan having a crisis of her own, how will Shaun keep his home? The answer is in his talent and passion for Rap… I really liked this book but the start of it was, not going to lie, Quite Terrible. But as we got to know Shaun a bit better, and as we learned the basics of the slang that he constantly uses, we could really see how well this book was written, and it also made me laugh a lot too. It had some heartfelt moments, it had some cringe moments and it had some incredibly funny moments, so everything you could ask for from a book. I just wish that the start of the book could be more gripping, as if it weren’t for the shortlist, then I would have probably not finished the book. I give this book an 8.5/10.

Richie

Euro Bookworms

My opinion on 'Steady for this' changed throughout the book . At first I wasn't really enjoying it as the start was quite slow , however as I got towards the middle of the book it began to speed up and I was at the end too quickly ! My favourite part was when his friend opened up to him as it was a very sweet , heartfelt moment . I recommend this book to everyone who loves rap and just young people in general . 4/5 stars .

Holly H

VISTA Academy

In this book, Nathanael’ s original use of language and slang identifies and highlights Shaun’s identity. This is an engaging, easy read with likeable and relatable characters. There is a vivid use of imagery when they describe London, I love how the characters develop throughout the story and showcase positive relationships. Sophisticated issues around bullying, poverty and mental health are explored in ways that challenge what we believe. Humorous moments contrast with the serious ones meaning your thoughts and emotions while reading are constantly changing. This must read novel is clever, authentic and oh-so-realistic. Shaun is one of my favourite characters!

Joe

Perse Carnegians

At first I found the dialect hard to understand, but as I progressed through the book it became more fluent to read. This made for, what felt like a quicker and more action packed ending, without being to quick to follow.

Stanley D

Ermysted’s

Steady with it is a hilarious book that is sure to bring a smile to the face of whoever reads it. I loved how Shawn aka MC Growls brought humour to everything that he did. This didn't counteract the thoughtful message running through the book, that anyone can be who they want to be, all it did was highlight it even more and add to the effect. My favourite moment was Growls date with Tanisha that ends with disastrous consequences in the cinema of all places. Overall Steady for This was one of my favourite books to read because of the magnificent humour and the acute message underneath.

Thomas

Perse Carnegians

“Steady For This” was a great laugh out loud book and made me smile a lot as well. Shawn a.k.a. growls loves to rap and wants to win Raptology with his friend Shanks. There is also a girl who he what’s to impress. But something went badly wrong on a live video. When I first picked up this book I laughed at the first few sentences. I loved when Shawn and Shanks rapped together. Overall I would definitely recommend this book especially if you want to laugh out loud.

Herbie

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

I think ‘Steady for This’ by Nathanael Lessore is a terrific book. It will especially appeal to those looking for a great laugh and the younger readers who will also be able to relate to it. This story reflects modern day society and how people feel when they are blindly in love. The beginning is a bit weird and cringey, but the story slowly develops well and by the time you reach about a quarter of the way through, it really starts to shine. It demonstrates the power of both friendship and family and represents how difference and diversity does not matter in the long run. Other themes in the book are the family’s financial and housing issues. I think that my favourite character would have to be Siobhan. She is a good friend to Growls and I admire how well she handles all the weight on her shoulders, from being a carer to her mother. The main character, Growls, uses a multi-cultural London English accent (MLE). I personally disliked the use of so much MLE as half the time I was stuck trying to understand what someone just said or was trying to say. In total, I think the book shows high quality writing, as well as multiple different themes. Stated plainly however, the book is clearly targeted at readers aged 12–15-years, but it may also be of interest to younger or older people. I rate this book 4 out of five stars.

Jack

LitWits

'Steady for This' is a fiction book about Shaun, otherwise known as MC Growls, and his dream of becoming a rapper. However it is not easy for two main reasons. Firstly, he's not the greatest rapper and secondly he is faced with lots of obstacles such as being evicted from his home along the way. Overall this is a fairly good book to which I would give an 8 out of 10.

Elsie

Carnegie Club 2024

Personally, I did find this book slightly odd, and I think it’s a strange interpretation of teenagers like us these days. But it is abstract. If I were to recommend this, I would tell smaller children to read ‘Steady for This’. I can definitely see how some younger audiences would engage with this well, but I prefer the fantasy genre, in comparison to the comedy genre. Shaun losing his underwear was a little odd, as well as the rapping. I think I struggled to engage with this a bit, but that was perhaps due to other factors too, not just this.

Zoe

Perse Carnegians

Shaun (aka MC Growls) is ready to drop his best bars and smash the competition at Raptology. That way, he's convinced Tanisha, his crush, will finally give him a chance But when a livestream practice goes epically wrong Growls's dirty laundry is literally exposed. He's finally achieved his dreams of going viral. But not in a good way. Now Tanisha won't look at him, he's the joke of the school and there's no way he can show his face at the competition. Will he ever catch a break? Then a new girl on the block appears who might be just the friend Growls needs. Especially when she points out that Raptology could be the answer to his problem. I think this book is very intriguing and mind playing as on every page you never know what’s going to happen next. It is also quite amusing and funny as there are numerous jokes inside it. This is why i would suggest this book for people that like mystery but also people that like funny and amusing books as it is a laugh out loud (LOL) teen novel. Overall this was a very interesting and boredom-curing book and I would definitely recommend it to lots of people and book readers out there.

Freddie

Glossopdale Readers

This book was about a boy who didn’t fit in making new friends. I would rate it 4/5 because it was overall quite a nice read. I would recommend it to anyone who likes storys about finding yourself

Adam

Corsham Shadowers

I have given this book 2 out of 5 because of its story. I liked this book, but i didn't really understand it - especially his humour. I just didn't understand if it was meant to be funny or not.

Hayaam

The Reading Queens

Now, when I say this book annoyed me for the first 50 pages- I mean it crawled onto every nerve I had. Although, as I hit the 50 page mark, I found myself getting used to the idiocy and silliness of Growl's perspective on the world, despite cringing at certain parts (yes, I'm talking about when he asked Tanisha out to the cinema...). I thought about it as I continued reading, and eventually realised how sad Growl's life could be if he realised just how bad his situation was, his unique perspective gave his life a different feel to how it could've been if he had a more pessimistic view (or a couple extra braincells). The ending was a tiny bit cliché, but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. I was expecting him to win the competition for sure, but I'll admit that the mention of his livestream incident during it was funny, especially when he went back and forth in bars about it. And in the incredible, wise words of Growls: "I start twerking in the reflection, just to see what it looks like. My twerkathon accelerates, I'm picturing a space-hopper between my thighs."

Jasmine

St Augustine’s Challenge

This is a rap that I have written inspired by the novel "Steady for This" that I imagine being said by the main character They call me Growls - like I’m a tiger on the prowl I’m not just a pro – I don’t go with the flow I’m not here to scowl - I’m not foul I can’t bear to throw - mean insults to grow My dream was to be – a rapper and see All the gold and fame – I could get from this game Then I found the key – to the rapper I’ll be I won’t be the same – I’ll sing with no shame I may drop beats - that’ll sweep ya off your feet (Not really though - coz that’ll really hurt bro) Don’t make mince-meat – out of everyone I meet I’m here to help yo – I’ll be your friend bro Now I really know – how to be superhero I’ve got a kind, caring heart – and that’s where I’ll start

Marie

4Shadowers

I was surprised when I read this book as I was told not to read it as it was super corny and unenjoyable but to my surprise it was, for me, the best Carnegie book as it is super fun and every time I read it I would get into trouble as I laugh so much. If others are telling you not to read this book, DO NOT listen to them.

Callum

The St. Bede’s Literary Critics

When I first looked at this book I have to say I was very excited to begin reading it. However I soon found myself disappointed to find that it was a dense book with a very slow story that could have been a lot better. I must admit that towards the end it grew on me slightly but the fact it still took me at least a minute to read one page shows me it wasn't really my cup of tea. I can't however say it was all bad: the message behind the book was very meaningful and conveyed a very real message. I would recommend the book for its narrative that portrays the real world problem of the cost of living which at this point in time is very important for young people to know about although I would warn them about the thick nature of the book.

Owen

Larkmead

Malik

SMM Bibliophiles

The way 'Steady for This' was written was unique and special, the language used enabled me to connect with the main character more than I do with other books. The storyline was relatable and contained many day-to-day experiences and emotions, from embarrassment to depression. We listen to Shaun's thoughts and feel his urge to be heard as he chases his career dreams and hopes. My favourite part was when he met Siobhan because he connected with her and it seemed like he finally escaped from the problems he kept facing. I liked the book because of the theme that no matter what happens you should always chase your dreams, the way his mother didn't have money but he wasn't a super mature kid gave me some contrast to other books that I have read where the child is forced to mature and grow up quickly and give up on childhood fun, I do think this is a very realistic deception so I liked how this book followed a divergent approach to the story.

Mansuni

HAEC Carnegie Shadowers

After reading 'Steady for this' I think my understanding of those who are in less financial stability has expanded. It showed me that everyone is human and has lives worth fighting for and who have talents that can and SHOULD be shared with the world truly a mind opening and vivacious image of what the world can be like.

Theo

VISTA Academy

‘Steady For This’ is an interesting concept for a book, as it is presented from the perspective of a child, who is wrestling with some very adult concepts that are affecting his life. The book is told in an unusual dialect, as it is presented in modern slang. The story explores themes of anxiety, poverty, and acceptance, as we follow the main character, Shaun, as he struggles with the social anxiety of his school, and the financial worries facing his family. The character of Shaun, or ‘Growls,’ is very likeable as he is relentlessly perseverant as he aspires to win ‘Raptology.’ His motives across the book are incredibly interesting as he is influenced by the world around him, and the people close to him. Other characters like Shanks and Sioban present powerful messages to the reader, like the importance of self-acceptance and appreciation of others. The book’s plot is extremely good as it manages to encapsulate multiple stories and characters into one story, with each one both presenting new concepts and contributing to the story’s overarching plot. I would thoroughly recommend this to anyone who is looking for a thought-provoking story about the importance of social acceptance and anxiety.

Adam

Wadham Warriors

10/10 I really like 'Steady for this' because it was so funny but some parts was really sad like when we found out Siobhan's mum was disabled. It was sad when they moved but, probably the best part of the book was when the dirty laundry exposed and when he wins and they get to keep the house.

sophie

St Andrew’s Primary Academy

I didn't really like this book to be honest and I found it quite confusing honestly. But I did think that it was a good book just not quite my style of writing. I didn't really like how the main character's personality was largely based around rap. Otherwise a good book. Not complaining

Amber

Fortismere

Steady for this is a story based of a heartwarming friendship between Shanks and Shaun but adds comedy, a bit of romance and struggles of real life families from all around the world. It starts by Shaun and Shanks both start a livestream to platform their rap music but get it all horribly wrong. This creates a sense of humility and sympathy to the main characters. I love how it introduces fun into reading and it made me laugh many times. I think this is a brilliant book because of its comedic moments and the friendship between Shanks and Shaun (mc growls). It is a great book for kids between the age of 7 and 13. Overall this is a brilliant book as it has laugh out loud moments and it includes many things in the real world. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a light hearted read with comedy added into it.

Hayden

TTS Readers

I found the way this book delivered its message in a light-hearted and funny way was absolutely genius, I loved the way the message was not forced upon the reader, yet it made the reader think as they read the book. It was probably my favourite of the Carnegie shortlist this year, and I found the way that the book addressed depression, as an issue many teenagers face, was beautiful. Moreover, I found the main character Shaun (Growls) to be a very loyal, caring and goofily lovable protagonist who was unintentionally hilarious, to be a very well written main character.

Jenny

Perse Carnegians

Steady For This is a rivetting tale told from Shaun's aka Growls point of veiw. Its a story that describes the ins and outs of poverty and the seriousness of what anxiety and fear can have on someone from social media, but it shows it lightly, with it being funny at the same time. Shaun's friend gets seriously ill because an extremely embarrassing video went viral and he got extremely scared about what was going to happen after. Shaun and his famiy are getting evicted because his mum cant pay the bills. The only way for them to be safe is for Shaun to win raptology, which would give him 3000 pounds. It shows how families can come together in times of need, and a girl comes into the picture for Shaun. Amazing read! I reccomend. Good for years 6-9.

Leah

Blake Student Shadowers

This was quite a quick read and though it was enjoyable in moments it was not my favourite book of the shortlist by a bit. I thought it had a good setting in London. Though also thought it was a bit too childish, I understand it was about a younger main character but it definitely deducted from the overall experience, taking away the levity from the more impactful moments of the story. However I did enjoy how it portrays different relationships at a younger age, whether these are friendships or crushes and how they can be prone to change over time.

Amelie

Perse Carnegians

I would award this book one star. "Steady for This" by Nathaneal Lessore is clearly aimed at a younger audience, with the intention of encouraging children to read. While the book may succeed in this aim, I believe it ruins the book overall. This is mainly due to the use of colloquial and brusque language, clearly intended to appeal to young children, which felt tiresome and exhausting to read. Personally, I prefer a more traditional writing style, and the use of this language throughout the novel made it difficult for me to enjoy or even read. Furthermore, I found the protagonist, MC Growls, to be particularly unappealing and annoying. MC Growls is a young boy with a passion for hip hop and rap, with a strong motivation to win an award and prize money in order to save his house and family. Despite this potentially compelling backstory, I did not find him to be a relatable character, but actually quite annoying, which did hinder my reading of the book Overall, I did not enjoy reading "Steady for This." I wouldn’t recommend it, except to young children around the age of 8 or 9 who might appreciate its style, themes and dialect.

Max

Lost in Pages

I think this book is well written. It has very good details and I like how the front cover is creative.

Alfie

Castle East Readers

I took quite a liking to this book, it was catchy funny with a great story and I didn't want to stop reading it. I'm really looking forward to this book getting the reward!

Rashaad

BLSBookClub

Steady for This is a book about a boy who is near the brink of being broke, his nickname is Growls and he has a best friend called Lars. After shooting a live video of him rapping and his mum showing the world his dirty laundry the video goes viral. As a consequence, Lars has a mental breakdown while Growls is left feeling sorry for his friend and feeling guilty for it. While Growls is grieving, he meets a girl who has been watching him for the past 20 minutes try to make a shot with a basketball. They quickly become friends and she introduces him to her mum. I liked this book because he is a 'wannabe' rapper and he entered a rap competition, winning it would mean he can afford to stay in his flat!

Stanley

SCC Prolific Bookers

Siobhan is my favourite character. She is very creative and loves to explore new things. I would choose to spend a day with Siobhan and explore new places with her. The book has a happy ending.

Rimsha

ST PAULS STARS

My favourite character is Growls/ Shank because he is funny. Siobhan is nice and welcoming. After reading the book ,I feel like I just want the book to carry on. A part two is needed desperately.

Ivica

ST PAULS STARS

I really didn't like this book the characters weren't very nice.

olivia

Kingdown 24

This book was difficult to read. I only read a chapter but I felt my braincells being fried. The only seen words where slang, my brain particles where annihilated as I read on. PLEASE think about the people who are reading it!

Meredith

Kingdown 24

I thought this book was a good read but not my type of book. Some of the scenes were good and it had a well rounded ending. Just did not really connect to it that much

Harrison

Kingdown 24

I'm not usually a big fan of rap but I surprisingly really enjoyed this book. it was funny and the raps were really enjoyable to read as it also explained what was going on in the story and how Growls is feeling as well. its as great story with a good sense of humor. very well written.

Jasmin

Kingdown 24

I have mixed feelings about this book. At the start of the book it was an honest struggle to make myself WANT to continue reading the book. The main character uses so much slang and is so dumb that it was hard to like him. I will admit that there were a few sweet moments like when he first goes to meet the therapist or how much he misses his best friend. I think those moments are written really well.

Melanie

Kingdown 24

Shaun is ready to win an important rap-battle competition, but when a livestream goes especially wrong, his 'dirty laundry' is exposed (literally!) - achieving his dream of going viral, but not in a good way. Now he is a joke at school, his chances of winning the competition is zero and the Council are threatening to evict his family from their London home! I really liked the plot and characters of this story, it really engaged me, although I did find the way the narrator told the story confusing at times (sometimes unsure which character was speaking), but I would recommend this book to others and give it four stars out of five.

Isha

Rockwood Reads

'Steady For This' is a very emotional journey. At the start, Shaun worries about his crush and his popularity but towards the end he starts to worry more about his life and keeping his house and best friend than anything else. I liked how he really started to understand the meaning of his lyrics and that being a rapper was not all about fame and money, which made him win raptology. I liked that he happened to meet Siobhan when he really needed a friend. At the start, I wasn’t sure that the story was really going anywhere, but towards the end I think he become more aware of who he needed be. Overall, I think the book was good towards the end, however, it dragged on and there was a slow start. Although, I did enjoy it more than I thought I would.

Aisling

The St. Bede’s Literary Critics

To be perfectly honest, I really disliked steady for this. The MC had a horrible personality which, while it improved a bit, was absolutely insufferable, to the point where I found it difficult to completely finish the book. It's trying to be "cool", but just comes out sounding like it was written by a 5 year old. I like how, despite the fact that Shawn, despite everything he faced kept his spirits up though. I understand that the author wanted to make the book funny, make it lighthearted, and sometimes the stupidity of some of the characters, or embarrassing moments that were carefully planted into the book were funny, but I (and this may just be a personal opinion) feel like when talking about topics like being ridiculed so thoroughly online, the author should probably take on a slightly more serious tone. Nevertheless, Shawn has great rapping skills, and is a funny character, (if a bit irritating) and there were definitely moments in the book where I really did enjoy the read! I feel like Shawn's character isn't very relatable though, I think this book would appeal more to children of around 9 to 11 years old (although there is the problem of the swearing of course) as it teaches some valuable life lessons but honestly doesn't feel like a Y8 level book.

Delana

Perse Carnegians

Amelia

The John Mason Shadowers

I really, really, really enjoyed this book because it was very funny and relatable for teenage students. Shawn, Aka MC Growls likes to rap and he is thrilled when he is going to enter Raptology with his best friend Shanks. He also likes this girl in his school Tanisha and he goes live with Shanks to gain popularity and possibly attention from her. Sadly, they get embarrassed and MC and Shanks now have to cope with all the laughs coming their way. This story was really funny because as I read each page it got me chuckling in class or laughing out loud at home. It's also romantic because Shawn wants to get involved in rapping to impress the girl he likes but as I said when MC and Shanks go live his mum is in the background hanging out his laundry that is very private. That got me laughing! Then everyone at school starts laughing at him because of it. I feel like MC is known by people for the wrong reasons always anywhere he's out and about. Wholeheartedly, I recommend this amazing book!

Elizabeth

St Angela’s Reading Angels

I was a bit worried when I first started reading "Steady For This" as I had heard mixed opinions about it from my friends, however I really liked this book and I think it's one of the best ones on the shortlist this year. While Growls' stupidity was a little annoying at first, I soon really warmed up to him as the main character and I became really engaged in his story. One of the main things I enjoyed about this book is Growls' relationships with his family and his friends. Growls and Shanks' friendship was really sweet and I liked seeing how Growls' and Siobhan's relationship developed throughout the book, I really didn't think it was going to go that well after their hilarious first meeting. The humour in "Steady For This" was another highlight for me - I laughed so many times while reading it, Growls kept getting into the most ridiculous situations! I also like the more serious bits of the book as I think they told important messages, and I think the end, when Growls won the rapping competition, was really empowering and a great end to an incredible book.

Jozefinka

The St. Bede’s Literary Critics

A review for Steady For This 3 stars Inspiring, unique, relatable The book follows Shaun, a young teenager from a struggling family, as he fights to save his family from a life on the streets through his life of music and rap. It holds stories of friendship, struggling with emotions and the general hardships of being a teenager in this modern society. Steady For This will make you truly appreciate your position and help you to value the things we sometimes take for granted. While I found this book inspirational, I also found it quite difficult to read due to the language used, however I appreciate the reason it was used. The way the book was written, in a more local and youthful language, will help to make the book more accessible for those less interested in reading. The book is targeted at the younger generation so while I personally didn’t love the language used I can certainly see the purpose behind it. From the story and the battles that Shaun faces, to the language and dialect used throughout this book may be one of the more relatable novels on the list this year. It will be incredibly useful for those who perhaps don’t enjoy reading or haven’t found a book they can enjoy to feel more comfortable when reading and perhaps encourage more young people into the incredible world of books which is the aim of this medal. I would recommend this book to younger students who enjoy similar topics or who face situations as it may supply hope or give to me a sense of belonging.

Liv

Lost in Pages

Steady for this is a book about a young wannabe rapper hoping to have a famous career, but while he was practising on a livestream, his mom walked in with his dirty underwear. This then made him famous for all the wrong reasons which then led to his friends Shanks stressing out and leaving him on his own. Shaun then was trying to forget about it and focus on something else but then as if it was fate, he met his new friend Shioban, they both had their ups and downs but that didn’t stop them. They both easily understood each other and they clicked quickly. Although I wasn’t really a fan of the book as I did struggle to read from the brusquely secluded language that would be used, but I would recommend this to you if you enjoy a book about teenage hip-hop.

Grace

Lost in Pages

Steady For This is about a boy called Shaun (AKA Mc Growls) who loves to rap. He dreams of going to a huge competition called Raptology and is doing a livestream with one of his best mates when his dirty laundry is literally exposed. He can hardly deal with going to school and knows that he can’t show his face at Raptology after this. He starts to be bullied and then must face an impending eviction from the council. Will he be able to bounce back? I personally did not like this book at all, so much so that I couldn’t get to the end. This is because I found that the plot was predictable, and I disliked how many of the problems created could have been averted if any character had the tiniest amount of common sense. I also did not like the persistently incorrect grammar and use of the wrong words e.g. ‘There is no I in apology-eyes’ and ‘Lay Miserables’. The main character also consistently spells Siobhan as Shevon.

Pippa

SHSK Shadowers

Choose Love was a very interesting, educational and emotive book about the true meaning of being a refugee. For once I have thought about refugees very deeply. We take for granted how small of a title a ‘’Refugee’’ Is when so much comes under it. It was a very emotive book that really dived into the feelings of those not so fortunate, almost like a first hand account. I also really loved the pictures as they were interesting to look at and helped me to understand the story a lot more. But overall, a really good book.

Grace

Chiswick Carnegie

I didn’t really like this book I found it a bit weird and I couldn’t really get into the story. I wouldn’t really recommend.

Amaia

Horsham BOok HUNTers

This book was okay for me. It is about an aspiring rapper who goes live stream with his friend, but becomes the laughing stock of school due to his mom barging in showing his dirty clothes. The reason why this book was okay for me was because the experiences of the boy was cringey for me, and I couldn't really relate to any characters, however there were lots of hidden jokes inside the book. I would rate it a 6/10.

Haniya

Plashet School

Steady for This’s main character, Growls, was a slightly irritating narrator to begin with, but as I moved through the book I became more used to the tone and humour. Although the language used was a little jarring at times, I definitely appreciated the occasional pun and play on words slipped in. The story itself was funny, unique and gripping, interspersed with a few darker sections that were genuinely heart-wrenching to read. All in all, I had very mixed feelings about this book, but I’m glad I read it as it was such an interesting change from what I usually read.

Tamsin

St Mary’s RC High

At first I did not like this book as I didn't get any of the word play funny parts in it. I could not really follow the story line or the characters. My favorite part was in the English class at the start when he starts rapping to impress his crush. Once I had reread this book I could understand most of the jokes and how the teache teaches the main character that rapping isn't just about the fame but about what each rap means . Overall I would give this book three stars.

Beatrice

BUCS Library Book Club

I love this book because of the awkward moments and the great humor. I also like how this book relates to real life issues such as cost of living and online bullying. Very funny and relevant.9/10

Ethan

Bookiewookiedoodaas

In this book we follow the life of a year 8 boy called Shaun who usually goes by the name of Growls. He and his best friend Shanks’ favourite pass time is coming up with beats and raps about the world around them. Growls also does this to impress his crush Tanisha. But when a livestream goes terribly wrong, he becomes the laughing stock of the entire school and Growls is left alone due to Shanks being off for unknown circumstances and he immensely struggles through though becomes side tracks when he meets the new girl on the block. I found this a bit awkward to read at first and I didn’t think it was my cup of tea but once you go with the flow of it all, Steady for This turns into an enjoyable read which puts a light hearted look on the most difficult times.

TJ

HHS

The book 'Steady for This' explores many themes, such as friendship & relationship, overcoming hardship, perseverance and personal growth. The story is a funny read whilst offering different experiences and insights into differnt lifestyles. The protagonist Shawn aka MCGrowls, a wannabe rapper is using a lot of slang and an abundance of rhymes that piece together like a jigsaw. Although what Shaun experiences are serious matters the storytelling is humorous and silly. The story felt innovative and unique, differnt parts of the book are like support beams as they hold each other up. The main message from this story is not to waste your time hanging out with people that don't accept you for who you are. A great read and a worthy contender for the medal.

Isaac and Excellent

Langton Ambassadors

Good book but a bit to much slang was used to much and it was slang that people just don't use any more. There were also some really wired moments and it was a bit awkward to read. The rapping added some cool plot twists. Does explore some difficult subjects but not to intensely. *Spoiler* The plot was a bit useless as his mum gets a better job anyways so he doesn't need to win raptology.

Dominik

St Augustine’s Challenge

I really struggled with what to make of this one at first. It seemed totally ridiculous that anyone is as stupid as Growls, our main character. However, as the pages went on, I realised that it was actually incredibly clever word play, which was beautifully crafted and deliberate! I laughed out loud throughout - it's genuinely hilarious. Alongside the brilliant humour and the family, friendship and 'romance' elements, the story had SO many messages to share about poverty, the shallow representation of rappers as gangsters rather than wordsmiths, the consequences of choices in life, the power of a good mentor - I could go on for hours! This is my favourite book on the shortlist, and I know many of my book club students have also felt its value. It will have huge appeal across the whole school population too, and I can't wait to get it on the shelves now we have finished with it.

Miss K

BUCS Library Book Club

I like the book but the language can be confusing but every thing else is really good as it is really funny in the sense that Growls is really relatable as he gets stuff wrong like every one in life and the cover is very eye-catching and is a good thing to see in a book and I think it was really good and should be marketed for teenagers as the language is base on them.

Natalie

Rad readers

I loved this book because it was so funny and also pretty sad as shanks and him were ridiculed online and bullied in person. It took a sweet turn when he met Siobhan and they became best friends .

Archie

Rad readers

It’s a really funny book full of relatable characters and the rapping in this is something not a lot of books have .the bright cover will definitely get peoples attention however the language can be a lit bit confusing with wrong words but all in all it’s a awesome story

Jessica

Rad readers

I love steady for this it is funny and I find it easy to read and the colours catch my eye more than other books

Toby

Rad readers

I think this book is good because it was really funny and the rap was quite good. The friendship between Shanks and Growls is nice to see. And the theme of the book is really nice

Georgie

Rad readers

I think steady for this is a great book and for my age group steady for this is a great and easy book to read. It’s so sigma !

Saran

Rad readers

"Steady for This" is a vibrant and dynamic novel that captures the essence of teenage dreams and the power of perseverance. The protagonist, Shaun, known as MC Growls, is an aspiring rapper whose world turns upside down after an embarrassing incident goes viral. Despite the setback, Shaun's journey is one of self-discovery and determination. Nathanael Lessore brilliantly portrays the struggles of adolescence with humour and authenticity. The narrative is filled with witty wordplay and relatable scenarios that keep the reader engaged from start to finish. Shaun's character development is particularly compelling as he learns to navigate the complexities of social dynamics, young love, and personal ambition. The book is not only entertaining but also touches on deeper themes such as poverty and social inequality, making it a thought-provoking read. Lessore's storytelling is both raw and bold, offering a fresh perspective on the teen experience. Overall, "Steady for This" is an unforgettable novel that resonates with its audience. It's a testament to the resilience of youth and the transformative power of music. A must-read for anyone who enjoys a good laugh and a hearty dose of inspiration.

Reina

Perse Carnegians

This was a very good book because of how it’s so relatable as in everyday life all you want is to accomplish your dreams and you always get embarrassed no matter what because something is different about you this was also a good book as it was really compelling to read and had a good sense of humour.

Baxter

Bookwizards

I really like this book because of the unique writing style, and the main character is enjoyable to read. its not one i would generally pick up, but the story was entertaining and kept me reading. the story is sad and emotional, but in the end everything works out okay.

Emilie

TAHS Reading Champions 2024

This book was really funny and made me really laugh so I thought this was definitely the best one yet. There is a unique use of new slang in there too to help me keep up with the modern world changing around us. I think the new use of this language really helps me to understand a few words that I might not have known before and to help me expand my vocabulary and understand what some people are saying. All of the raps in this have a really good beat that I can imagine in my head. This book was very good.

Sophie

Perse Carnegians

this book is one of my favourites. it is about a boy who makes money by selling lyrics but then a twist occurs. his family are plunged into debt and threatened with eviction. can he change it by winning a rap battle and getting the cash prize? or will they become homeless?

Sami

TCOLC Perfictionists

Steady For This is a humorous balance between sensitive issues and following your dreams with a very realistic perspective. This book was unlike anything I have read before, and I most likely will not read anything like this again, but I did enjoy this book because of its unique story and language. Shaun is an aspiring rapper, but after a video of him goes viral, Shaun is left humiliated and is faced with some tough situations. Although I found the book to be overall enjoyable, the slang language throughout sometimes made it hard to read and disrupted the flow of the story. However the powerful messages woven in the storyline, such as passion and friendship, made it a powerful read. 6/10.

Saachi

Perse Carnegians

I found this book unique and captivating. The use of slang and rap was engaging, creative and rhythmic and the book had a really good flow of highs, lows and twists. The ending was a bit predictable however, but all in all I enjoyed the read.

Rosanna

KEVICHG

Steady for This was an excellent read that shows the growing maturity of the main character, Shaun (aka Growls). The journey that Shaun takes to mature from someone who believes that rapping is the only important part of life, and nothing else matters unless infused with rapping, to someone who is able to understand deeper aspects of life, such as struggle and reward. The way this book was written also shows the complex relationships between the characters. For example, the relationship Shaun has with his brother. Despite growing apart, Shaun still looks up to his brother and they care for each other deeply. This is shown beautifully when Adrien showed his support for his brother during his participation in Raptology, a rapping competition. Overall, I quite enjoyed this book despite there being some parts that made me a little anxious and embarrassed for the characters. I would recommend this book to someone who is passionate about rap as this book has some very interesting, funny (and sometimes cringy) raps in it.

Afre

Larkmead

Steady for This was a very unique and light-hearted book! I liked the humour maintained throughout the book, and how the book conveys that reaching your ambition can be possible, but you just have to follow it, and never be discouraged. Even though it was a very enjoyable book, at times I felt like the book is aimed towards more younger readers, due to its juvenile humour.

Yusra

KEVICHG

"Steady For This" is a laugh out loud story with a hint of romance but which also incorporates serious issues that some families are facing. The book is based around the main character Shaun (aka MC Growls to his friends) and his best mate Shanks. Growls dreams of becoming the next big thing in the rapping world, but when his mum embarrassingly reveals Shaun's dirty underwear on stream, his and Shanks' life take a wild turn. Plus, with the prospect of eviction creeping behind him, MC Growls attempts to save his house, (and reputation) by entering the local rap competition with a huge cash prize for the winner. All in all this side-splitting comedy, never stops entertaining since page 1.

James

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

Initially I struggled to read Steady for This due to the writing style used and because instead of empathising with the main character, I simply found him annoying. However, as the plot advanced, I began to get used to how it was written, and whilst I wouldn't say that I like the protagonist, he wasn't preventing me from enjoying the story as much. I think that had the main character been different but the plot was similar, I would have enjoyed the book a lot more. However I am aware that some people enjoy this style and I would highly recommend to fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and other books of that style. I would rate it around 6/10 as it was probably my least favourite book for this year's shortlist, however that is only because I don't really like this style.

Arthur

Open Book

Steady For This is a heart warming tale about a young boy and his friend dreaming of becoming rappers. While Shawn wants to enter a rap contest it all goes wrong when he live streams his rapping his mum exposes his "dirty laundry" and, to add to the pile, Shanks, his best friend, falls seriously ill. This story is about friendship and poverty and also some above par rapping. I would recommend this book to people from the age of 11-14.

Liam

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

I liked this book more than I thought I would as I am not very interested in rap, but I really enjoyed it. I loved how although there were serious themes, it was easy to understand and had a touch of humour to lighten the mood. The realisation of who was a true friend and who was just a crush also was very satisfying to watch the main character learn. Overall, I liked this book, a lot more than I thought I would.

Estelle

AKS Carnegie

This is a great book. The first few chapters really set up the world and characters like a puzzle. The relationships between them are well written and believable with enough humour to make it bearable. The slide into dark themes is done really well too, we see Shaun’s situation from his lens, to him it’s normal. And this perspective is written very well.

Sienna

Cally Book Busters

Steady for this is a funny & a serious book at the same time. This is because Growls is a funny main character as he is trying to get lots of followers because of his "insane spitting bar skills" but ends up becoming famous because of an online stream accident. Due to this accident, he is mocked and so embarrassed he thinks of not going to the rapping competition, Raptology this year. His friend Shanks gets put into hospital & stops attending school because of this. Overall, this book is a message to kids to be careful of what they do and think twice before they do it & also "not to give up on your dreams" as Mr Rix once said.

Kobe

Bennett Memorial Book Club

Steady for This had me laughing out loud! Set in Southeast London, it follows 13-year-old Shaun (aka MC Growls) who wants to win a rap competition, "Raptology", and impress his crush, Tanisha. Unfortunately, a livestream of Shaun and his best mate Shanks practising for the rap battle goes horribly wrong and he faces humiliation. The implications of the livestream have a serious impact on Shanks, meanwhile Shaun meets a new friend Siobhan on his block who gives him the confidence to carry on. The book follows the characters as they face serious social issues including poverty, precarious housing, being young carers and stress. Despite tackling these serious subjects, it is a hugely funny and heartwarming story, and we learn how Shaun and his friends eventually overcome. It's written in modern slang and MLE (multi-cultural London English), with lots of word play and bars being dropped. It is refreshing to see a representation of young people's language and lives that is perhaps not so often reflected in books for young people. I thoroughly recommend!

Mrs Waritay

HAEC Carnegie Shadowers

Steady for This is a powerful message of being yourself and not being friends with people who don’t love you for who you are. Imagine a world where you are surrounded by worries and support; this is a thirteen-year-old GROWL's life. He’s struggling to cope when his best friend goes to hospital and he has the worry of being evicted. Then one day he meets Samone who helps him become him. When he finds out she’s a full-time carer for her mum he helps her get support. He helps and tells his support worker Karen and her daughters’ charity. With support him and Samone get through this. This is a brilliant story about friendship but personally I didn’t like the overall feel due to the slang language but brilliant for a dive in to other people’s preferences .

Ivy

Larkmead

'Steady for this' follows Shaun, a teen wannabe rapper living in a working-class home in London, who takes part in a live-streamed rap battle with his best friend Shanks. Unfortunately, the live stream goes viral but not for the reason he had hopes and now he's a laughing stock at school and, with problems going on at home too, it's up to him to step up to the mic. This book used an interesting type of language that I haven't seen before in literature that made it hard to understand at times as it is set in an area that I am not familiar with. That is not to say that the storyline itself wasn't good, though. I thought that it was a lovely coming-of-age tale of friendship and not being afraid to ask for help. It also represents a group of people who are not in media very much and often feel underappreciated. In conclusion, although I didn't personally get a lot out of reading this book, I think that it's a heart-warming quick read that is worth picking it up.

Saskia

Fortismere

This was a great read once I got into the language and learned what was meant by 'bare' and 'spit bars'. Growls is a character I warmed to quickly and felt sympathy for. He has a tough life but is a great friend. The relationships he has with his brother, teacher and mum really develop as the story goes on and there are plenty of twists and turns to the plot. It was also a great story for showing me how different someone else's life can be to mine, Growls has situations to face which are really challenging but he is so funny and honest with himself and the reader, that he pulls through them all. He is often embarrassed or makes himself look foolish but that makes him realistic and likable too. By the end of the book he has grown in confidence and maturity and without giving too much away - the end is a feel-good, satisfying one. Highly recommended! Great for Year 6-8 and a worthy contender for the medal.

Mrs Marsh

Blake Student Shadowers

I found Steady For This a great read and very enjoyable. I like the way the author wrote the flashbacks.

petal

Ullswater Readers

'Steady for this' was a fun book aimed mostly towards teenage boys getting back into reading, Because of this I was very skeptical at first and throughout the book it had the feel of an adult trying to use "children's language". Despite this I think it was from an interesting perspective and it gave me a different view on people's experiences. It had an unexpected emotional value that I did not expect and I think I "judged the book by it's cover" and almost didn't give it a chance. It is not a book or genre I would read again but I did still enjoy it after getting past about half-way.

charlotte

The Latymer Literati

It wasn't what I was expecting, but in a good way. It was a lot more sophisticated than I was expecting.

Alec

The Latymer Literati

I think this book isn't very good. The book is written in a way of such that it sounds like an adult trying to write like a kid. It is also pretty cringe but the story is alright.

Sakthi

Y8 Readers

I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I have to admit, at first I was thinking there were some errors in the book, like missing words, before I realised it was Growls way of speaking. Growls is a great character - likeable, with a rather naive view of things. The book has plenty of humour than made me laugh out loud at times. However, some serious topics are covered too as Growls faces the loss of his home and his friends face problems too. It’s different to a lot of other books that I have read and this is the best book I have read in 2024, and will probably stay that way until 2025. This book is a great choice for my age as his personal problems can relate with people in my year and probably in other schools.

Jim

Sidcot Shadowers

This one was an amazing read for me. The idea of Shaun's personality made me want to read all of the book and the social aspect of it was good is well. I would recommend this to anyone who likes rap songs and for anyone who likes stories that have a social aspect to it.

Alex

TTS Readers

This book focuses on themes of friendship, family struggles and growing up. Some sections are quite emotional. I enjoyed aspects of the book but overall it didn’t capture my interest as much as I had hoped. Some of the characters felt under developed and the plotting didn’t appeal to me. Overall I rate this a 6/10

Alice

The St. Bede’s Literary Critics

Steady For This is a fast-paced book that narrates a series of events that really grab the reader's attention and keep them reading. The story is mainly based around a young 14 year old boy call Shaun Thompson aka MC Growls. Shaun's life goal is to become a rapper and make as he calls it "big bucks". To impress a "peng" girl he likes called Tanisha, Shaun goes live to shows his and his friends rapping skills however something terrible happens. His mum walks in shouting at him about his unclean laundry whilst his friend Shanks is caught picking at his armpit. To top it all off, he soon receives man eviction notice by a scary, evil man called Gregory Flynn who throughout the book almost haunts Shaun. After an awful date with Tanisha, Shaun moves on from her and discovers a new girl called Siobhan. They start off as friends but after a boring wedding, a bottle wine placed on her table and her uncle saying she need help, she opens up to Shaun about her traumatic experience with her mum and they eventually become more than friends. Shaun decides that the only way to pay the eviction notice and save his family is to enter and win the Raptology. The ending of this book is perfect because of its build up and execution. There are many characters in "Steady For This" however my favourite has to the main character Shaun. He is displayed as dumb, wannabe rapper who is often needed to be reminded of his awful vocabulary and common sense. Because of Shaun's character, "Steady For This" becomes a funny book but sometimes hard to read because of some of the words Shaun uses. In my opinion "Steady For This " is a book targeted for ages 12-18 and is a fun book to read.

Charlie

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

Steady for this had a generally pretty sad plot about his best friend going to the hospital, almost being evicted and being shunned by everyone at school after he live streamed something embarrassing but it was told in the main character, growls perspective who is very stupid and generally made the book a whole lot funnier (and cringey) it was nice seeing growls character development becoming more sociable and open over time.

Ava

Fortismere

I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would! It isn’t the sort of book I would usually pick up, but I found the first person perspective and the plot blended really well with the humour and the characters. I found that over the course of the book I really warmed to Shaun ‘Mc Growls’, even if I did find a lot of the humour slightly irritating at first, and I think this book balanced the characters and their personalities really well. I finished it quite quickly in a couple of days, but the pacing was good and didn’t seem too fast to me. I also really liked the way it handled serious issues and problems that people deal with in a way that wasn’t particularly preachy or feeling like it was trying to teach a lesson, but actually presented a lot of young people’s experience. Overall, I surprised myself by enjoying this book as much as I did and I finished it feeling happy I’d read it.

Isla

TGGS Carnegie Readers

I loved this book.It was emotional in all ways and had many special moments. I would recommend it.The style of writing is really good and unique .

Lily

Sale High Readers

The book is about a wannabee rapper called Shaun AKA Mc Growls. He wanted to compete in a rap battle with his best friend, Shanks. When him and Shanks are on a live stream that goes horrendously wrong he finally goes viral, but for the wrong reason. After that Shanks gets sent to hospital and he is separated from Shaun. Without his best friend Growls struggles and when he might get evicted he decides to do the rap battle by himself. I found that at the start there was an unnecessary amount of slang but after a while I got used to it. I also liked how friendship has such a big role in the book.

Henry W-R

Ermysted’s

‘Steady For This’ is a fantastic book and in my opinion is a very funny book. It was an interesting read from start to finish and did not dip in interest or quality. Shaun or Growls is a likeable character and his story is quite interesting, his mum loosing her house is a realistic plot point and him getting disconnected with his friend when he gets sick is heartfelt but overall the books strong suit is its comedy and it’s ability to show that growing up in a working class family can also be a positive experience.

Jamie

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

Steady For This about a wannabe rapper call Shaun aka MC Growls who has a dream goal of mastering rapolagy. I find this book really funny as the lack of common words in this novel makes him look like an average boy struggling in English as the phrases he uses makes me burst into laughter. This book book really shows us the true value of friendship example being Growls and Shanks and the relationship with Growls and Soibhan. Overall I found this enjoyable and would recommend to others 8/10

Ethan

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

Steady For This was an unique book. The style of writing was different to other books I have read and sadly it was not for me. The character 'MC Growls' was not someone I found interesting to read about. I did enjoy that the protagonist had a bit of a character development and it was good to see his care and love for his loved ones. I think if the writing style was less relaxed then I would've enjoyed Steady For This more.

RACHEL

Fiction Addiction

In the book ‘ Steady for this ‘ it really does a great job of relating to many secondary children. It does this in a way of using a lot of modern day slang that many of us use nowadays but also are perspective of school and life now. I also believe that throughout the story it shows a life story of how to overcome stuff and also perseverance. It as well shows how his close friends and family care for him and help him pursue his dreams. Not only does it keep you reading on but it does occasionally give you a laugh every now and then as well. Overall in my opinion it is a enjoyable and joyful book and due to this it is also a very suitable and nice story to read for our age group.

Sansaar

TTS Readers

'Steady For This' was a book that, in my opinion wasn't that great. Unfortunately, this book wasn't one of the books that managed to captivate my attention. I didn't manage to finish it, due to lack of interest. However, there were some funny moments, due to Shaun's lack of world knowledge that isn't something to do with rap. Some of the language annoyed me, and I found it rather tough to get through. In spite of this, at another point I would be interested in trying this book again at a possible future date.

Addisyn

Book Squad

I found this book to be an enjoyable read. It demonstrated a clear passion for the topics that Growls cared about, including rap, basketball, friendship, and family. The book is inclusive of individuals from diverse financial backgrounds and those facing mental health challenges. I found the plot to be well-developed and the raps and jokes to be engaging.

Talya

Fortismere

This book was quite slow to start but soon picked up the pace. I loved how Siobhan, Shanks and Shaun could all relate from issues at home. I loved the emotional one to one conversations. I loved Siobhan as a character and she had interesting chemistry with Shaun

Kloe

The West Grantham Mad Hatters

I mostly enjoyed that this book is written in Shaun's perspective and we can tell how his vocabulary is and see his opinion on stuff like the looks of Siobhan and how he gets names and events mixed up.

Mina

The West Grantham Mad Hatters

I like the way the author used the slangs within the book to show the personality of the characters.

Caitlyn

The West Grantham Mad Hatters

its very good because it uses slang and modern and its very emotional and depressing at times

Seth

Plumites

Steady for this is a good book but it doesn't really have what I am looking for in a good book. Personally I like a book with illustration to help paint the picture and set the scene. The writing is very good though and creates a good storyline. The best thing about the book for me was the cover because it gave me a lot of freestyle rapper vibes. I would personally rate this a 4/5 star.

Saski

Plumites

The general story of the book was good but i was NOT a fan of this book because of the "slang"'language the author used throughout the whole book, although other people may enjoy the language they used it was not for me.

Olivia

GreatB00ks

I really enjoyed Steady for This- it was really funny but was also nice that he was understanding more about the meaning of his raps and helping his mum. I would definitely recommend.

Penny

Weald of Kent Tonbridge

After reading steady for this, by Nathanael Lessore I think this book is great for any age from 9+ and helps understand the struggles of others and how you should never judge a book by its cover. I really enjoyed this book although the rap parts werent my favourite.

Jessica

BFS Umbra

The book is amazing with excellent storytelling and motives 10/10 book must read.

Daniel

Christ’s Book Society

What might otherwise have been an endearing tale is obscured by a haze of what I found to be incomprehensible colloquialism. This may be intended to create a protagonist to whom the reader may better relate, but to me it does the diametrical opposite. Looking beyond this, however, the plot is well-structured, and most characters believable and easily empathised with. The plight of a family living under threat of eviction is vividly depicted here, and the exaggeratedly cruel council is justly and satisfyingly punished at the close of the novel.

Isaac

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

Steady For This By Nathaniel Lessore was a good book, with plentiful witty humor and a general emotional rollercoaster overall. However, when the characters were speaking it was hard to distinguish between the dialogue and the inner thoughts as characters seemed to hear parts of the monologue and discuss it during their conversations, but I did enjoy the book more the further I read and this isn’t a big problem.

Elsie

St Kaths

I gotta be honest with this book because in my opinion Steady for this was (in polite words) NOT GREAT. Every time I picked up this book i read 2 pages and put it down. I started this book determined too enjoy it but the story line was just so bad . I didn't want to say this but I'll have to leave ti with 0 stars!!!

Caspar

The Marlingtonians

At first I was sceptical of this book, as I found it hard to empathise with the character and found some the vocabulary cringey. However, as I read further I began to really enjoy this book. I was really rooting for the characters, especially for Shaun’s family to keep the house. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and think it is probably my favourite book in the shortlisted Carnegie books.

Dylan

Horsham BOok HUNTers

I think 'Steady for This' is one of the funniest books I've ever read! I definitely told myself to stop reading it several times because some parts were so embarrassing and I felt so sorry for Growls! I think it was also a very realistic book, and very transparent in a way because it covered all the parts that other books usually wouldn't cover. I also felt the author really felt the book when he was writing it as it was full of emotion and originality. I would definitely recommend this book for people who like a good laugh :D

Aarna

Mansell Library Reviewers

With his debut novel Steady For This, I would definitely say that Nathanael Lessore took most of his sceptical readers by surprise. The book is set in Peckham and follows the unexpected, not-so-typical story of Shaun ( preferably known as MC Growls), a thirteen year old amateur rapper. The novel approaches matters such as homophobia, mental-health, anxiety, racial prejudice, housing insecurity, social media peer pressure etc… Throughout the heartwarming story, the reader eventually adapts to Shaun’s unique narrative; we learn to accept him for who he is: a young, clever boy in desperate need of some love. Reading this book will take you on an emotional roller coaster, and I think this is the sort of predictable book everyone needs in their life. From the unbelievable amount of wordplay and witty puns to the embarrassing humour of year 8 boys, this novel will not disappoint.

Marie-Anne CI

4Shadowers

Review: 3.5/5 The first half was very boring as I couldn't relate to Growls, nor could I understand the way he spoke. However the story started to get better after he met Siobhan (whose name he mistakenly spelled as Shevon). Growls matured a lot towards the end and the rap competition was quite entertaining.

Hazel

County Shadows

Steady for this is a very interesting book where you feel a lot of sympathy for the main character.However, even if it is sad, it has a hapoy ending and the whole book is filled with jokes that the author cleverly made with words.This makes the whole plot a lot less sad and more of a laugh out loud type of book.Overall, it is one of my favourites from the selection so i would definitely recommend it to anyone who needs a laugh(or likes rapping).

Hengxuan

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

Steady for the this is what I see as a modern day comedy for people in secondary school because of the relatable language used. The story-line was great because of the way it relates to kids struggles in real life. The character of Shaun was really interesting because of the way he reacts to things and respond it really made me laugh and find a different way to handle things while having a lot fun. The idea of not a main severe villain made me think if it was a diary or a story? I thought that his teacher was a message in disguise that just talking to someone if you have any issues can help you a lot in life and could completely change it for the better. Overall it is a great book and definitely a must read if you are in secondary school or like really funny/relatable stories!

Jayden

TTS Readers

I knew from the front cover that Steady For This was going to be a fun, trendy, and slightly crazy book! Turns out I was right- the main character, Shaun/MC Growls fits all of these personalities. He dreams of going viral and of people excitedly speaking his name. He wants to be a sensation. However he does become one, just not the way he expects. He is turned into a laughing stock rather than a superstar sensation. The way he does go viral though, was in my opinion a bit far fetched, and very unlikely to happen in real life which made it a bit less relatable. But it still shows us how these things can happen, and in one video your life can go wrong. This message that the author put across was a very powerful one as nowadays with social media at its peak, these things can happen. Overall though, the message that it brings out is the most important. He tries to impress a girl called Tanisha at his school, but to do this, he doesn't feel like he can be Shaun, he has to be someone else. But when he isn't trying to impress Siobhan and is trying to have a fun time with her it really brings out a strong message that you should be you, because there is no-one better.

Max

HAEC Carnegie Shadowers

This was an enjoyable read which I feel best suits boys who are about 10–13 years old. With an interesting writing style, reflective of the main character, and a satisfying ending with realistic character development, this book is something I would recommend for people who want to follow their dreams but are worried they won't make it or have something which they feel could stop them.

Rachel

Carnegie Carnage

I found this this book very funny and entertaining, and I would definitely recommend this book. Although I found this book a bit hard to read at the beginning because of the slang terms, it got easier as you progressed through. The main character, Shaun, is a funny, amusing person. The mistakes he makes about history, muddling everything up, makes the story even funnier. The book is well paced, looking at all sorts of different aspects of life - friends, family, love and facing difficulties. There we're also many emotional parts where Shaun has to overcome different things such as his friend having to go to hospital or moving away. I think that the author has presented this story very well, with a good plot and very well presented characters. I would definitely recommend this book.

Jessica

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

“Steady For This" is a very engaging book aimed at young people. It is written using a lot of slang, which is relatable to the youth of today. The main character, Shaun thinks he is cool and loves to rap. His rap name is MC Growls. Growls and his best friend Shanks think they are the raping duo of the world! I really loved their friendship and how they had a strong connection with each other. The book made me laugh in some parts, especially when they both went on live stream, which didn’t go to plan. There are lots of highs and lows for Growls and it was great to see he found love in the end. I found the story gripping and it kept me turning the pages. I would recommend this book to someone looking for a quick light-hearted read. If I was to give this book a rating out of 10 It would have to be a 9.

Vinny

TTS Readers

Steady for this is a book following the story of a rapper and high-schooler named Shaun, or Growls as he learns that there is more to life than fame and money. Growls and his rap partner and best friend Shanks are getting ready for a big rap competition called raptology when during a livestream Growls' underwear is shown to all the viewers. Him and Shanks become a laughing stock at school and Shanks suddenly falls ill. Growls is getting evicted by the council and it is all going wrong. Shanks stops coming to school and Growls spends his lunchtimes with his teacher. One day when Growls goes to play basketball he meets a girl called Siobhan. Growls and Siobhan become great friends and she supports him when he makes the decision to do raptology alone without Shanks. He wins raptology and everyone is there and cheers him on. He uses the money to pay the council and he doesn't get evicted. I liked this book but I didn't like the way it was written. By this I mean that i didn't like the slang used. Overall I found it an entertaining read.

Noah

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

Steady For This is a book about a wannabe rapper called Mc Growls goes out into the world of music looking for fame. He finally achieves his goal, but not in the way he hoped. Steady for this is a book that I found had its pros and cons. The story was quite slow and the humour wasn't all that great but at the same time I loved the characters and their personalities, especially how Mc Growls thinks everyone loves him when in reality people think he is just annoying and a bit weird.

Ozzy

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

Before I review this book, I just need to say that I laughed a lot at this book! The jokes in here, both from MC Growls' lack of basic intelligence and the interactions he has really made this book stand out, and I thought it was really quirky and fun in a twisted, different from the norm sort of way. The issues that are tackled in this book are substantial for a lot of affected young people across the UK, including poverty, young carers and other social burdens. A major issue dealt with in this book is social anxiety - social media, trends, and other means of 'staying fresh' can take a serious toll on someone's life; Shaun's best friend is seriously affected by this, and as a result, develops serious physical issues. I think the story highlights the untold stories behind the social media, the people that struggle to stay afloat because it's 'cool'. Overall, excellent book, hilarious read and a real page-turner!

Muadh

Ermysted’s

When Shaun, an aspiring rapper, goes on livestream for a freestyle rap, he goes viral for all the wrong reasons and his whole life seems ruined. Nathanael Lessore explores many themes in his book including poverty, mental health and bullying with a cautious and sensitive manner whilst still making the book entertaining with Shaun’s dialogue and thoughts. I particularly liked how Shaun, as a character, developed with his relationships and learned not to take them for granted as Shanks and Siobhan went through their own problems. However, the use of the slang was overwhelming as I have not heard many people use it to that extent and sometimes I lost my trail of thought when reading. I would probably recommend this book to anyone who wants a laugh whilst reading a quick paced book.

Bookiewookiedoodaas

Steady For This by Nathanael Lessore is a uniquely written and expressive book centred around a teenaged boy aspiring to be a rapper. Shaun Thompson (or Growls) is a wholesome and funny character who cares deeply for those around him. However, his family falls into financial difficulties, leaving him determined to do his part to save them. With his best friend Shanks out of action and newcomer Siobhan in a crisis of her own, Shaun feels his life falling out of his grasp. Luckily, upcoming freestyle competition ‘Raptology’ could be the answer to all of his problems. Overall, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book as it isn’t of the kind I would usually read. It’s written in a casual and witty yet addictive style that sucks the reader in without feeling like you’re having to learn anything. The words flow so seamlessly, and I liked the incorporation of Growls’ rap verses as it sectioned up the storyline. This book turned out as one of my favourites from this year’s shortlist as I noticed myself wanting to read more about Growls’ life once I reached the end. I found the plot engaging and easy to follow, allowing the reader to take a deep dive into each character’s life and sympathise with them without effort. I’d highly recommend this book to anyone over the age of 10 as it’s a quick and comforting read to satisfy the harshest of critics.

Bethan

The Fitzharrys Shadows

'Steady for this' was an absolutely amazing book. I love the ending, especially- the way it worked out. I know happy endings became underrated over the face of being overrated, so I really enjoyed a great one instead of getting a bittersweet ending. Shaun, sorry- MC Growls, is a teenager who loves rapping with his best friend, Shanks, but when a livestream goes wrong, He and Shanks are left humiliated. And that's not even the start, when all of a sudden, his bestie Shanks falls unwell, his mother heads for broke, and Growls, His brother Adrian, and his mother, might end up on the streets. However, darkness can never cover all light because soon he meets a girl named Siobhan. Siobhan may be the opposite of Growls, she's home-schooled, doesn't use slang, and isn't that internet-social. But time waits for no one, as it flies by and soon eviction is around the corner, and so is a rapping competition, no, THE rapping competition, Raptology, which could win a happy ending for Growls.

maryam

Walthamstow Reading Champions

I'm going to have to start by staying how annoyed I am I liked this and the amount of times it made me laugh. Shaun 'MC Growls' is such a funny character because of his seeming lack of world knowledge (or anything that isn't rap) even talking to girls (especially talking to girls). The small cast of characters are all so well thought out and presented and I love Siobhan most of all and her dedication to those she likes. The book is set a well trodden pace that doesn't feel too fast, at times maybe dragging a bit but the story itself is so original and I loved it. The dilemmas were perfectly ordered and the resolutions of each fed nicely into the other. The 'bars' are actual fire and so incredible and its insane anyone could ever come up with it, props to you Nathanael! The representation of mental health effects, Shanks, brings a slightly more serious tone to remind you that Shaun is still learning. And the anti-homophobia was epic, nice to see that Shaun sticks up for the LBLT and no tolerance of hate towards his friends. The key dilemma hinted in the beginning of the blurb is rather humorous/embarrassing and I'm amazed at how he survived it to be honest, truly admirable.

Millie

Somervale Carnegie Team 2024

Steady For This was a really enjoyable read in the way that it was much more funny and lighthearted than the other books, while also holding an important and powerful message. Shaun's journey of self-discovery and the way he matures throughout the book was really empowering, however I also liked the way he kept his slightly childish sense of humour. Although I did feel second-hand embarrassment many times while reading this, I really enjoyed it! I would recommend this book for slightly younger readers as it showcases the lives of a group of less-represented individuals, while also containing a lot of awkward yet hilarious scenes.

Hidayah

KEVICHG

I initially judged this book by its cover and wasn't excited to read it, but I ended up loving it. Nathanael Lessore's debut is hilariously funny—I can't remember the last time I laughed so much while reading. The book uses modern slang, which took me a bit to get used to, but it became easier to follow and should be fine for younger readers. "Steady For This" follows Shaun (aka - MC Growls), an aspiring rapper trying to impress Tanisha, the girl of his dreams. After a practice session goes wrong on a livestream, he has to figure out how to win her back. The writing style, filled with Gen Z slang, is fast-paced and natural, adding to the humour. Growls is a larger-than-life, optimistic character. The modern language may be challenging for older readers, but it’s perfect for teens and makes the book feel fresh and engaging. Overall, it's a fantastic, comedic story with a modern feel. I’d highly recommend it to young teens, especially those interested in rap music. The relatable protagonist and the positive message make it an excellent read, and the cover artwork adds to its appeal. Overall, I'd give it an 8.5/10!

Sivithi

Plashet School

I have heard mixed views about this book. There are either haters or lovers. I am a lover of this book as I really did like the plot of the story as it made me want to read on and see if the verdict was good or bad. The only thing I didn't like was the style of writing. I understood most of the words but I had never even heard of others, I did like the raps though. I would give this book 7.5/10.

Hisham N

Ermysted’s

This book was rather exciting and was funny in some places. Shaun's life was pretty good at the start but then it all went downhill from there until he met Karen and Mr.Rix. The loss of Siobhan going to Bristol was heartbreaking for Shaun but in the end he went on to win Raptology and he could help Siobhan and his best mate Shanks.

Joshua R

Ermysted’s

This book was simply AMAZING! I found myself enjoying how the narrator viewed the world. It was very wholesome, the story addressed so many problems, but also taught me that being unique isn't a bad thing. In fact it was Growl's determination and uniqueness that helped him to win the rapping competition!

Bracha

St Angela’s Reading Angels

This book was a very enjoyable read and the cover definitely made me interested in the first place. I really liked how it portrayed Shaun and Shanks as young people who obviously make mistakes and learn, obviously making me feel connected towards them and the storyline even more. Furthermore, it felt very realistic and I really enjoyed this read. It was one of the best books nominated so far and I did enjoy it, despite the slowness in the beginning which will make my rating go down. Therefore, I was rate this book 7/10 because personally beginnings really impact the way I take in a book. If you don't like slow beginnings, this book isn't for you!

Ghumaysa

Plashet School

The book is not what I expected, its confusing and uninteresting, and not really something a teenage girl would enjoy reading. However, I feel if you enjoy books with rap and competition then you will thoroughly enjoy it. It does have some humour and some strange but rather amusing moments that some people may find funny. Going back to the point about me not enjoying it as much as I thought I would. I started reading the book, and thought, okay, this could get more interesting, but no. I was having to skip pages to find interesting parts and wondering when there was going to be an gripping part. Which there wasn't. The main character, Shaun was not what I expected him to be. He is not a good role model for younger children. As he is rude, disrespectful and disinterested in many things. The slang used could be interpreted by younger readers, which may be a positive thing for them, but for parents and guardians, not so much. The raps, for me were not what I assumed it would be. They were cringy and a little odd. They title, 'Steady For This' is captivating as you want to know what the main character and what he does in the novel. Yet this can be deceiving. Overall, the book is not something I would recommend to people. Due to the lack of storyline and interest. Its quite misleading, it sounds interesting, the cover is bright and colourful. Again, that, for me is misleading. I'm am glad I tried reading it as now I know not to pick up a book like this again, as I won't enjoy it as much as a book or genre that I like. Finding a book you love is important, so always look for your interests! Keep reading!

Grace

Malvern St James

I like the colloquial language because its easy to understand. However, I think the main character is a far too delusional and strange, as he thinks that he is really good at rapping, whereas others would strongly disagree. I also think that it is not the type of book that most teenage girls would enjoy reading, and far from what I expected. this book has a strange love story that I feel uncomfortable reading. Shaun does not think before he acts. also, the story can be tedious at times. However, if you enjoy rapping and tis type of humor you might enjoy it.

roisin

Malvern St James

I have not manage to finish it yet, but I think it’s quit a good book.the main character is a bit delusional and he is not good at rapping at all but he thinks he is. I thought it will be more enjoyable and interesting but it is alright until now maybe my opinion would change after I finish the book. If you are interested in rapping this book might be helping you and would be more enjoyable for you than me.

Shaden

Malvern St James

The engaging plot the book follows is about a boy called Shawn - also known as 'MC Growls', a wannabe rapper trying to win over the girl he has a crush on. Shawn is ready to win Raptology, but when a livestream goes wrong he finally achieves his dream of going viral - but not in a good way. Now, he's a joke at school. I really liked the humour of this book and how it tackles important themes, although I thought the plotline seemed fairly predictable at times. Overall, I thought it was a good book and very funny (4 stars out of 5).

Hafida

Rockwood Reads

I liked this book because its based on a normal school life and I feel like the story could be based on a true story.

Izabela

RET 2024

“Steady for This” is a brilliant, joyful novel: entertaining, very sweet, often silly, occasionally sad – and above all incredibly funny. I lost count of the number of times I laughed out loud when reading this book. The protagonist, Shaun, is a wonderful character. To begin with he comes across as rather ridiculous and quite hopeless, but it is not long before you realise there is much more to him than the wannabe rapper MC Growls persona he is trying so hard to be. Out of all the characters in the shortlisted Carnegie books that I have read so far, I think that Shaun experiences the most character development; he definitely has the biggest heart. His growing friendship with Siobhan – or Shevon as he calls her to begin with – and his relationship with Mr Rix, his kind, very wise teacher, are beautifully portrayed, and it is very satisfying to see how they influence and support him, and make him believe in himself for the right reasons. As well making me laugh so hard (I am grinning just thinking about the incident where Shaun gets stuck in the pushchair, and his disastrous cinema date with Tanisha where he takes with him a pot of yoghurt, three spoons and his best mate, Shanks), the novel also deals with some serious subjects very sensitively, such as eviction, how hard it is to be a young carer and Shanks’s mental health problems. Despite all the difficulties that Shaun faces, he never loses his bouncy enthusiasm, and he is always kind and caring, even if he frequently gets hold of the wrong end of the stick and ends up in ridiculous situations. Following an interesting class discussion, I think that perhaps “Steady for This” is quite a divisive read. I absolutely loved it, and would recommend it to anyone. Even if you don’t understand all the slang that Shaun uses, there is still so much fantastic humour and clever wordplay to enjoy, and his raps are actually very good, especially when he starts to relax and be himself. I have not yet read all of the shortlisted Carnegie titles, so I haven’t made my mind up yet which title to vote for. However, it will have to be an exceptional book to knock “Steady for This” off my current number one spot.

Arthur

Tractor

This book really made me think about the value of friendship and how sad it is when someone doesn't have enough money to support themselves and their own family. Being evicted must be so awful that I could not imagine. The ending really made me feel happy when he won Raptology and his mum got a well-paying job, it just shows how much difference a decent job can make. When he started to be friends with Siobhan, I realised that having just a few friends can help your life and mental health improve a lot, especially when her mum has been in an accident.

Sophie

Perse Carnegians

This is such a breath of fresh air that gives the modern day teenage boy feelings of such good justice and helps us really fall into the story more just, because it is so relatable while still being a bit different than every other book. I really like the hand-tailored friendship between Shaun and his friend, they seem like such a good pair. This book explores a lot of coming of age themes which I really personally enjoy and find engaging. Overall this was a wonderful book and a beautiful experience.

Teniola

Perse Carnegians

In my opinion, I really didn't enjoy the book as much as I expected. This boy called Shaun (MC Growls) is a wannabe rapper who wants to impress this kid, Tanisha. Every does go well but then a livestream goes horribly wrong and he becomes famous, but not in a good way. The reason as to why I didn't like the book is because the rapping is what made it lose my interest. It was kind of funny but not really. I rate this a 4.8/10

Samarah

Plashet School

A boy name Shannon goes livestream and gets viral for the wrong reason. I wasn't sure when I first stated reading this book but it got better the further I got into it.

Armaan

Westborough High

Steady For This is a book about Shaun (or Growls), a boy who wants to be a rapper. At the start, I found the book a little boring and didn't think I would enjoy it, but it did get better as the story developed. Shaun faces challenges such as poverty and changes in relationships, but he tackles them directly. I think that there were some places where the slang got a little over the top, but overall it was quite funny and engaging. I would recommend this to people who like books with informal language, relayed from a teenage perspective.

Liana

Perse Carnegians

Steady for This wasn’t a book that particularly appealed to me. Growls was the main character, who had big dreams of making it big as a rapper. But following an embarrassing online situation, his best friend deals with anxiety and Growls’ family face an eviction threat. We can see his kindness shine through the way he deals with these problems, and the book is written with lots of slang and funny situations to show us Growls’ personality, but I think this was overdone making it slightly cringey. Overall, the book isn’t the best I’ve read, but it did have elements that made it very unique.

Manyan

Perse Carnegians

i like that it feel like a ordinary fun day of a teenager i enjoy it

zuzanna

RET 2024

This book was amazing to read and I couldn't stop reading. I loved it.

dexter

Chippy Chapters

This book has a very vibrant cover, which can be very attractive to younger audiences. This is a good thing as I feel like it is targeted at younger audiences. I also feel like it really shines a light on the internet and how once you put something up there you can't really take it down. This can make readers of all ages aware of how risky it can be. I also love how it shows different people's situation. For example, the main character has problems with his parents and he doesn't quite get on with his brother. It really represents how people from different background can get along so well. I absolutely love how it does this without the reader realising.

Chloe

Burford School

Lexi

Book Busters

I really like this book because of the artwork and its very interesting. The storyline is really good. I'd recommend to a friend.

marie

Word Wonderland

leo

Word Wonderland

Steady for this is such a good book! The main character is so funny and dumb at the same time. Anytime he said anything funny I would laugh my head off.

leo

Word Wonderland

This a really good book that explores many different kinds of thoughts and feelings and it explores different ways to cope when something goes wrong.

Millie

Word Wonderland

I read the book called steady for this by Nathanael Lessore. It is a book aimed at teenagers who are into rapping. At the start of the book, Growls is in class with his best friend Shanks. They are a rap duo in the making. As the book progresses, they decide to enter a rap competition, Raptology. As they were practicing for the competition, Growls decided to film a video of them rapping but he did not tell shanks or his mum. Part way through, his mum walks in and shows his dirty underwear and to make it worse, shanks smelt his armpits... Their life was over. Shanks stops going to school and Growls gets bullied. It gets so bad that Growls must see a Counsellor. It was around this time when things started to change-they were about to get evicted... I would recommend for readers 13+.

zack wf

Ermysted’s

‘Steady For This’ is a novel about the teenager Shaun (aka MC Growls), who dreams to become a famous rapper one day. So his best friend Shanks and him create a livestream, which goes totally wrong. Unfortunately, it goes viral and they become (in)famous. Shortly afterwards, Shanks falls ill and needs to be admitted in the hospital. On top of that, his family is about to get evicted. That’s when he mets Siobhan, who seems to have the solution for all his problems. I really enjoyed reading this book as it tells the story with lots of humour. It shows us that one should never give up no matter how hard it gets.

Eric

Beauchamp Champs 2024

This book was laugh out loud funny. I love how Growls gets all the common phrases wrong, it just makes me love an already loveable character even more. This story shows the reader how to ask for help while making me laugh at the ridiculous feats of hilarity the characters perform, such as livestreaming dirty underwear and sniffing armpits to the world. My favourite character was Growls' English teacher, who taught Growls about the story of rap.10/10

Elijah

VISTA Academy

I really enjoyed this book, it's not very often a book make me literally laugh out loud, but MC Growls did! The book also deals with some more serious issues as well, so has the perfect combination of humour and reality. I think it will be very relatable for the young teen audience, and was a refreshing change. I would recommend.

Carla

TDS Book Clubbers

It was very good, I enjoyed how there was humour but it also had some very serious topics. It was very nice to see his relationships grow with Siobhan. It shows the struggles of others and how it affects them. It shows that we should treat others with respect because not all people can move on like the main character can.

Olivia

TDS Book Clubbers

I really enjoyed this book it was very funny and meant for a teenage audience. My favourite part of the book was when Sean brought his mate on a date and forgot the snacks, as you get further into the book Sean starts to get his act together. He even tries to save his family from losing their home with some prize money. The book is written in a really cool way. It's got all of the slang teenagers use and the story is easy to follow. I empathised with Sean's best mate because he did something embarrassing and it backfired on him and he felt upset.

Samuel

Team Berko

During my time reading the book Steady For This, there were some funny moments. I think that the book was incredible but I have one thing to say. I found that it could have been better if there were a few more parts that were funny and descriptive. But overall I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend to anyone interested in reading it.

Frederick

Harris Legends

Inaayah

Beauchamp Champs 2024

A good plot throughout the book, slightly confusing with the slang and language chosen. The characters are quite realistic, but they do just use slang words that you may not know the meaning of.

Thomas

Somervale Carnegie Team 2024

I found this book very funny and sweet. The way it felt like a rap through out was fun and I enjoyed watching the characters grow through out and enjoyed his relationships with his friends and family. I enjoyed the narrative and the way he spoke was funny, but slightly annoying.

Matilda

Broadland Bookworms

This book is quite embarrassing for shaun.

abdul m

Ermysted’s

this BOOK WAS very INTERESTING BECAUSE AS A YOUNG BOY I NCOULD REALLY UNDERSTAND THE SlaNG AND MAIN CHARECTARS POINT OF VIEW.THIS BOOK WAS WRITTEN VERY GOOD FOR YOUNG PEOPLE IN THIS GENERATION

DALITSO

TDA readers

This book is very interesting because as someone who enjoys books, this book was thoughtfully written for this generation.

Mosaddeq

TDA readers

This book is very good because I relate to it as a lot of people speak this way and it reminds me of the area I live in not very nice, but it also reminds me of school because I like gyal in my school and she looks good and a nice personality and I could probs get her instantly but still bcs like you man ever know like if u like a girl a bit and then u like like her a lot thats like that g!!!

Anonymous 2

TDA readers

Steady for this was a really fun, quick paced read. It wasn't ever boring and the the characters are very fun, silly and likeable. I liked how the book dealt with issues like poverty, social inequality, and peer pressure - it was realistic of working class London but everything picked up by the end. I also liked the way it was written, the use of slang makes Shaun's voice and tone believable and sets it apart from the rest of the shortlist. I would say the only thing I didn't like was that it didn't seem like high stakes - but then I remembered the main conflict is about his mum trying not to get evicted. I guess the generally upbeat writing style makes it seem like not high stakes if that makes sense (at least compared to books like crossing the line). The relationships between the characters were positive and fun to read about.

Bea

Novel thinkers

This was a funny, engaging novel that kept my interest the whole way through. It cleverly addressed issues around topics that would usually be quite serious to read about such as internet safety, poverty and friendships and paired them with a laugh-out-loud backdrop, expertly keeping things fun. This book I believe to be appropriate for children aged nine or over, but probably would be most enjoyed by people aged from twelve to thirteen. Five stars.

Eleni

VISTA Academy

The book I read was called ‘Steady for This’. It is a book about a boy called Shawn. His dream is to become a famous rapper. His best friend helps him all the way. But things go very wrong. Shawn was live streaming and then this mom walked in and pulled up a pair of his dirty underwear. When he goes back to school the next day, he gets picked on by the people at his school. Then his best friend is ill, and he meets a girl called Siobhan. She doesn’t have a phone so she cannot see the video. They go out to Costa, and they talk. Then he enters the rap competition, and he wins. Suddenly, he gets a little kiss from Siobhan. Xxx I liked it because it inspired me to be a good rapper and because the author is very good. I thought it was very funny because his life is full of ups and downs. It was very well written and it made me laugh inside.

Freddy

Barny bookworms

Steady For This 😎 This story’s ‘bout a boy who enters a competition, And makes a video that earns him a reputation. He gets so upset he needs a therapist, Used to have a crush but now she is his nemesis. Everything changes when he meets this girl Siobhan, He really bounces back, and the pain is all gone. This is a book review don’t want to tell the ending, Is it good? Is it bad? Decision – Pending. I know you’ll love this book because so did I, I’m giving it 4 ¾ out of 5. I recommend this book to Mr. Randall, I really promise you it’s not a scandal.

Magnus

Barny bookworms

Steady for this is very good and funny. It is about a 13 year old boy called Shaun, his nickname is 'growls'. He is entering a rap competition called raptology but gets his dirty laundry exposed and is teased by everyone for it. His family is struggling financially and are about to be evicted, but he doesn't give up. I would give it rating of 8/10.

Ava

Carnegie Club 2024

This book is set in London and is about a boy called Shaun (MC Growls). It was really funny but it also had some serious and relatable moments in it too. It was very detailed as well; I liked the use of slang and spelling mistakes, which made it really look like how a 13 year old might write. Some bits of it were so funny I started laughing whilst reading it! Overall, it was a good story and I would give it a rating of 9/10.

Ruby

Carnegie Club 2024

Steady for this is my favourite book by far. I connected to this hilarious and entertaining story portraying a teen boy trying to make it as a rapper, the raps inside the book are always incredible and I love this character more than any other Carnegie character.

Ollie

Ermysted’s

I found this book funny and written in a different style. I think that using the slang made it feel more realistic. I was expecting this book to just be a silly goofy book but it had other themes as well. Overall it was a good book but it was a bit cringe at times.

Yusuf K

Ermysted’s

Steady for This is a very funny book and uses a good load of funny words like waste man. It also uses a lot of slang words which was funny and made it enjoyable. And it rhymes when the main character raps.it has a good storyline which also makes it intresting.It shows what other people's lives are like.It is a well written book about a boy and his friend they both want to be pro rappers but a video which changes their lives.I would recommend this to people who want to have a laugh.

jadon

Glossopdale Readers

"Steady For This" by Nathanael Lessore is an extraordinary debut that grips you from the very first page and . Lessore has crafted a compelling narrative that blends humour, resulting in a story that is both entertaining and deeply funny. I specifically like it when Mc Growls’s mum goes and exposes him in a live stream,cracked me up. And the way it is throughout his journey to win raptology is phenomenal. I would recommend it to any age above 8 because it's just a superb book that any age that can read should.

EISA

Glossopdale Readers

Book review for “steady for this” This book is about a boy called Shaun who wants to compete in a rap battle to make his rapping career go viral.but when he was doing a livestream it went epically wrong, now he is a joke at school and he can’t compete at the rap battle. And as well as all of this the council is trying to evict his family at the same time I think this book was an overall good read but I feel that it could be written in a bit more of an exciting tone to keep the reader hooked for longer.My favourite part of this book was when he won the competition as it was a happy ending I would recommend this book to people who enjoy a story about real life experiences and happy endings

Alex

Glossopdale Readers

It's so sunny I loved it. It's a rollercoaster of emotions. I love the friends and family side to it especially the dirty laundry part. It's and amazing book for all ages. A right laugh. Score 10/10

Nina

Cake a Book Club

I thought that this book was ok. I thought the first half of the book was a bit boring but it got better towards the end. I probably won't vote for this book to win but it was alright.

Henryk

Ermysted’s

Shaun a.k.a M.C Growls is a wannabe rapper living with his mum and older brother. His dream is to enter raptology this summer with Shanks, his best friend, and then his crush Tanisha will finally talk to him, but when a live streamed audition to enter the competition goes horribly wrong everything starts to go down hill. Shanks falls ill, Tanisha wont even look at him, and there is a man knocking at his door with an eviction notice. With help from a new girl on the block there is only one thing he can do. He has to step up to the mic. Steady for this is an enjoyable novel about responsibility, sadness and joy. Although it is a very funny book, later on there is some heartbreaking moments about his best friend and mother. The main character, Sean, is very relatable as an awkward teen he is very funny but when he learns to be responsible he really grows as a person, helping to develop the plot In this book. Also I really enjoyed the author's style as it was unique and engaging. I found this a very funny and interesting book, it was never boring and I was compelled to read more. So overall I would definitely recommend this book for an enjoyable read.

joseph

Sidcot Shadowers

Michael

Ashcroft Avids

Let's just say I have a lot to say about this book. One positive thing about this book is the humour which was really a strong thing about the book. It was really funny and didn't lack the humour. However, the rap talk was very overdone at the point it was quite corny. It was a little annoying and I get how the writer is targeting the audience but he was stretching it a little. It's a lighthearted book but some tweaks can make it better. 5.4/10

Shara

Plashet School

I have highly enjoyed this book! The author wrote "Steady for This" in a language a teenagers could comprehend and is a fantastic read. Some people might also find this book highly relatable. There are some parts where you can feel guilty but it is truly an incredible read. I recommend this book to any teenager or adult to see the perspective of a teenagers life. I hope to read more on this author.

ayan

4Shadowers

This is a book that falls into the saying "don't judge a book by its cover" by seeing the cover of Steady For This you go straight to thinking that it is about street art. But it is actually about a boy named Shaun, who goes by the name Growls. He is a rapper and he is like a tiger on the prowl, he growls like a tiger before his rhymes. His Dad left him, his brother and his mum before he was born, putting his mum in a bit of a money problem. He has a best friend called Shanks, who is always been their for Growls, but suddenly Shanks disappears. Will Growls survive without his best friend? Or will he get crushed in the process?

Anna

Cathedral Crew

In my opinion, “Steady for this” was by far my favourite book. It was interesting full of enthusiasm and gave everything it was supposed to give. The boy, Shaun was faced with troubles after an embarrassing moment was live stream causing his best friend Shanks to fall into a deep depression and loss of good mental health. With his best friend not answering his phone calls or messages, Shaun is forced to navigate the world by himself without his best friend on his side. To make matters worse he doesn't want to attend school anymore and his crush is distancing herself away from him too. While going to play basketball, he meets a girl called Siobhan who he instantly becomes friends with hm. He finds out that there is a lot to learn from this one particular girl.

Amira

STCCG Shadowing

Steady for This was a very well-written book. I loved the friendship between Shaun (Growls) and Shanks, but also Shaun and Siobhan. I feel like Siobhan really brought out the best in Shaun and I could tell Shaun was really comfortable around her, and was able to be himself. This story was very touching. Although I personally don't have an interest in rap style, I can still feel his passion for it and the strong friendship between him and Shanks. He was worried that he would be betraying him if he went to Raptology on his own or had other friends. This shows how precious Shanks is to him and this book was a joy to read. It shows the difficulties in life and how Growls found happiness even in all the stress. I love this book so much. I would recommend it to readers age 11+.

Zoe

HAEC Carnegie Shadowers

This is a fun family drama type of book, that tells the story of Shaun (Growls) after accidentally posting an embarrassing video, his life takes a new turn.

Mahiba

The Reading Queens

'Steady for This' by Nathanael Lessore was a nice read with its unique way of writing and complex characters that really gave you the feeling that you truly understood the characters' feelings and emotions. However, sometimes this book got a bit confusing and I felt like the author left lots of gaps in the plot which got confusing at times. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend it.

Beyla

LGGS Shadow Questers

I have just finished Steady for This by Nathanael Lessore I did mostly enjoyed this book. The characters grew on me as the plot developed. It is sad, funny, reflective and relevant to the current world. It certainly has a different style of writing and slang. The more I read, the easier it became and I was left to enjoy the child-like joy and endearment amongst the characters. I smiled and laughed out loud many times. That said, there are some deep themes in the book of social issues, poverty, peer pressure, self image, depression, disability and diversity. Overall, a really good read. I’m glad I read through the book and did not give up.

Mrs Newbold

TCOLC Perfictionists

The book is a book describing the problems of teenagers it makes young readers between the age of 10 - 13 believe that they are not too young to make a solution it makes young people more responsible and feel more independent. Shaun was a young boy that faced a lot of challenges but instead of whining and crying about it he faced the challenges head on and succeeded . The book encourages young children to be bold and try their best to solve the situations around them.

Irewamiri

Reading Without Limits (Lancaster)

“Steady For This” is a comedy and romance fiction book by Nathanael Lessore. The book is about Shaun, AKA MC Growls, a rapper. He desperately wants to join Raptology, a rap competition, to impress Tanisha, the girl of his dreams. In the book, Growls faces criticism after a video of his privacy went viral for the wrong reasons. Shanks, his friend, has to go to the hospital due to the humiliation. After this incident, Growls faces multiple new changes and obstacles, forcing him to grow. For example, he meets new friends, understands his family members’ struggles, and learns important life lessons. I find this book to be entertaining and meaningful. The funny scenes are spread throughout the book and are all unique. Thus, it always catches the readers’ interest. When reading “Steady For This”, I could immerse myself in the world that Growls is living in. The characters are developed meticulously and realistically, helping readers to understand the characters’ thoughts and emotions. Moreover, I also enjoyed reading this book as it is unique. Usually, the lives of kids in poverty are depicted as gritty and dark. However, “Steady For This” demonstrates a more positive aspect of their life. Overall, I would rate this book a 9/10.

Mai

The Lotus Readers

Steady for this by Nathanael Lessore and is a humorous book about a boy called Shaun ( also know as Growls). Growls want to enter a rap contest called Raptology but when he is live streaming with his best friend Shanks, his mum walks in and shows his poo stained pants to the world and Growls goes viral but not in the right way. Lots of stuff happens in this book to Growls. He almost gets evicted, gets a girlfriend and wins Raptology ! I really enjoyed this book. It was pretty funny and shone a light on how hard life can be for kids like Growls. It’s not my favourite book ever but I would recommend it to people. This book really did make me laugh especially the part where Growls said that he’s in the top thirty in his class - that was funny.

Ava

HHS

Steady For This follows young Shaun, 'Growls', who wants to take part in Raptology. But his life is changed completely when a live video of him and his best mate Shanks goes horribly wrong. I have very strong feelings about this book. I've read some of the reviews that people have written and I've talked to my fellow peers about this book and most of them didn't like it. I can honestly say that I enjoyed it. The author has written a book with a unique protagonist that has a very specific character. Shaun is very unobservant about the world around him, he's quite narcissistic and even a little sexist at times. But I still found this book hilarious! Whenever I read a chapter, it would cheer me up! When I started reading the book, I gave it 1/10 because it was cringy and hard to read as the language Shaun used wasn't proper English. But I found Shaun developed as a character throughout the book and he did care about people. I think that the plot was gentle and the characters were vibrant. Even though some people would disagree with me about this, I would give this book a 7/10 as I thought it was a pretty good novel.

Ela

KES Bookworms

I quite liked "Steady For This". At first, it took me some time to understand what was happening. There are some parts that are very funny. A very nice book. Just one downside, the use of language is not the best.

Arthur

EJM Carnegie Crew

'Steady For This' is the type of book that I wouldn’t necessarily choose or read, but I actually really enjoyed reading it. I think that some parts are quite realistic, others not so much but I quite liked that. The way the book was written left me having to re-read some of the paragraphs but I think it was actually a really good book. I would give it a solid 4/5 stars.

Poppy S

Norwich High School Bookworms

Steady For This is about a boy called Shaun (aka Growls) who wants to become a rapper. He and his friend Shanks make a livestream, it goes horribly wrong and everyone at school mocks Growls. When Growls meets a girls called Siobhan, his hopes rise. He starts practicing for a competition called Raptology. However, Growls' mum loses her job and the family are about to get evicted. Can Shaun win Raptology and save his family? Read the book to find out. I found the book interesting to read and I would rate it 4.5/5.

Aditya

Beauchamp Champs 2024

I loved this book and I was finding it difficult to put down. It was a book that was different to all of the books that I have ever read. I talked about a boy who was different to everyone and didn't understand a lot of long words. I would recommend this book to everyone.

Freyja

Weald of Kent Sevenoaks

'Steady for This' is an interesting novel that guides you through the journey of the protagonist as he: gains new experiences, encounters new characters and encounters changes in his relationships. I think this could be a really helpful guide to people who may feel lost or in a difficult situation as it provides a comforting outcome through a fictional (but realistic) character. It showcases the embarrassing moments in life as what they are: small, insignificant moments. One character I could empathize with was Siobhan; she is an outgoing and confident character who always tries to further improve herself and helps Shaun to do the same. Despite this, I didn’t particularly enjoy the story line of this book as I felt it was very predictable and cliché. However the key messages in this book are really helpful for working towards a positive mindset… Overall, this is a very powerful book that I would recommend for the real-life lessons you can learn.

Hollie

The John Mason Shadowers

I found this book quite interesting due to its writing style and its humour, although I'd admit that the moment his mother holds up his skid stained underwear was a bit unnecessary. I can understand that this book was made for a certain audience but overall I enjoyed it.

Oscar

UoBS Bookworms

The story was pretty good although I can't help but say I had a slight distaste towards it. It was all written in slang language that many youth write, within day to day texts. If you can find joy in reading texts in this way, I would say read it. If not, then it may not be for you!

Jacob

Somervale Carnegie Team 2024

Jayden

UoBS Bookworms

"Steady for This" is such a hard book to get into at the start but, as you begin to understand Growls and his headspace more, it gets so exciting and hard to put down. Growl's is very headstrong and Shanks has a wonderful character. I would definitely recommend to high school students and people older.

Darcy

TMHS:PageTurners

In my opinion I think that this book was alright but not the best. It said it was funny but it wasn't really funny to be honest with myself. It was more like a high school Netflix series.

SafBoxer

Westborough High

Very funny book and you get into the book very quickly. The best part was when he was at the cinema it was such a funny moment!!! 😁

Jenna

The Carnegie Crew

This book was very funny and heart warming. I connected very well with the characters as their personalities where very clear and loved the way the story was presented through Shaun's naïve but wholesome viewpoint. In some places I felt that Shaun's personality was a bit unrealistic and can see why some people might have a hard time getting through the awkward bits to the good parts. I think this book not only had a great theme of rapping, good characters and a good plot but also a heart which was very nice.

Amy

Page Turners24

"Steady for This" is a fun book to read, however I was not majorly satisfied with the book overall. Although it was trying to be a hilarious read, to me it felt like the author was trying to incorporate many Gen Z language and slang, which ultimately made me have second-hand embarrassment. As well as this, the book certainly felt like it was aimed for kids younger than 11, and I feel like this book is for 9-11 year old kids... at most. It was sweet and wholesome at times, but this book is not for everyone, that is for sure.

Charvi

The Tiffin Girls’ Shadows

Book Review: Steady for This Steady For This is a funny but also inspiring story about a dim-witted boy on an estate in London. He makes new friends, suffers through the hardship of poverty, and even enters a rap competition. It is relatable, entertaining, and fun to see what a poor boy in London gets up to daily. I would recommend this to someone if they were not sure about what to read as it is inspiring and funny. The plot of the story is very well constructed. The story started off quite boring and predictable, it is about Shaun trying to ask out a girl. The genre also was not my favorite, which did not help. But as I read on, I wanted to know more about Shaun's life. The story started quite slow-paced but had a big build up by the middle which was all solved by the end. The created world was convincible, and I could immerse myself into the story. The plot was well constructed as at first everything was normal, next they made a disastrous video which went viral, then everything started going wrong, and at the end everything was solved. The ending was quite satisfying, though it was predictable, because everything was made right in the end. As well as a good plot, throughout the story there is a running theme of life on London estates, poverty, and friendship. The whole story is also written in slang which makes the created world more believable and easier to immerse in. There are a few protected characteristics mentioned in the book, for example, Shaun's parents are split up, Siobhan's parents are divorced, and Siobhan's mum is also in a wheelchair from a car crash, it does not say anything offensive about these, apart from at the end when a girl says something rude about thinking that Shuan is gay because he hugs his best friend, though he calls it out as being homophobic and says it is rude. As well as that Shaun is always getting into sticky situations, but this is part of his character and personality because he is clumsy. He does silly things to impress people, but his friends help him as much as they can all the time. There are many situations that Shaun gets into showing you what to do if you are ever in them. His friends are always there for him, and his two adult friends (Mr. Rix (English teacher) and Karen (the counselor) use wise metaphors and phrases to help him inspire the readers too. There are also funny bits that make you laugh aloud and sad bits the make you empathize with Shaun. The characterization of all the characters is realistic and relatable. Shaun tells the whole story from his point of view, and this makes everything funnier because he is not very clever and does silly things without knowing. He writes only in slang, as if that is the language he thinks in. But when he is talking, he does not use speech marks, which makes it confusing because you do not know what exactly he says or what he just thinks. The characters are all portrayed differently and, Shaun's brother (Adrian) is annoying like any moody older brother, but by the end he shows his true colours, he is nice, kind, and supportive to Shaun. This makes quite a tremendous change within his character but makes the reader like Adrian more. Though Shaun is quite stupid, his friend Siobhan is very clever, making a contrast in character. Shaun's mother is, at first, mostly always stressed and anxious all the time, until she has some time to herself and opens up with Shaun. Mr Rix is very clever and kind. This shows all the varying characters in the story. Most of them are quite silent at the beginning, not telling the reader much about themselves, but they share their story bit by bit as they gain trust and friendship from Shaun. For example, Adrian had always been the cool, gangster brother who Shaun was influenced by since he was small, but as he gains friendship with Shaun, they improve their relationship. Shaun realizes that Adrian had been keeping and dealing with all his thoughts on the inside, unlike Shaun who had been coping with his thoughts on the outside by telling his friends. Siobhan also hides a whole story about her past, but Shaun does not even suspect anything because he is unintelligent. The style of writing chosen to write the book is slang to immerse the reader into the created world. There are also many inspiring quotes and good raps mixed into the book. The raps written in the story are his way of describing and interacting with the atmosphere and the surroundings of his situation. The metaphors mixed in by Mr Rix and Karen enrich the story's reading experience too. As well as writing in slang, Shaun spells Siobhan's name as Shevon because that is how it sounds when saying it, making the writing more personable. Overall, the plot is well constructed, the themes are presented and explored throughout, the characterization of the characters contrast nicely and the style ties in with the whole story, making an easy, funny, and inspiring read for a wide range of people.

Ana

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

'Steady for This' is a really good book for teens. Nathanael Lessore uses slang and informal language this helps us to relate more to the text and make us feel comfortable. It’s good that he shows us teens can have struggles and not have to hide them to act tuff to fit in. I really enjoyed shanks and Tanisha’s love it was the only interesting part. Although there was some good stuff I did find it boring at the begging as the book did go on it seemed to get a bit better. Not the best book.

Lilly

Riverside Readers

I really liked the themes of friendships that shone through throughout this book. It also describe how online bullying can start and how upsetting it can be. A very important theme that affect my age group, 13 year olds.

Ottilie

Sandroyd Bookivores

Steady for This is the story of wannabe rapper Shaun or ‘Growls’. On the surface, this looks like a fairly predictable and basic plotline through a teen rap narrative, which did not appeal to me at all. However, the writing style is light-hearted and enjoyable, and the book covers some difficult topics in comedic yet compassionate ways. My favourite part of Steady for This is when Growls creates a live video without his friend’s consent. This leads to inevitably hilarious problems for Growls, but his friend's real-time mental health implications are also integral to the plot. It’s good to see the contrast in how two boys react so differently to the same situation, and hopefully, readers will understand the message this serves. I am not the market audience for this book, but I did enjoy reading it far more than I thought I would. From Zayn Hussain

Zayn

SuAS Shadows

From the first few chapters, I personally don't like Steady For This, as the language used makes it difficult to enjoy fully. I can see that it would appeal to some people though.

adam

Beechen Cliff

I could not finish this book. It's use of language was extremely grating, and was annoying to read. This attempt to take a teenage perspective completely failed, and is extremely unrealistic. The story is basic, and the narrative is unenjoyable.

Ruaridh

TGS Book Group

Steady for This is the story of wannabe rapper Shaun or ‘Growls’. On the surface this looks like a fairly predictable and basic plotline through a teen rap narrative, which did not appeal to me at all. However, the writing style is very light-hearted and enjoyable, and the book covers some difficult topics in comedic yet compassionate ways. My favourite part of Steady for This is when Growls creates a live video without his friend’s consent. This leads to some inevitably hilarious problems for Growls, but the real time mental health implications for his friend is also integral to the plot. It’s good to see the contrast in how two boys react so differently to the same situation, and hopefully readers will understand the message this serves. I am definitely not the market audience for this book, but I did enjoy reading it far more than I thought I would.

Mrs Sirrelle

BFS Umbra

The variety of layers in this book and the actual content itself really took me off guard - I didn't expect to have enjoyed it as much as I did! Throughout the entirety of story, even the chapter names are full of jokes that play on words extremely effectively, and even the lyricism in the rapping aspect of the book is quite surprising with its complexity. From the main character's perspective of not entirely understanding words and their meaning, with a lot of misinterpretations and not much academic knowledge, it emphasises other talents that are less appreciated by others that he excels in. Throughout the book, stereotypes are constantly being rewritten by providing a sense of insight into the character's thoughts that would usually be seen differently by others societally. Plot-wise, it's overall a fairly light-hearted read, but there are sections of seriousness and different levels to the storyline that can be explored to varying depth, yet remain just as entertaining. The characters all have their own aspects to be represented by, and for what appears to be quite a forecastable and clear plot, these said aspects are developed and shown with increasing levels of depth and layers to them. Linguistically, the main character appears to be quite shallow and simple, yet this is the main reason the book is so appreciable - both comedically, and on a more serious level. A simpler character with a talented lyricist for a writer allows for some highly effectual wordplay that uses either phrases and idioms, or just English itself, as a consistency throughout the book, that can be utilised in any way. On surface level, it's used for comedy; however, it also shows a brand new way of communication and expressing emotions that can' t be easily recognised or shared otherwise - especially from a less mature perspective initially. This was a great read - the type of book I would definitely come back to from time to time, just to see the interesting smaller aspects that I'd missed last time I read. Highly recommend for whatever level of reading.

Samuel

LatLit

I love how this book can be relatable to teenagers. It talks about things that some teenagers often think about. However, the 'slang' in the book is overused. I feel like if it was written in the 'normal' way that a book is written, it would be a lot easier to understand, therefore I would enjoy it more. This book would be a great for younger audiences, but I feel like older audiences may not enjoy the book, as they may not understand or relate to it. My favourite part of this book is how quickly the characters were introduced and how quickly it jumps into action. As most books I have read are very confusing at the beginning because they are often not very clear who or what the book is talking about. I have not read all of yet, but I feel like it will be quite enjoyable further along.

Chloe

Burford School

I actually think that this book is my favourite so far. The casual writing style made me feel as if I were really in the book experiencing what was happening, but that's just for me personally as this lingo is what goes through my mind. The book also had interesting raps that entertained and made me smile.

Meenma

Kingdown 24

I didn't like this book very much but I think it had a nice message. It wasn't my type of book but if you like rapping then this is definitely a book for you.

Emily

Kingdown 24

It was a fun book until it mixed serious stuff with the silliness. The rap talk was very overdone and made the book hard for me to read and understand. Did have a happy ending.

Archie

Ousedale Olney

I did judge this book by its cover and all my fears were confirmed!!!!!!! The constant use of slang and re-spelling of words offended my eyes and made it hard to read let alone enjoy. I gave up after chapter3 as I couldn't take it!

Inge

Ousedale Olney

As the book progresses, you begin to learn more about the protagonists life. It explores and demonstrates themes faced in real life, creating a bond with the audience. Despite the serious situations, the protagonist Shaun (MC Growls) encounters through out the book, the author Nathanael Lessore still manages to present scenes of humor creating a funny atmosphere. MC Growls is quite dumb but also straightforward, which in my opinion is a great idea to give myself as well as may other people the courage to finish the book. Overall, I would recommend this book for anyone looking for a book in which they may relate to and is also full of humor. 'Steady For This' is perfect for teenagers all the way up to adults. 8/10 WOULD RECOMMEND !!!

Daniel

Consett Academy

Steady for this is a thought provoking and lugubrious book, showcasing challenges with poverty. The book follows "MC Growls" who talks about struggles within his life from his friend's health deteriorating to the looming threats of eviction. I really enjoyed this book as it had many concepts that were new to me such as spelling the words as the main character heard them as well as grammatical mistakes (which I assume are deliberate) to fully immerse the reader in the book. On the whole, I really enjoyed this book for a range of reasons.

Abbas

MTS Northwood

This book is such a rollercoaster of emotion. I love how it combines emotion with a funny plot. This books also talks about mentor meetings, anxiety attacks and homeschool which makes this book such a good read.

Phoebe

Herts and Essex

Growls is eager to enter the new Raptology competition with his best friend, Growls, but tragedy strikes as an embarrassing video of them goes viral, and Shanks disappears. Will Growls be able to step up to the stage and win the competition to save his home? I really enjoyed the plot of Steady For This, I found it engaging and thrilling, with a heartwarming conclusion, and I thought it had a good balance of action and emotion. I thought the character of Growls was very interesting, and I liked his character arc throughout the story, where other characters support him and at the same time advise him on how to be a better person. Although there were a few parts where I felt that the slang that Growls used was used too much, and that made it hard to read in places, and some of the language he used was better suited for younger audiences, but I really enjoyed the final raps, and I thought they were cleverly created. In conclusion, I would definitely recommend Steady For This, possibly to a slightly younger audience, as I found it a really gripping story with good characters, but with language that would be probably better suited for a slightly younger audience.

Alexander

Perse Carnegians

I personally thought the book was funny and I loved how it was kinda relatable like thinking big things that are probably never going to happen 5/5 stars fav book so far

Prieet

Beauchamp Champs 2024

This is an amazing book which I personally loved and think that it should definitely be read and awarded the medal for writing

Abhiveer

County Shadows

'Steady for This' is a hilarious book about a teenage boy named Shaun (known as MC Growls) that loves his best friend Shanks, his family and to rap. Shaun wants to help people in as many ways as he can, which can lead to some really funny situations. I really, really love this book as it is a family fun read and is definitely my favourite book. Also, Steady for This makes you look from different perspectives of other people. This book is an amazing book for people who likes rap and loves humour. 5/5 stars

Daisy W

VISTA Academy

One of my favourite books ever. I loved steady for this. I really liked the way the author wrote the story in a sort of slang. It was pretty funny and I couldn’t put the book down. 5/5. Great book!

Will

Horsham BOok HUNTers

I enjoyed reading this book. It is mainly set in a school so most of the time you can relate to the characters. Moreover, it is quite funny but the more you read it, the more you realize it also deals with important subjects such as mental health and poverty… Honestly, I am not a huge fan of rap so I thought this would not be the kind of book I like but I had a really good surprise ! I think you should try it!

Justine PMC

4Shadowers

Steady For This was really funny because Growls's mum held up his poopy pants when he was streaming live.

Grace

SuAS Shadows

This book was an interesting but difficult read. I enjoyed the characters and storyline, however I found the language difficult to understand. I found the use of slang odd in a book written for my age group, particularly as using slang will often get me told off by my parents.

Isobel

The Bentley Woodlanders

I really like this book because it is very interesting and also funny. But it also makes me feel bad that Shaun is made fun of by other people because they made a live stream of them rapping. It didn't go to well but every thing suddenly changed.

Michelle

VISTA Academy

In this book Shaun (aka MC Growls) has dreams of becoming a famous rapper, but when a livestream gone wrong strains the relationship of Shaun and his best friend Shanks, Shaun is left deserted struggling to win a rap contest by himself. Personally I did not enjoy this book. It was extremely cringe-worthy and ludicrous to the point where I would be embarrassed to read this in public. Every character felt very forced and was written badly, it was very clear that a grown adult had written this trying to relate to the target audience (and failed). Every rap that Shaun said was immensely unpleasant as if a five year old had written them. I would not read this book again and hope to never have to.

Frankie

No Shelf Control

I would recommend it for boys but not girls. I Liked Shanks and Tanisha.

Maria

UoBS Bookworms

I would recommend it for boys rather than girls. My favourite characters were Shanks and Tanisha. 3/10

Isla

UoBS Bookworms

It was an amazing book, I absolutely loved reading it and it didn’t feel like a chore to read either. I feel like it has a powerful message and a clear storyline whilst the book isn’t serious. The character is a silly teenager who just wants people to like him but he’s not stupid silly just funny, and he has lots of problems in his life but when he discovers this Raptology competition loads of things turn around for him. At one pointe I couldn’t put this down I had to keep reading and that type of book deserves to win. Fantastic novel!

Eva

Royal Readers

Svetlana

Ousedale Shadow Chasers

I really thought that I would not enjoy ‘Steady for This’ by Nathanael Lessore. I thought, here we go again another story of gritty inner city life of desperation and hardship etc, etc. What I actually got was an enjoyable comedy in many ways. It follows the adventures of Shaun an aspiring rapper, essentially his life is an accident looking for somewhere to happen. He seems to blunder from one disaster to another with an admirable lack of self awareness that is very disarming. Coupled with that is a distinct narrative voice in which Shaun often mixes his metaphors or uses malapropisms to great comic effect. As a Librarian and lover of language this is very funny indeed. Added to that there is a touching story here of friendship, hope and even love to a certain extent. This is my favourite so far of the nominations and would be a breath of fresh air if it were to clinch the award.

Mr Hyde

Marshland Readers

I really really liked this book and how funny the characters were. Also how this had a lot of 2024 language. The only thing I didn't like is that Shaun aka Growls didn't really know a lot about stuff (how to act like a restaurant).

Ruby

Shaftesbury School Shadowers

Steady for this was a very gripping and enticing story that made me want to read till the end. The story was set out in a nice chronological way which is effective in the telling of its story. It builds tension quite effectively and the climax is very gripping. The only negative thing I can say is that the language is in slang which makes it a bit difficult to understand (since he is a rapper).

Akashnil

TBGS Readers

I really enjoyed this book I would definitely recommend this book, it was full of very interesting raps and rhymes.

Fuchsia

St Anthony’s Sunderland

I did not like the book much in my opinion. I believe that it was like a awkward parent who was trying to be cool. I do not feel the use of slang worked as well as it could.

George

St Martin’s Bookworms

Lee

Book Busters

This was an hilarious read! Rapper MC Growls better known to his family as Shaun has an embarassing moment with fellow rapper Shanks when recording on their social media channel. This goes viral and looks likely to affect their performance in a major contest. Underneath this is a lot going on at home with an eviction on the cards after his dad passed away. Teacher Mr Rix has Growls' back and encourages him to receive help from a wellness mentor to help handle his issues. Friendships with Shanks and Siobhan are also invaluable. Realistic.

Mrs. P

Cake a Book Club

I really liked this book because of how funny it was. I liked how the characters made negative situations more positive with jokes. I would give this book a 4.5/5.

Jola

Beauchamp Champs 2024

Imogen

Open Book

This story is a about a boy called Shaun who dreams to be a rapper, and his best friend Shanks who wants to get more views on the internet so they start a livestream. It turns out that Shaun's dirty laundry is exposed by his mom. Although he tries to turn it off everyone still saw it and ends up everywhere at school, the park. Worst of all is that his best friend was in hospital. As he practiced some shots in basketball he meets a girl named Siobhan, and she becomes Shaun's part time best fried. Shaun then starts to discovers the history of Siobhan and her Mum . At the same time Shanks has to recover from the illness, but good news always comes with bad news, which is that Shaun learns that he will become homeless as they don't have enough money. The only solution for this is to win raptology. The only problem is that Shanks can not get on the stage.

HD

EDA Book Legends

4/5 Loved this book, very enjoyable.

HD

EDA Book Legends

Steady For This This book is definetley a book that can be judged by its cover as it has such a bright and very exciting looking front cover, the book itself was quite relatable, especially as a teenager reading it. It also had such a strong and enthusiastic sense of humor and definetley made me laugh often but also crosses over different emotions too. Overall, I liked this book a lot and recommend it.

Lucia

4Shadowers

Steady For This was such a funny book to read.It was an easy read and didn't take too long to get through.Some parts were hilarious and I found myself waking up my parents from the laughter! Siobhan was my favourite character as she had a very interesting personality to follow.One of my favourite scenes is where Shaun takes Tanisha to the cinema, end up watching small children's film called Princess Power III and Shaun actually gets really invested in the film, this made me laugh so hard.The only thing I didn't like was the constant use of slang as that annoyed me.Overall a good book.

Rani

EJM Carnegie Crew

Steady For This is a humourous novel written by the brilliant author, Nathanael Lessore. The book starts off as a comedy but as the story goes on it turns very serious. My favourite part of the book was when Shaun's (aka MC Growls) mum enters his room during a livestream and says Wipe your bottom properly, you're not 5! The worst part is she says this in front of 108 people. At the end of the livestream there are 400+ viewers. I love how the story goes on that his and Siobhan's relationship gets but also gets stronger. Her and Shanks still a lot to catch up on though! I would recommend this book for ages between 10 and 18. 5 Stars!

Tristan

St Patrick’s Catholic College

Chloe

UoBS Bookworms

Interesting book with a very unusual plot. Not my normal style of writing but it is a very good book. Would recommend to people who like short books that contain lots of action.

Oli

TMHS:PageTurners

This book was really good - My favourite one so far. It was really funny and I love Shaun's story and how he dealt with it. I would love to read more books by Nathanael Lessore.

Chizitereremiheoma

Beauchamp Champs 2024

I really enjoyed this book it is a really interesting I like how he raps and is about to lose his house I would recommend it to people.

Erin

SHS On The Same Page

The Oxford English Dictionary. The text was not comprehensible, Why did he soil his underwear? Mathamagician a play on words? No clear context for this despair. The slang was vivid but confusing, humorous but complex, OG, IG, fam, gang-gang, who understands this text? ' Shanks is my legit OG swear down he's had my back since day' In our humble opinion this is not the Oxford English way. We get that there is a context, but it was hard to comprehend this tongue, as OE has provided since our education begun. Bonus track? This book was not for us, others may not agree, when it comes to voting, we will all see.

Lucy, Inge, Izzy, Archie and Mack

Ousedale Olney

Pride and Paperbacks

This is a really funny book and I really enjoyed the compelling story with its ups and downs. However, I did find it slightly hard to read when the narrator said metaphors that didn't make any sense, I am not sure if this was because English is his second language or not.

Louis

The Marlingtonians

Vivi

Pride and Paperbacks

Grizz is presented as a rather stupid figure in this book, for instance, he puts sugar under his pillow for "sweet dreams", while I'm sure that this is intentional it was incredibly frustrating to read. He just doesn't seem to have any awareness of the surrounding world other than the raptology competition and the fact that he's about to get evicted. Overall it was lacking a complex plot, used bad slang but had a few highlights ( eating yogurt in the cinema ) so I would rate it 0.5 out of 10

Rory

KES Bookworms

I really liked ‘Steady For It’ because it is a book for all ages and I really like when the main character breaks out into song when he starts to feel a different emotion. To improve the book I think they should make more of the embarrassing things which happen to the characters and there wasn’t much about the embarrassing moments. Overall, I really liked this book and recommend it to all ages.

Poppy

TTS Readers

I think this book was amazing !! It was very interesting and fun to read, Shaun loved to rap however he was extremely poor. The mood changed throughout the book as Shaun's friend became very ill and then his family may be evicted. However, overall I really enjoyed this book and would absolutely recommend it to others!!

nevaeh

TTS Readers

“Steady For This” is a fictional book written by Nathanael Lessore, was first published in Great Britain in 2023 by HOT KEY BOOKS. The book talks about a teenage boy called Shaun (a.k.a. Growls) who enjoys rapping with his friend Shanks. One day, Shaun’s livestream goes wrong and suffers a great embarrassment. A few weeks later, Shaun meets a girl called Siobhan and eventually they become friends. At the same time, Shaun’s family faces the threat of eviction which makes Shaun feel that he has to participate in a rapping contest called Raptology. I liked reading this book because the book was very funny. It is from a first person point of view, and the inside thoughts of Shaun made me laugh sometimes. I also liked the way the author conveyed messages to the audience. He portrays characters in poor situations, which I think was a good way to tell the readers that we should always think and be positive in hard situations. The main character uses words used by teenagers. This makes it interesting to teenage readers and makes it easier to relate to the story and the emotions of the character.

Woojin

The Lotus Readers

Steady For This is the most diverse book I've ever read; it covers real issues using relatable characters, but remains a classic and gripping book. It's not only funny and bold, but inspiring and emotional too. In my life, I've only ever cried reading three books, and this is the third. I've never read something so witty and humourous, yet both heart-breaking and awe-inspiring too. 11/10.

Imogen

Open Book

I really enjoyed this book as it displayed the hardship of a young teenager really well as well as showing Shaun's school life and portraying them as almost two different worlds. As I read on in the book the author really dug deep into Shaun's feelings and thoughts, particularly worries really well. Another thing I loved about this book was the way that even though Shaun was facing hardships at home, a large amount of humour was still present. The book also shows the importance of friends and the effect they can have on your mental health. For example when Shaun's best friend was in hospital Shaun was going through depression until he met Siobhan

Yuvraj

TTS Readers

An Absolutely AMAZING book loved seeing Growls' character develop through out the story! It was hilarious as well, I would definitely recommend:)

Liana

Ullswater Readers

STEADY FOR THIS by Nathaniel LESSORE Steady for this is a young adult fiction about a teenage boy called Shaun (AKA Mc Growls) who dreams of winning a rapping competition, Raptology. His friend Shanks, OG, and him already post videos of them rapping. One day, Shaun’s mum enters the room with Shaun’s underwear as they were streaming live. His dreams are shattered. Things went from bad to worse as his family faced financial issues. He’s now the laughing stock at school and in town. There is only one way through: “it’s time to step up to the mic (microphone)!” In other words, back to music! How is Shaun going to make his comeback on the stage? This book has taught me that there is always a solution to problems, it’s a matter of courage and perseverance. Music is an antidote to shame, loneliness and low spirits. Music is more than a hobby; it is a magic place where all your problems vanish away. Music is an eternal quest for perfection and food for the soul. Music is place that feels like home and a meeting place where you can share emotions and feelings with others. Society has long debated the impact of rap music violent lyrics on young people. I don’t usually listen to rap music but this book got me captivated with its narrative and the rhythm of rap lyrics. This book showcases that rap music can be poetic and funny. I also found it interesting how rap music can be a way of expressing one’s thoughts and feelings and act as a therapy for the protagonist. I highly recommend you reading this book!

Quentin PMC

4Shadowers

This is a light-hearted book that manages to be humorous but also cover serious issues like young carers and the cost of living crisis. Shaun is a young teen, who aspires to be a famous rapper. However things take a turn for the worst after an embarrassing live stream. Shaun has many misconceptions with what people say or what phrases/words mean which give the book a humorous edge. Overall, this is a great book filled with laughs and brilliantly written characters.

Emily

HAEC Carnegie Shadowers

This book is very good! It is definitely a laugh out loud book. It really is a very funny book and Growls' rapping is hilarious. I enjoyed how he made a song for his crush, Tanisha. It showed how brave he was to perform a song in front of a girl he doesn't really know! I would definitely recommend "Steady for This". The colours on the front and back cover, makes it stand out more from the rest of the nominated books! Very eye-catching! I would give this book 8/10.

ciarrai

Rebel Readers

I really liked this book and especially loved the bit where the livestream goes wrong. I also really loved the build up to the part where where the main character gets to rap: 'Yeah they call me Growls, I'm like a tiger on the prowl. King of jungles so you better take a bow. King of concrete so you better say it loud!'

Ruby-Jo

Walthamstow Reading Champions

I really enjoyed reading Steady for this. The main character at the start didn't really understand the world, and was careless with his actions and did not think of how others felt. as the book progressed however, you realised that he was actually a good person, who makes mistakes, but feels guilty for them, and is always learning how to do better. People may not always understand his language, or the way his brain works, but that is part of his charm. I thought it was heartening to see him make his way through a strenuous part of his life and not give up on his friends. That's often surprisingly difficult to do.

Zoë

High Storrs Carnegie Shadowing Group

I really enjoyed this book because it was very different to anything else that I had read. I really enjoyed following Growls ln his rapping journey. I would recommend this book to anyone who would like something different to read and a book that you can't help but read all in one go. I particularly liked it when Shanks went and saw Growls win Raptology even though he couldn't do it himself. This book is highly enjoyable and I would recommend it to everyone.

Phoebe

GreatB00ks

It was a good book very interesting and teaches good morals. I really liked it

Esther

GreatB00ks

I found this book interesting, however I did not enjoy it much because I did not understand the language used. As the book progressed you could see the main characters' language development. This book was funny and was a bit like some of the other books talking about mental health and race issues but in a new light. I rate it 4/10.

Ambrose

Chippy Chapters

The Oxford English Dictionary The tale was not comprehensible, Why did he soil his underwear? Mathamagician a play on words? No clear context for this despair. The slang was vivid but confusing, Humorous but complex, OG, IG, fam, gang-gang, Who understands this text? Shanks IS my LEGITIMATE OG, swear down he's had my back since THE day, In our humble opinion this is not the Oxford English way! OE , not this book's dialect is my original tongue, It has nurtured and provided context since our education begun. Bonus Track?? There's really nothing left to say, As a group this was just not the book for us, Namaste.

Izzy, Lucy, Inge, Archie and Mack

Ousedale Olney

I have no clue why I loved this book. Honestly, every part of me wanted to reject this book so badly, but I loved it. I loved the way they wrote it as if he told the story. I enjoyed the slight character growth, yet still retaining Shaun's personality from the very beginning of the book. Even at some of his stupidest moments, at times when he was talking about "doing TikTok dances in front of the Eye-Fall Tower," it delighted me to see that characters knew he wasn't that smart, and didn't belittle him for it. Overall, a great book which seems repulsive but ended up great.

Ilias

St Clere’s School

'Steady for This' by Nathanael Lessors is a book that has some of everything; a bit of attitude, bags of humour, and two friends that are inseparable. This story explores so many themes including poverty, racial stereotypes, and most importantly the power of friendship. Growls defies all expectations and shows us how being a rapper isn't all about being popular and 'cool', instead it's about telling your story and finding your own way. I would recommend this story to anyone, I was curled up laughing one minute and the next it brought a tear to my eye. This is a truly exceptional book.

Emelia

Marshland Readers

"Steady for This" is written by Nathanael Lessore, the main character is Shaun or Growls, a teenager with dreams of rapping. The story is about a local rap competition called ‘Raptology’ that Shaun and his best friend Shanks join. During a livestream, Shaun’s mom comes in with his underwear, embarrassing him in front of hundreds of viewers. The livestream disaster takes a toll on Shaun. Tanisha, who was Shaun's crush at the time, avoids him, and his best friend, Shanks, is deeply affected by the online bullying and ends up being admitted to the hospital. Shaun and his family have their own problems as they are facing financial difficulties and evictions. Later on, he meets a girl, Siobhan, who has been homeschooled. She is the person to help Shaun rebuild his confidence but at the end of the book she leaves town. In my opinion, the book is a fun read because of the jokes Shaun makes and the slang that you don't normally see in books. The writer tries to connect the character's feelings with the readers’ which works very well; one thing that I like about Shaun is his ability to always be positive even in bad situations.

EricW

The Lotus Readers

Personally,I have very mixed feelings about this book😭,more on the negative side.It starts off a bit cringey in my opinion,introducing growls(Shaun)and shanks(his best friend).I think that the main target audience was younger kids down south as the author was from London.The use of language,slang,and tone can be refreshing but is overused and gets dull very quickly. Thats not to say there aren't any positive bits,such as Growls’ character,a silly,dumb himbo eg.the vaseline on his eyelashes and the whole date with tanisha(super cliche love story).And shanks being a bit more mature but still silly.It has a silly,depth vibe to it which I respect but isn't really for me,one thing I do like however is the little raps that growls and shanks do,entering raptology and obviously the plot being shanks and growls get exposed with poo pants and Peckham armpit sniffer.They both compliment each other very well,but we don't see much character from shanks at the start but he's still there for growls,like two peas in a pod.Overall this book makes me want to vomit sometimes,gives me a migraine and I physically can't read more than 20 pages without needing to take a break due to the stupidity of it(which I sometimes love).

Rajin

Ermysted’s

When I picked this book, I chose it as there weren’t many other options that I hadn’t already read. I wasn’t really sure I would enjoy it at all, but I actually thought it was a really great book! It isn’t really my kind of genre, but I can see how it is a good book and for people who enjoy this genre, it would be great. This book tackles a lot of problems like poverty, and is relatable in ways that every teenager can relate to. I would rate this book a 7.5/10 but it is good still.

Beatrice

LSST Library Shadowers

This book is one of the most interesting I have read. It wasn’t my cup of tea. I didn’t enjoy the language throughout the book, sometimes it was hard to understand. Although, the book was generally quite lighthearted as the book went on there were lots of deeper themes. I think this book is a must read from the Carnegie shortlist. However, I didn’t enjoy the book personally.

Sachin

Ermysted’s

The book was okay... The main character's stupidity was very funny but also so frustrating and annoying at the same time. Its not the genre i like reading, but none of the books are. The language the main characters use feel like they weren't done properly ( i understand the slang but it just feels sloppy and misunderstood by the author) i give is 2/5 stars

Ayyub

Beauchamp Champs 2024

I really found this book amusing and quite hilarious. I loved the informality of this book and how it differs from the normal writing structure of other books. The writing style really enhanced the book and it is up to date with period of time we are in as it has slang words. This book was also so funny that I also recommended it to many of my friends and family. I also deeply enjoyed the little rapping parts throughout the book as it was interesting to read. Lastly, the story of Growls is actually relatable and realistic and I like how it is something that some people can agree too.

Janelle

TTS Readers

“Steady for This” by Nathanael Lessore is a book about a rapper Shaun ( aka Growls) and his friend Shanks. This story follows them as they get into embarrassing situations, trouble and tough times. This book gave me an insight into the world of rap, and was quite funny at points. However, I found that this book was very hard to get into and I didn’t really enjoy it. The constant use of slang annoyed me and I think that this spoilt the story for me. Although this book did discuss some tough topics, I felt that it was a bit boring. Overall I found this book hard to stay engaged with and really didn’t enjoy reading it. I would only recommend it to someone who enjoys rap and the use of slang.

Eaden

Marshland Readers

The book "Steady for this" satisfied me for the duration of my read, and Lessor deserves credit for the excellent write in my opinion. Lessor left me both touched and laughing at times as I read. The use of slang felt appropriate for the characters at hand and gave Shaun a voice throughout the book. I felt touched by Shaun's motive- to save his family for eviction and I advise MC Growl's story to all with a bit of time on their hands and those looking for a read. The main themes of this book was along the lines of: Social inequality as well as peer pressure.

Karim

MTS Northwood

It was quite a struggle to finish this book, mainly because the extreme use of slang came off rather ineffectively, and the book felt rather shallow as a whole. I find the author’s reason for writing this book very heartwarming, but the naming confusing - ‘Raptology’ sounds like the name of a course studying dinosaurs of the Mesozoic era. The slang felt like an attempt to resonate with the teenagers of the current generations, but instead came off cringey and standoffish. I’m not from southeastern London, so it could be accurate - it didn’t see to be the case, though. This book also lacks key description but I will admit I’ve never heard someone describe yoghurt as “moist”. Well done for a new metaphor that I won’t forget. One factor that was done well was the camaraderie between Shaun and Shanks - their wingman friendship was quite enjoyable. The plot feels almost irrelevant to all the holes, unfortunately. In my opinion, slightly below average for Carnegie standard, but there’s been worse. Not a terrible book.

Lara

PGHS Shadowers

'Steady for This' was hard to get into at first and it was a difficult read but as I neared the end it became a lot better and I really enjoyed it. I found it a bit hard to relate to the character at first but by the end I completely understood what he was going through.

Roisin

The St. Bede’s Literary Critics

‘Steady For This’ was a hilarious read throughout the entire book. I loved the aspect of confidence and comebacks and the raps were quirky and comical. Furthermore, I really liked how much heart this book had and how modern this novel was. However, I do think that, as funny as it was, it maybe did not portray the solemnity of eviction and the serious and life-changing deal that it is. For me, I think that the humour overtook how big of an issue it is and did not address it properly. Overall, a laugh-out-loud read and I quite enjoyed it.

Cianna

The St. Bede’s Literary Critics

I was pleasantly described by 'Steady For This' by Nathanael Lessore. I predicted a grim and realistic tale of inner city life with its own share of violence, fear and hopelessness. What I actually read is a very optimistic story of hope, love and friendship We are presented with young rap hopeful Shaun who is just a disaster looking for somewhere to happen and much goes wrong for him in his personal life and in his attempts at romance. Of course he is predictably looking in the wrong place. What comes through most strongly is the warmth of his generous and kind personality. Mostly he doesn't understand that there my be a problem in the first place and this is partly why he is so disarming and at the same time, charming (no rap attempt intended). Shaun's narrative voice comes through very strongly and the way he mixes his metaphors and expresses himself is the most comic element of the story. Genuinely funny in places if you find this kind of thing amusing and as a wordsmith Librarian I often do.

Mr Hyde

Marshland Readers

The story is about a young boy, called Shaun, who is trying to start a career in rapping, but when a livestream goes wrong and his family receive an eviction notice from the council, his only hope to save his home and his dream is to perform at the Raptology competition. To do so, he must face his fears and step up to the mic' and do what he does best. In reading the book, I loved it when he faced his fears - in general, I thought he was quite a good main character. I also liked the character of Siobhan, who was introduced half way through. She added an energy to the second half, which I think was lacking from the first half. I found the book quite difficult to visualize at first, making it difficult to understand some parts of the story (perhaps some pictures could have helped here?) It was also difficult to tell who was speaking at some points and I think the conclusion to the storyline involving Siobhan's mum and her disability could have been developed further. Overall, I thought it was an amazing book - four stars out of five.

Habiba

Rockwood Reads

First of all I did not finish reading the book. I thought the idea of the book was good and I like the idea of writing a book aimed at the new generation but personally I found the language harder to comprehend. Overall I like the idea but it could have been better executed. 4/10

Max

High Storrs Carnegie Shadowing Group

I really liked the front cover but when I started reading it I really didn't like it. The starting point was where I didn't want to put it down but it got to the end and I didn't want to finish it. My rating for it is 2/5.

Sarah

Open Book

I could not get into this book. It did not motivate me to keep reading. I gave up halfway through and could not continue.

Mia

The Hart, the stag and the Rufus

This was a relatable book to growls in terms of race and being a teenager, yet felt was was self centred and was ignorant of shanks and how the video affected him and felt it needed more of a storyline for shanks. Growls made pretty of mistakes but at the end of it he has changed for the better as he realised what should be held as important

aisha

TCOLC Perfictionists

At first, I thought I wouldn't like this book as I find when a lot of slang is used in books to be a difficult read even though I use some of the vocabularly in everyday life. Despite this rocky start, I found 'Steady For This' to be a really funny, enjoyable and honestly really sweet read while dealing with heavy themes such as racism, eviction and mental health. I found that compared to other books on the shortlist, it did not aggressively push its message into your face and instead it was sprinkled throughout it, making it easier to digest. Furthermore, I also found the characters to be charming, well-written and likeable in many regards.

Maddy

Carnegie Carnage

I think that this is a really unique book. At first, I had some trouble reading slang, as some words such as 'My G' made me quite confused, but it gives a realistic effect so that we feel like we connect to and understand Shaun (also known as Growls). There are many deep messages about things that happen in this world, such as inequality, eviction, and bullying. I have also learned that a rap without the beat or the music is just like a poem! I love the part where Mr Rix taught Shaun that rapping isn't about being famous (and loved by girls) but actually enjoying it and spreading messages. The book also tells us that time with friends and family should be cherished, and that we can't be without them. It's also nice to read from a different view, where you are judged straight away just by your looks, they don't even know the real you! Even though the book has a slow and maybe boring start, there are many ups and downs and it just doesn't let me put it down! Sometimes though, I still don't get the meaning of certain words, but I will still give it a 5/5.

Mila

Beauchamp Champs 2024

I tried to get into the book but the amount of slang and interesting language put me off. I didn't finish reading it but if you don't mind books that contain slang then I would recommend it.

Holly

SCD Pageturners

I enjoyed the ending of the story however the language wasn't what I expected to see in a book. I also found the start of the book quite slow.

Mia

SCD Pageturners

I really tried to read/enjoy this book but... I don't know... the slang is just not for me. I could barely get past the second page... (sorry)

Harriet

SCD Pageturners

The book had a very good plot but i did find t hard to read because of the amount of slang used in it, but in general it was a very unique way of writing a book and i liked all of the raps/poems in it because it made it more interesting. Overall i really liked the book but the slang and language was just not for me.

Amelie

SCD Pageturners

I found that Steady For This was a very emotive,relatable and powerful story about a boy who is always trying to impress others - always by not being himself. This book tells the story of how the best thing that you can do to try and come across as "cool" and make people like you is to just be yourself and let them come to you. And this is shown in a very emotive and clever way. What I also liked about this book was that it highlighted the everyday problems that so many people are having these days and showed how little support they get. At the end of the story, I thought that it was also quite an educational book about what you can do if you have similar problems to Shaun and his friends. However, my favourite message was that you can do anything that you- or your friends and family believe you can do!

Grace

Chiswick Carnegie

This book was very bad. the use of slang was completely in the wrong place and nobody would use it like that. The writer has completely misjudged the level of slang kids use these days. very poor from the author

Sammy

Ermysted’s

i loved this book from start to finish, with its witty jokes and interesting plot. As someone from London, i enjoyed hearing about all the places the protagonists visits to landmarks, such as museums and restaurants. I also loved how the book connected with the different struggles of people in the book, and their stories within. All in all 10/10

Jemima

LatLit

i think that the cover of this book is eye catching . I like the style of words and humor that Lessore has written it in because it makes the reader, feel like I can relate to the book as the characters have a similar age to me. It's a quite a good book presented in London, it had parts that were funny but as good as it was I wouldn't pick it for my winner as some of the parts made me cringe

Halima

Beckfoot Oakbank Carnegies

A solid book overall, ranging at times in entertainment, but can be a bit of a laugh at times. I like how growls is always trying to impress others whilst it usually not going as planned and his unique form of speaking just makes it funnier.

Fox

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

This was a funny book that I enjoyed despite not really liking rap. It is not the type of book that I would usually read or pick up so I feel like I should pick up similar books more often. I found myself involved with the book and didn't want to put it down. It was a very nice read but some of the slang was hard to understand but I could still understand the book. When Saun/Growls was actually competing in Raptology I found myself rooting for him despite knowing he was probably going to win, because it's that sort of book (where you anticipate a happy ending). This could have been because I had recently performed in a theatre so knew the nerves and knew what he was going through.

Edward M

Ermysted’s

This book is amazing. It's the best I've read so far. I love the part when shaun and Siobhan are at the wedding and Siobhan is able to confide in Shaun about her mother. Very moving👍

Chiziteremiheoma

Beauchamp Champs 2024

This book was very different from the rest.It explores complicated issues like poverty and bullying without being depressing.I found it very easy to read and very enjoyable.

Sayuru

Ermysted’s

Although this book had an interesting story which really pulled me in. The story, however, is brought down by the main character seldom speaking in proper English and his slang can be quite irritating to read. There was also the odd occasion when the main character lacks general knowledge as he says a lot of nonsensical things.

Elliot

Somervale Carnegie Team 2024

I enjoyed reading Away With Words because the author used different fonts so you could understand how the characters were feeling in more detail. It also felt as if you were going on the journey of learning a different language and how to act in a completely different country with Gala. The author also covered some of the struggles that people go through especially when you're in a new school like bullying and trying to make new friends which would potentially relate to some people and make them want to read more. Overall I think Away With Words is a great book that is worth reading.

maryam

Camden School for Girls

Steady For This is a moving book about a boy who has endured humiliation and loss of friendship, that takes him on a journey resulting in a change of mindset, and a different take on life. When I first started ready this book I wasn’t sure about it. I thought it was too casually written and I wanted to read something more challenging. It is written from the perspective of a young person, thus using lots of slang and humour throughout the book. After reading this book for a while I made connections with the characters, and I really became hooked on the story line. I liked it because it is a more realistic and relatable story which is quite comforting but there were also some moments of tension which made me want to read on. Overall, I think Steady For This is a good book, but I would maybe recommend it to a younger audience and I would like to read a book that expands my vocabulary and feels more challenging.

Isabelle

Bethany Shadows

This book was very interesting, however I thought that the characters had very similar personalities. For example, Shanks in the story, could have been less similar to Shawn (Growls). I would also like to have read more about Adrien (The main character's older brother). Overall, its quite funny and a fascinating book. Its a perfect for children of the age 10-13. I would highly recommend it to others.

Mia

Camden School for Girls

Steady For This was a nice easy read . It wasn't too long and was an easy story to follow. I did enjoy reading it but I didn't think there was much of a story going on at the start. What I mean by this is that during the beginning chapters it was a little to long for what was happening. Other than that I thought it was a very good book and I liked the way that the author wrote the book in a humorous way and in slang . This made me picture him and how he would sound in real life.

Isabella

Camden School for Girls

Steady for this is a book that I-surprisingly- enjoyed. The language is a bit odd but it still made me laugh out loud at times. I don’t think mant people would want to read this because of the way it is written but I would still recommend it to 10-14 year olds as there are some larger themes such as child carers but I overall really liked this book.

Beth

SHSK Shadowers

At first, I thought this book would be pretty boring. Like the classic ‘Here’s your problem. Solve it and everything will be fine‘ but as I read on, it became clear that I was extremely wrong. Steady For This is probably one of my favourite books of the year, it’s the perfect combination of modern day slang (weren’t, ain’t etc) and a great story. I especially loved trying to figure out a beat for it, is it slow or is it fast? 9.5/10-a bit hard to understand at first but gets easier at the end. Suitable for Y6+

Charlie

HHS

As the book progresses, it takes a more serious tone, exploring some deeper themes and tackling real-world issues. Although the humor is still present, the story becomes more nuanced as Shaun and Shanks face unexpected setbacks during their live feed. Later, Shaun's family is forced to deal with the looming threat of eviction, and another character grapples with their own personal challenges. Despite these challenges, Shaun remains a positive figure throughout the story, always striving to do the right thing. I appreciated the thoughtful and sensitive way that the author handled these more weighty topics and how they were intertwined with the overall narrative. Furthermore, I particularly enjoyed seeing Shaun's relationship with Siobhan evolve and uncover more about her life and the challenges she faces, which adds depth and complexity to both their characters.

Thea

Horsham BOok HUNTers

This book was decent,it was okay but I wouldn't recommend it but it is good to learn about how some people live and it also evokes a lot of mixed emotions during the book

Ryan

Ermysted’s

Great book. I like how the author intentionally spells things the way Growls hears and understands them.

Miguel

Killy Krew

I personally found Steady for this a bit hard to understand as I don’t use slang but for people who do this would be an amazing book. It shows you that no matter what you are going through your friends will always be there for you and you will be there for them. Overall it is a great book and I would recommend it.

Daisy

Going Places

Shaun loves to rap, but he is very poor. He loves to impress people, and tries to go viral, but becomes a laughing stock. His best friend goes ill, and his family may be evicted. Can they all pull through together, or will Shaun have to live on the streets for the rest of his life? I find Shaun a great character because he is loyal and caring about his friend Shanks. He also loves a girl called Siobhan, and works together with her to try and win a rap tournament, which has a cash prize that may just save him and his family from becoming homeless. I really enjoy the raps in the book, and I find it amazing how they can tell a story in a song, and how they feel the flow of the music. Nathanael Lessore is a great author, and I would really recommend this book.

Artie

Going Places

I found this story amazing as it always made me smile while reading it! The plot is that Shaun loves to wrap and wants to enter the competition, Raptology, with his friend, Shanks. A lot of unexpected events start to unfold, like humiliation, eviction, Shanks having to go to the hospital and friendship. In the end, Shaun does Raptology. What I enjoyed the most is Shaun's raps as it made me go into hysterics. I liked the fact that the author showed how to tackle tough issues. Therefore, I would recommend this book to people 9 - 12 years old.

Devak

Perse Carnegians

After reading the first few pages of this book, I quickly realised it was not something I would usually read. I am not a 'rap' kind of person but I knew there was more this story than just that. I felt that the character development in this novel very interesting. MC Growls begins very cocky and, in my opinion, dislikable but by the end he has transformed into a person I could relate to and wanted to hear what happens to him next. Shaun's phrases and raps throughout the book kept me laughing which was great! I'd really recommend this book to everyone, even if you're not sure about it at first.

Arthur

DCGS1624

This book was so fun and interesting, every page turned I could not stop laughing. I was hooked and think this might be my favourite book yet!

Tiolu

STCCG Shadowing

Amazing book that seems quite light hearted at first but flips onto quite a serious topic and keeps you very interested.

Matilda

Carnegie and Cake

I completely adored this book! I loved the different style it was written in and how growls progressed in maturity over the course of the book. It was really nice to see different things that people went through as well.

Maya

Herts and Essex

I really liked this book, because it was filled with suspense but not to heavy and draining to read. Even though this book had some big issues like social media and what it can do to you and children looking after their parents, its was still really funny.

Erin

Bookiewookiedoodaas

I really did not enjoy this book. I could not willingly finish it. I was disgusted by the language and the cringiness of the characters. I feel like the author was writing from the point of view of a teenager trying to be cool in the early 2000s. Teenagers these days would not be able to relate to the story. I would not recommend this for anyone.

Khadija

Sharples Shadows

The book is okay, not the best although a lot of detail

MuyangD

Ermysted’s

I think that this book is very eye catching from the moment you set your eyes on the front cover and when you open the book. I like the style of the book that the author, (Nathanael Lessore) has written it in because it makes me, the reader, feel like I can related to it as the characters are the same age as me. It's a very good book about an upcoming MC in London, a place I am familiar with, so I like it.

Tiá

Malvern St James

I’ve read up to Chapter 3 or so (page 23) and so far I’ve found it quite funny because Growls is so dumb but straightforward like he makes silly mistakes and doesn’t know many words which makes him funny in my opinion and like I think if he was just normal and wasn’t trying to impress Tanisha his interactions with her would be much better. I like the cover design it’s nice and colourful and it really does look like a book a teenage boy would read (like the author mentions in the video).

Valentina

Malvern St James

Steady for This is a book that will take you into the world of rap in a humorous way. Shaun and his best friend Shanks get into lots of situations which cause the reader to laugh out loud. What is interesting about this book is how the protagonist didn't give up on his dream of being a rap star, even in the face of other rappers who make fun of him. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a book with a bit of different twist - there's slang, there's rap, and there's hope of winning your dream.

Willow

Book Squad

People say not to read a book by its cover but I'm afraid that when I first saw the 'Steady for This' cover and the graffiti that adorned the dust jacket, I immediately knew I would I hate this book. And when I first started reading my fears were confirmed. It's constant use of slang offended me, the protagonists lack of correct historical knowledge annoyed me and his horrifying Rap songs made me cringe. But after a couple of chapters I found something beautiful hidden beneath the neon covers, what I found was a heart-warming yet amusing tale of friendship and family. Shaun is looking forward to entering a rapping competition called Rapatology with his best (and only) friend Shanks. I would never have read this book by pure choice ( which is also why Carnegie Shadowing is so special) but I regret to say I enjoyed it. I would recommend it but only if you have nothing else better to read. I would give it a 7/10​

Ben

KES Bookworms

Steady For This was the first book I read for Carnegie this year, and I really enjoyed it. Despite looking at the blurb and thinking that it wouldn’t really be my kind of book, the story was really interesting and provided a brilliant look into the life of a boy who is growing up and dealing with trouble in school and at home. Shaun’s optimism throughout the whole book was amazing, even though he was living through some really difficult circumstances. This book was also really funny and talks about some serious issues facing our time, but through the lens of Shaun and the way these things affect him. This book is a realistic snapshot of working class London, and although as I said it deals with some tough topics, this book was also hilarious with some brilliantly awkward moments and great friendships.

Susannah

SHSK Shadowers

‘Steady for this’ is an amazing book for all ages! It’s relatable and really funny along with having suspense to hold it together! My favourite bits were when they started to break into song! But one thing I found bad was that they didn’t really expand on the live stream where Shaun got exposed apart from a few jokes here or there, it didn’t really play a big part which I thought it would. Either way, this book is really good! I’d give it a 8/10. You should read it too!

Morgan

TTS Readers

I didn't enjoy Steady For This as the story was rather boring and the plot was very slow paced. There was too much text crammed together which further discouraged me from finishing it.

Sania

Plashet School

Steady For This, by Nathanael Lessore, is an excellent book about a young teenager called Shaun (MC Growls), who wants to be popular, have lots of money and do Raptology with his best friend Shanks. However, when they were recording a video, live, Shaun’s dirty laundry is exposed. Shanks stops coming to school and Shaun has no clue what has happened to him. One day they were hanging out together and now he has gone with no explanation. Growls feels like there is no one there for him, until he meets Siobhan, a young, intelligent girl, who Growls befriends. My favourite character is Siobhan because she is kind, listened to Growls problems and helped him get through difficult times. She also proved there is more to people than you can see and someone who could be happy on the outside could be hiding a deep secret on the inside. This story kept me guessing as the story progress, and I found it a real page turner as I got further into the book. When I started reading this book, I didn’t really like it but as it continued it got better as the story line built up and I ended up really enjoying this book and not wanting it to finish. I didn’t like the fact it was in slang because I felt the story didn’t flow as well as it could have. I would rate this book an 8.5/10 and for the ages between 10- 13.

Annabelle

The Fitzharrys Shadows

Shreya

Perse Carnegians

Initially I was very sceptical about this book. The lack of standard English and how it was written wasn’t really for me. However, as the story unfolded I felt very emotionally attached to the characters and learnt that it was a very lovely book. The relationships between characters was very well written and I really loved Siobhan’s character specifically.

Ava

Dallam Bookclub

I wouldn't usually read books like this but I thought this book was great. I found some bits of the story absolutely hilarious! In the book a boy called Shaun (AKA Growls) wants to be a rapper and enter a raptology contest but lots of things go wrong. It is a tale of friendship, kindness and rapping. It is very cleverly written to be funny and as you read further into the book it starts to get more exciting.

Harriet

Weald of Kent Sevenoaks

Honestly this book opened my eyes to a different side of London!! I couldn't stop reading this book. The first few pages let alone chapters had me laughing at how silly and funny Shaun can be. Throughout the story there are raps that Shaun does, which I enjoyed reading, and I love the silly things he keeps saying, mixing up phrases or words making them sound so silly you can’t help but laugh. The story has so much humour that it makes the harder moments in the book easier to deal with and I found myself laughing so many times despite all the difficult stuff Shaun and some other characters face.

Eniola

STCCG Shadowing

A real rollercoaster of a journey with the highs and lows of our wannabe rapper/M.C. Growls. Being of a different generation, I initially struggled to connect with him and his best mate Shanks, but as the story progressed, I found myself rooting for him. Some difficult themes cleverly entwined with moments of hilarity perfectly balanced the book for me and I'd have loved to have read on to find out what happened next.

Miss Berrow

Appleton readers

After asking my friends about this book, some of them said it was good, others said it was bad. It was a bit like Marmite, you either hate it or adore it. Shaun is a character who uses a lot of slang, and isn't the brightest of kids. He loves rapping, and is hoping to compete in Raptology, a massive competition for young rappers, and the further on in the book we go, the more we realize how much he needs to win Raptology. So, does he, or doesn't he? Read the entire book of Steady for This to find out.

Estlin K

Ermysted’s

The only book that has ever managed to make me laugh 10/10

Samantha

I Forgot the Name of the Group

When my group leader told me this was a eccentric novel in the shortlist that contrasted to the others in style, I was intrigued. This novel was a comical, hilarious story that showed character development, social problems, passion and friendship and love in times of struggle. The way the protagonist talked really resonated with every day young society. The humor was not lost on me and was rather a breath of fresh air as we followed "Growls" as he grew, followed his passion of rap and fought for his friends and family. Overall, this was a very enjoyable book and whilst it was not my favorite, I truly did admire the way the characters learned how to reach out, take opportunities, seek help and overcome the difficulties in life with community and charity.

Zaynah

Bookiewookiedoodaas

Steady For This by Nathanael Lessore is a humorous book about Shaun, who is also known as MC Growls. Whilst on a livestream, he and his best friend/MC partner, Shanks, humiliate themselves and make their lives a total embarrassment. Throughout the book, there were some really awkward and cringey moments that I didn't really enjoy. However, I liked the informative themes that were included, like young carers as it was a very educational topic because it told me things I didn't know before. It was a really fast-paced book and easy to read but some parts felt a bit rushed. I liked the comical elements of the book but it didn't make me want to keep reading because it wasn't very thrilling. Overall, I liked this book but not as much as others. I would recommend this book to secondary school students and rate it 3/5.

Ella

Faringdon Community College

This book was hilarious and insipring. Very captivating and an excellent read.It included awarness of mental health/wellbeing.I really liked Karen, Shaun's school counsellor, as a role of a therapist. I thoroughly enjoyed real-life situations such as when Shanks said," I don't want to become a rapper. I was just scared you wouldn't be my friend". This quote was heart-touching and can be felt by anyone in this world.It contained deep themes of peer pressure and social inequality.It is definitely a must-read. On the other hand, this book had many slang words and there was not much use of linguistic language devices. However, it was a laugh-out-loud delight,packed with sharp wit and ethical dilemmas.It had a recipe of an outrageously funny and a pure reading pleasure. Overall, I would rate this thrilling book a massive 8.5/10.

Vinshu

TDA readers

This book has a specific style. Its rapper language shows a range of feelings that are relatable to real life. I think it was a really good plot but its not always obvious at all times. This is one of the reasons I really like it. The book is rather fast paced but its easy to read but a bit complicated but on a good way. The ending is quite predictable but overall the rest is really good. I would recommend it.

Hanna

BSG

I didn't think this book was very good at the start as I could not really understand the language and thought the humour was a bit stupid but when I got into the book and understood the language I enjoyed the book very much.

Tomasz

Ermysted’s

The best Carnegie book, by far. I love growls and its got a bit of everything, romance, comedy and very relatable. A song made into a book

Mathew

Killy Krew

This book was interesting and I hadn't read anything like it before. The whole book was based on the main character ( Shaun ) and has best friend (Shanks) who embark on their journey to hopefully become famous rappers. this book makes you feel strong emotions for nearly all the characters, which is a really important book quality for me. Amazing book!

Miley

Killy Krew

I enjoyed some of this book, the rapping

Malik

SMM Bibliophiles

It is really funny. I laughed so hard my mum got worried. I like the way the author managed to insert all of the really funny lines as not a lot of teenage books are humorous. I loved it and I think it really depicts a bit of Gen Z life routines and attitude.

Esther

Plashet School

This book was a bit boring at the start because it wasn’t really my style of book but as I got into it it started getting better because it told a story. I rate it a 3/5

Bella

Herts and Essex

Oscar, Jayden, Isla, Maria and Mabel

UoBS Bookworms

What a fabulous book! For me, Growls is one of the most likeable narrative voices in children's fiction. There are jokes on every page starting with the first page -' I'm one of the top 30 students in my class.' I learnt a few things such as was an OG was! There were some excruciating moments that made me exclaim out loud but the endearing character of Growls shone through the whole book. The book also took on some serious themes such as mental health but this was seen through the lens of Growls as he learnt more about himself and others. Such an enjoyable read!

Mrs Beach

TCOLC Perfictionists

Steady for this is a nice book. It is quite easy to read and the school and London setting made it relatable. At first I found the slang writing a bit annoying but I got used to it. Overall, good book.

Ben

Fortismere

I found that this book was very enjoyable. I looked at it on the list and didn’t want to read it but once I started reading it I really loved it. My favorite bit was the 2 epilogues, which really added a nice ending to the book. I think it would be better if they had a better blurb, because I thought it would just be about rap, when there is more to it. I found that there are many funny moments in this and would recommend reading it.

Kimika

SHSK Shadowers

Steady For This is a book about a young rapper called Shaun (aka MC Growls). Shaun is ready to enter Raptology, which is a local rapping contest with his best friend Shanks. But when they both go live on social media, Shaun’s dirty laundry is exposed and he finally goes viral, just not in a good way. Shaun’s life begins to fall apart as Shanks gets sent to the hospital and an eviction notice makes things even worse. However, he makes a friend called Siobhan who helps him get through his tough times and he realises Raptology has a prize pot of £3000 which could help save his house if he wins. I absolutely loved this book and I liked how it dealt with difficult issues but not in a heavy going way so you were still entertained. I liked all the slang words in it and found all of Shaun’s factual mistakes funny. I would rate this book a 9/10 and I think it’s an enjoyable read!

esme

The Fitzharrys Shadows

'Steady for this,' is a kind of funny book. I love the bonus track at the end of the book. My favourite character is Shaun Thompson 'Growls'. The opening of the book made me want to read on because, I like how it starts with a rap. I rate this book 7.5/10

Ailise

Rebel Readers

Steady for This was a great book to read and definitely one to re-read. It was about a boy called Shaun who dreams of becoming a famous rapper but a live stream goes very wrong and throughout the book he learns how to cope with it and how being brave isn't always to hold everything inside. I loved the connection between Shaun and his friend (nicknamed Shanks) and how even through tough times they still missed and thought about each other. It was a very funny book to read as the author always had Shaun say something weird or peculiar, I think the author managed to balance the seriousness of certain topics in the book such as eviction with the relationships especially between Shaun and Siobhan. Overall I would give it a 8.5/10.

Jemimah

KES Bookworms

Evie (hope u enjoy <3)

RLS Readers

I really enjoyed this book as it goes through a roller coaster of emotions. This book is about a boy who had a dream of being a rapper for the fame and to be rich, but he realised life isn't all about being famous and living a luxurious lifestyle , its about having close relationships with your family and friends and making the most out of them, not to impress girls. This mistake made a huge downhill in his life as he went live on Instagram for his crush but little did he know the worst way about to happen to him. He also nearly gets evicted from his house and his friend is in hospital and all is going bad for him until he goes head to head for a rap battle to win a cash prize which could solve all his problems and help out his family and friends. I could be going on and on about this book but I'm going to leave the rest for you decide whats going to happen next, is he going to win the cash prize and save him and his family from getting evicted or is he going to lose and be homeless...

Inaayah

Beauchamp Champs 2024

Steady For This I think really embraces and celebrates rap in a way that many people won't have before - like Shaun, I think I thought of rap just as a lifestyle, never as an art form. As a poet, this really resonated with me, and opened new doors I'd never thought of before. It explores different real life issues, like fitting in, friendship, providing for family and provides a new canvas for teenagers to rethink how they prioritize what is important to them. To top it all off, it was the FUNNIEST book I have ever read!!!

Lily

Page Turners24

Great rhythm and tempo style. Funny in parts and very musical! Not for me though. I didn't feel like I could relate to this book and wanted to tell Shaun to 'get a grip'

Mrs Parr

Appleton readers

'Steady For This' is a book centred around a boy who is trying to become a rapping sensation, and practically raps all the time. I personally found this book to be embarrassing at times, and only got to page 50. I would recommend this book to anyone who finds rap interesting or is interested in rap.

Sophia

OLSB Shadowers

Steady for this isn't a book I enjoyed I found the book cringe and non relatable. Its story line didn't intrigue me wouldn't recommend.

sophie

OLSB Shadowers

This book was quite fast paced and easy to get through. I struggled to identify with the characters at first, I found the characters quite shallow in the beginning, but during the second half of the book I found that I warmed up to the characters more. I liked the writing style, and I feel like I could appreciate the parts of the book that are written in verse- it made the book more interesting and it felt like the writing flowed naturally. I would give this book 7.5/10

Shriya

The Abbey Readers 2024

Steady for this was a book that mixed difficult themes with comedy almost to make light of it. Steady for this was about a teenage boy (Growls) who loved to rap with his best friend, but when a livestream goes wrong his friend has to take time off from school. It then follows Growls on his way to finding new friends and learning more about himself. As the book goes on Growls becomes more confident in himself and by the end enters a rap battle even though he thinks he isn’t the best. One thing I liked about this book that surprised me was the way it was written. When I read the first page and the blurb I thought it was going to be a silly book but it turned out to be a well thought through book, better than I expected as it is written in slang. Another thing I liked about this was how thoughtful Growls turned out to be. When you think of stereotypical rappers you think of hard people who don't really express much apart from anger but Growls was so considerate and self aware by the end and it was almost refreshing to see a teenage boy portrayed like that. I would rate this book a 5/5 and would buy it for myself.

Aoife

Euro Bookworms

2.5/5 star read. I don’t like the vocabulary that is used. Personally, I didn’t like the use of words like “fam”, “peak” and other slang words. The storyline was alright and the ending was amazing. However, the book starts really slowly and it was very hard to get into the story.

Olivia

Riverside Readers

This is an amazing book which includes day-to-day school life and many interests i would not recommend this to everyone because it may not be to there liking

carter

Lionheart24

I didn't think I would enjoy this book as much as I did - as I don't like rap music or understand it very well. This book was very funny though and I loved the play on words throughout. I loved that the story was set in London and the places mentioned I could visualize. I really liked the main character Shaun, he is portrayed as a good friend and a loving son. The author also deals with the eviction threat very well and the relationships between the different characters. I would definitely recommend this book to other young readers.

Mrs Brooking

LatLit

There are some parts of this book that I found hilarious, but also there are a few reasons that I don't like it. I don't like the way the protagonist talks, I find it quite hard to understand. However, it was very funny. These moments are mainly because of the main character mixing a phrase up, or just generally not being very smart. My favourite line from this book is 'good moods are like goldfish. If you feed them to much Diet Coke, they dont last very long.' I also am not a fan of rap music, so I think that ruined it for me.

Jack

The Marlingtonians

I didn't really like how Steady For This was written, but it was funny at times. I think it had a pretty good story, but nothing out of the ordinary. The best part about the book was the message it gave, being wherever you come from you can achieve something great.

Jairaj

Ermysted’s

I felt that this book was original, but the way the main characters were portrayed as stupid in front of others was a bit annoying to read. Shaun couldn't even spell Siobhan's name right. Also, who else would bring yoghurt to a date? Especially, in the cinemas. I found that it lacked that kind of push that made you want to read forward, and the fact that most of the book was in slang, made some words hard to read. Overall, I would probably rate it 5/10. I think this book is probably aimed towards younger kids, as the front cover makes it look appealing to them.

Tanvi

Perse Carnegians

Personally, I really like this book, I found a lot of this book funny, the most memorable bits were when, he was live and his mum talked about his underwear being "dirty", that gave me a good chuckle. I also found his situation a bit relatable being the movie theatre snack prices being extremely expensive, its ridiculous they can charge that much!

james

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

This book is set in ( as Shaun says) in the ‘ends’. Shaun is a teenage boy who’s dream is to be a famous rapper. He goes through many troubles and realises he doesn’t want to be a famous rapper and is content with how his life is. He id struggling with an eviction aswell as his best friend in hospital due to his fault. He must overcome these challenges and try to win a rapping competition. The target market for this book is early teenager but I feel as though it’s trying to hard as not many people our age use as much slang as this book uses eg: fam. All this slang made this book unitresting to me. Although I liked the ending as instead of going with everyone else and making fun of them he raps about his life. I don’t think I would recommend this book to anyone else as they might also find this book uninteresting.

Jay

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

'Steady For This’ was an entertaining and enjoyable read. Although I was unconvinced by the start, the end was exceptionally well written. By exploring peer pressure, cyber bullying and mental health, this book examines relevant and important issues. In addition, this book considers relationships between friends and family. The character of Shanks helps portray deep and complex friendships and the positive aspects of friends. I personally love this book because I often choose not to read books intended to be funny but this book contains comical and amusing moments. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book because of its humorous story and thought-provoking concepts.

Sophia

The St. Bede’s Literary Critics

Growls (aka Shaun) loves dropping bars with his friend, but when a video goes viral by accident his life turns upside down... Reading this book was a pleasure, all the rapping in it makes it engaging for the reader. When his home could be taken away, he must turn to his rapping skills to save his home. Loads of things are amazing in it especially the ending, I was not expecting it, but it made perfect sense. Stars out of five it would get five, all the characters fit in so well and it is such a heartwarming, emotional roller-coaster.

Sophia

The Fitzharrys Shadows

Steady for This is a book about a boy called Shaun Thompson also know as Growls. The book is about how Growls steps up to the mic in the Raptology Competition in order to try and save his family from being evicted. The main characters in the Book are Growls (as it is written from his perspective), Shanks (Growl’s best friend) and Siobahn (another one of Growl’s best friends.) The book demonstrates the strong bond of friendship and the strong bond of family. I really enjoyed this book and is most likely my favourite book on the shortlist so far. The book is well written and it shows the author is capable of writing amazing books. The book has many good bars (as Growls calls it) which are good in my opinion and shows the capability of the author as well. Furthermore, the author always tries to put in funny bits in the book every few pages or so such as Growls saying a silly comment or him saying factually incorrect things. One time Growls had said the Battle of Waterloo was fought at Waterloo Station! Overall, I give this book a well deserved 5 stars and has definitely been by my favourite book in the shortlist so far!

Manas

MTS Northwood

Steady for This was a really good book because it explores themes of friendship and loss and shows how even those who live completely different lives to us can be people we meet in everyday life. The people we meet throughout the story are extremely lovable and you immediately seem to connect with everyone. There is a range of people with different ages throughout and people can really connect with them. I really enjoyed this book and I hope that its message can reach more and more people.

Kristina

Brooke Weston Book Busters

I was interested in this book due to the cover and when I started reading it I realised it was an amazing book about a boy growing up and facing challenges along the way. I liked how you got to connect to the character and care about his future. I would recommend this book although it can be a bit slow going at the beginning it is worth the effort as the ending is good.

Henry

SGS Book Club 2024

Great book overall but I personally do not like the 'raps' in this book as it is cringey. The plot is great and fits perfectly with the theme of this book. 6/10.

Matthew

Brooke Weston Book Busters

In my opinion I really like this book! This book is for the people who don't know what to read. This is the perfect book for you! Very funny I love it 4.5 stars!

Ismail

TDS Book Clubbers

The funniest book I've ever read [MC GROWLS is hilarious] really nice to see the growth of characters, great ending 5 stars

Robert

TDS Book Clubbers

I thought this book was very cringey and i didn't particularly enjoy it. The plot was kind of interesting and if it was written in a different way i might of enjoyed it.

Erin

Saltash Sprightly Scholars

I liked Steady for This as it is a good life lesson on how fame and wealth aren’t everything and you should treasure the people around you because they won’t always be there.

Sarah

UoBS Bookworms

I thought Steady for This was a really good representation of people around me and certainly made me laugh. I don’t think it was a book for me but it was definitely good in the way it was told.

Jayden

UoBS Bookworms

This was a brilliant book for me, full of emotion, friendships, hard times, humour and raps. This book had a lot of slang words in it, which made it even better as it is like Shaun (the main character) is actually narrating. It was an easy but enjoyable read and the story line was tremendous! I really liked this book and I would rate it 10/10.

Sebby

Going Places

"Steady For This" delivers a captivating narrative that resonates with readers of all ages, especially the younger generation, thanks to its masterful use of slang. The pacing is spot-on, keeping readers engaged from start to finish. Overall, it's a must-read that effortlessly captures the essence of contemporary life.

Kymarnii

Riverside Readers

The way the book was written, and the plot of the story made it an interesting read. I just didn’t really like how parts of it was written in verse. Although I did like how the author went into a lot of detail talking about the characters. The author made me feel I was in the book or like I have know the characters for ages. I enjoyed how some parts were relate able to the real world and how you can show more empathy for the characters. The one thing I loved about the book was where it was set because the author didn’t describe loads, but you already have the feeling where the characters were going. This book had so many great things about it, but it just didn’t rock my boat. I would recommend it others wanting to read something more advanced. So, my overall rating would be 6/10.

Carrie

The Fitzharrys Shadows

Shaun (aka MC Growls) lives with his Mum and his brother, he and his best friend have entered a rapping competition with lots of obstacles in their way can they win it to save Shaun’s house? An exiting adventure about a boy who loves rapping but is going broke, I really enjoyed reading it due to the emotional roller-coaster and all the cliff hangers. I would give it 5 stars because it was so hard to put down. Also, I found the ending unexpected, but it made sense. To add to that, I would recommend it for readers who like adventure, mystery and a bit of romance.

Sophia

The Fitzharrys Shadows

3.8/5. Rapper Shaun (MC Growls) does a live stream which goes viral! For all the wrong reasons. This book is absolutely hilarious and made me laugh so much!!! The language also helped you to empathise with the character as you could see what was going on in his head. The problem was that there was no real plot. The stream wasn't really a big deal and the whole thing with the house was introduced a bit late. Overall, it was a decent book that could've been better but wasn't bad.

Sulayman

Perse Carnegians

Although I would not have considered a rapper comedy book my thing, Steady For This was one of favourites. I don’t exaggerate when I say that it is the funniest book I have ever read. I was laughing so much that I disturbed the whole library. But not only is this book highly entertaining, it tackles complex themes and real world issues like poverty, young carers and racism very well. The characters are relatable and realistic and I loved them.

Grace

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

I liked how this book was written in how it would be spoken in slang. I thought the characters were very likeable and the writer made me feel deeply for Shaun and all the troubles he faces. There were clear underlying themes like peer pressure. Overall I thought it was a very well written book.

Isabella

Bookiewookiedoodaas

I really enjoyed this book. I didn't think I would enjoy it that much however it was really funny and a great book to read. It was also very relatable and an easy read. The story line is really good and progresses at an easy pace to keep up with and fully understand.

Izzy

Tenbury Page Turners

Book review: steady for this Steady for this was a well written book for people my age (13), but it is also a well written book in the sense that the author knows which slang to use for it to be entertaining and enjoyable for the younger generation. I enjoyed the characters a lot, especially Growls the main character. My favourite part of the book is when they are at the basketball court having a rap competition and he ends up winning and becoming an online rap sensation. My favourite part about this book, is that Growls never gave up on his rapping dream and kept on pushing and trying and never giving up. Which is very inspiring and an inspiration to many people to insist that they never give up and keep on trying in life even when it gets hard. Overall I really think this book is an appropriate book and should have a very god Chance fop winning the prize overall, because of how good the plot was. The author also used good south-east London slang.

Marlie. Ms Cody

Sidcot Shadowers

At first, well for most of the book, I didn't really enjoy it as it felt as though i was ready someones diary, but towards the end i began to warm up to the story line and characters, I felt i enjoy the language and way the book was written as well.

isabella

Carnegie Festival

BEWARE SPOILERS AHEAD! I think Steady for this is an alright book. It started of quite bad as the language was just so confusing as I don’t normally use these words like ‘hypeman’. When Siobhan was introduced it was great as she really straightened out Shaun and made him a lot less of an annoyance. Also it was very good getting rid of Shanks for most of the book made Shaun ,again, less annoying as Shanks really encouraged Shaun’s strange words. It got better and better though . 3.9/5 stars

Ethan

High Storrs Carnegie Shadowing Group

Shaun wants to be a rapper, and the writing style alone in this book really lets you see into the character's head and how much that’s true about him. The author has really shown the way a book can show comedy and also moments of high emotion. I definitely think this book deserves to have been shortlisted for this award.

Greta

HAEC Carnegie Shadowers

I absolutely love this book due to its emotions and ideas. I enjoyed this book because it told a beautiful story about a boy going through hard times with family and school life when something unexpected happened. I think this story is about how there is always someone there for you when you are going through hard times and it is always possible to make new friends. This book tells bravery and belief that it will all be okay with the help of others.

Grace

Going Places

“Yeah they call me Growls, I’m like a tiger on the prowl” I enjoyed this book it made me laugh

Malik

SMM Bibliophiles

“Yeah they call me Growls, I’m like a tiger on the prowl”

Malik

SMM Bibliophiles

This book was a very good read reflecting on the lives of Shaun and his friends and the struggles you go through being judged about your looks. He is a young dreamer about being a gangsta rapper. This is a really good book I would recommend to 12 to 13 year olds

Rory

Fortismere

I personally think that 'Steady For This' isn't very good. It started off exciting but has lost my interest now. Therefore, I'm struggling to get back into it and have been attempting to read it for about 4 weeks now. The cover though is very bright and eye-catching even if the colours do clash rather than compliment each other.

Issybel

Burford School

This book is different from the books I normally read but I really enjoyed it. I found the main character humorous and the storyline is very interesting and unputdownable. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys young adult novels and wants an easy read.

Ruby

LGGS Shadow Questers

This is unique, especially the way the vocabulary is spelled. This book could be very useful for people with anxiety or other mental health issues. It also shows the dedication counsellors put into their clients and how much weight can be lifted from your mind after talking about it with someone who is good at listening to people's problems in life.

Emmanuela

Riverside Readers

This book was a funny one. Despite the comedy there are emotional points, like with Siobhan’s mother being disabled and how she has to take on a heavy burden but also with Growls learning that you’re not alone and you don’t have to impress anyone, just be yourself. This was such a realistic book for me.

Hannah

UoBS Bookworms

At the beginning it was a bit embarrassing for Shaun but at the end it turns into a heartwarming lesson on how rapping is not just about wealth and fame but about the family and people got you there. I like Mr Rix as he lets Shaun stay in his classroom when he is publicly embarrassed and teaches him life lessons.

Chloe

UoBS Bookworms

Paisley

Free School Readers

It was a hilarious story that was a joy to read. Whilst being uplifting and funny it also did a great job at tackling difficult themes. I would definetely recomend to others!

Emily

St Kaths

Steady For This is set in a scholar world where we followed 13 year old Shaun through high-school as he expresses himself through his alter ego, MC Growls. He partakes in Raptology where he does live streams while rapping but one of his streams goes epically wrong when he airs out his dirty laundry. He tries very hard to impress Tanisha, his crush, but unfortunately (spoiler!!) they aren't meant to be. I personally really enjoyed Shaun's story and found his character dynamic and hilarious. This book was beyond moving and cured me of problems I wasn't aware of. Thanks to this book I think I've unlocked a new career path. On a real note, very amusing and humorous book. Extremely lighthearted and funny. The true message of this book was to stay true to your goals and to never back down. Of course, the ending was beyond predictable and cheesy but that is what makes it amazing. Loved it!

Bilge

4Shadowers

‘Steady for this’ was written by Nathanael Lessore. It is about a boy called Shaun Thompson who has a passion for rap music. However, his mother is a single parent and they are struggling to keep their house. Meanwhile Shaun becomes a victim of cyberbullying online. Luckily, he managed to find his way back again as the people he loves and the ones he meets on the way help him through his hours of need. I would rate this book ⅗ stars. I thought the storyline was good but I thought that at the beginning of the book it wasn’t very interesting because of the way the main character spoke and the whole idea of teenagers always wanting to have girlfriends or boyfriends so if it weren’t for Carnegie I probably would have stopped reading the book. Also I thought the ending was a bit too perfect and therefore unrealistic. I prefer books that don’t have fairytale endings because it makes the characters feel more alive and makes the book more unpredictable. It did start to get more interesting as I went along and I thought that in the middle to the end I could understand what the character was feeling and going through.

Clara

Euro Bookworms

I thought this book was really interesting. The perspective was really interesting and original . However i thought the ending was extremely predictable and cliché. I still enjoyed and i especially found that the rap verses were a really original way to show the main characters emotions. Its not the kind of book i would normally read but i think its important to broaden your horizons when it comes to reading and i dont regret choosing this book.

Lotta CI

4Shadowers

I’m thought the book was really funny and was written to be very relatable. Although in parts I found it hard to follow.

Stirling

Ermysted’s

At first, I really didn't enjoy this book. I found Growls egotistical and annoying. However, as the book progressed, his character developed into someone I really found myself rooting for. The unique style in which this book is written means you can start to see the world from Growls' incredibly optimistic (although sometimes naive) perspective. This book is both funny and childlike whilst also focusing on serious issues such as poverty, homelessness and child-carers. It is incredibly good to educate younger children on important issues whilst also entertaining them.

Cecelia

KES Bookworms

I thoroughly enjoyed ‘Steady for This’. At first I was a bit skeptical as the amount of slang made parts of it hard to read, but once you got used to it, the book flowed nicely. Furthermore, the use of the slang really helped make it feel like the story was truly coming from Growls and made the book unique.I liked the pace and rhythm of the book, especially how it felt like a ball was being bounced in my head whenever I read it. The characters were well developed and when they conversed with each other it felt very real. I loved how little funny moments were dotted throughout the book to keep it lighthearted when when bad things were happening to the characters. The ending was slightly unrealistic, however, overall it was a very satisfying read!

Christina

The Abbey Readers 2024

This book was, in my opinion, very good. It managed to use slang speak without sounding cringey, as in some bools that I have read, the author doesn't manage to use slang effectively and just sounds like an adult pretending that they are 11 and so 'cool.'This book was also good as it talked about some things like corrupt council members and worrying about a place to sleep sometimes. Growls' raps were very good, and the book was quite funny. A good book.

Huxley

Fortismere

Although this book isn't the type of book i would usually pick up, and it was different from what I usually read, i suprisingly liked this book although i found the language unusual. It was an enjoyable read, and it is easy to find comfort in the characters, especially Siobhan!

Justine

4Shadowers

This book is absolutely hilarious, I loved every single page of it. The whole story itself was fantastic and the character development Growls goes through was brilliant. When he was introduced, he was a cocky wannabe rapper who had no idea that his family were getting evicted and was full of himself with pride. But with some help from his English teacher and his counsellor Karen, he changed and became a better kid and it got him a (potential) girlfriend. He then had enough confidence to win Raptology in the process! Just a brilliant and genuinely funny book.

Thomas

Rebel Readers

When I first started reading this book, I cringed at the language used by the main character Shaun, which I thought was a bad pastiche of youth slang. It felt as if the author was just trying to be “hip with the kids”, but then I realised it was sarcastic. In reality, this book is an amusing caricature of modern teenagers, full of subtle humour which sometimes genuinely made me laugh out loud. We follow the story of a young MC, Shaun (aka Growls), who I loved because of his stupidity and ignorance. One day, a livestream he’s doing with his “OG” Shanks goes terribly wrong, and he becomes the laughingstock of the entire school. On top of that, Shaun must keep his family from getting evicted. At the beginning, Shaun is a very flawed character, but I really enjoyed his character ark and watching him mature and deal with the tricky situations he finds himself in. “Steady for this” is a hilarious book filled with morals about the importance of friendship and perseverance. I would recommend this book to anybody who enjoys comedy.

Paul A

4Shadowers

Steady For This was a very enjoyable and quite hilarious novel. It was also really sweet and heart-warming. The majority of the book is written in modern slang and I would recommend it to a lot of young teens, especially any with a keen interest in rap music. The cover artwork was also very fitting for style and topic of the book.

Irem

KEVICHG

It was a fabulous book with lots of heartfelt emotions. It took you on a roller coaster ride and really helped you to understand how the character was feeling throughout the book. I like how it conveys how your home life can impact all aspects of life and growing up. It also shows that the way you treat someone can have a massive effect on them and sometimes with a bit of support you can do anything you want.

Layla

Holmfirth High Yoto Crew!

"Steady for This" by Nathanael Lessore is a refreshing and uplifting debut that shines a light on the struggles and triumphs of a young rapper named Shaun, aka MC Growls. Through Shaun's journey, Lessore deftly explores themes of friendship, family, and resilience in the face of adversity. Shaun's dream of becoming a rapper is not just about fame or fortune—it's a way out of the tough reality of his life, where he and his family struggle to make ends meet. When a mishap during a rap battle leads to public humiliation, Shaun finds himself isolated from his only friend, Shanks, and facing the threat of eviction from his home. Despite the challenges he faces, Shaun's infectious enthusiasm for life and his witty sense of humour shine through, making him a protagonist readers can't help but root for. Lessore's writing is both engaging and heart-warming, capturing the highs and lows of Shaun's journey with honesty and empathy. What sets "Steady for This" apart is its portrayal of a working-class protagonist who defies stereotypes and challenges expectations. Shaun's vulnerability and resilience make him a relatable and inspiring character for readers, particularly those who may not see themselves represented in literature.

Xackery

Euro Bookworms

I really enjoyed this book from the very start all the way to the end. I loved how the whole book all led to one specific moment but was never very predictable. Additionally, leaving the book with such a high note after what was a very tough time for the protagonist moments before left me feeling proud and happy for him. What stood out to me compared to other books was that the text was written from a perspective of a modern day teenager which I thought was very smart of the author. This drew me into the book even more as there were words that I can relate to and I never found any pages boring. Creating this relatable, easy to read feeling was what caused me to really enjoy this story as it helped me forget that it was just pieces of paper but instead feel like I was there in London with Shaun. Thirdly, not only is this a brilliant, engaging book but it also tells a life lesson with many teachings inside. Throughout every page of this book it had the same message of never giving up and trying your hardest at all times. In conclusion, I would definitely recommend this book to any other child for how exiting and comparable it is. I would definitely read more of Nathanael Lessore’s books as I found this one so enjoyable to read. My personal rating is 9.5/10.

Tom

Bookwizards

Steady for this is a relatively short story about a boy called Shaun aka the name he likes to go by, Growls. Living in Peckham with his mum and older brother in their flat life is hard but with his best friend Shanks and his crush Tanisha life is perfect especially when he gets Tanisha to go on a date with him. Growls is on cloud-9 until everything starts to crumble. One bad thing after another leaves Growls at rock bottom. With hard work and determination you’l read as he grows not physically but mentally with the help of Mr Rix his English teacher and his councillor Shaun grows to understand how he can use his short-comings to his advantage. Overall I would rate this book two and a half stars. It isn’t really the kind of book I like to read but I pushed through it anyway. I wasn’t happily surprised but I did like the characters to an extent which made it a bit easier to read. In terms of constructive criticism and why I didn’t rate it any higher I would have to say that the attempts at slang were hard to read and I felt a lot of embarrassment for him in a lot of situations. It also didn’t feel realistic when it came the relationships particularly with his love interests; it didn't feel real to modern day. I did like the character’s family dynamics and situations. I think it i s good for children to read how other people live and how not everyone is as lucky as them. Therefore O do think something good can be found in it for a younger audience. If you're looking for a quick and comedic story this is the book.

Azariah

St. Bede’s 2024 Shadowers

I really enjoyed this book. It had quite funny phrases that kept the narrative light when it seemed everything was going wrong. I enjoyed the rapping because it kept things interesting and different and it put a bit of personality into it!

Phoebe

Ousedale Shadow Chasers

Steady For This is a book set in East London, about a guy named Shaun (MC Growls). He has a dream of becoming a rich rapper, and winning Raptology would be a step in the right direction. When trying to impress a girl, Growls and his friend Shanks go live in a head to head rap battle. This goes severely wrong when Growls's dirty underwear is revealed. Shanks, thinking they were alone, embarrasses himself. When Shanks is hospitalized with an anxiety attack, Shaun is left alone, to be sneered at by others. They can't possibly compete in Raptology now. When an eviction notice is given, and his Mum under a whole lot of stress, there is only one thing Growls can do. After meeting a girl named Siobhan, Growls is given a whole lot more confidence, and when Shanks approves, there's no stopping him. Raptology comes with a first prize of £3000 - this is the only way to stop the eviction. With everyone there, Siobhan, his Mum, brother, the teacher that inspired him, even Shanks after his hospitalization, MC Growls comes through and wins the competition. Most books set in East London are always gritty, depressing and problematic. Steady For This was written to show that it's not always like this. In the Author's Note, he mentioned that, when growing up, there was nothing to relate to - people growing up in East London don't always have troubled, difficult lives, but are perfectly happy. Steady For This is certainly humorous, with the main character being very naive. However, it's also a heart-warming story, as Growls deals with the problems his family and friends are facing, let alone the bullying from school and online. The addition of freestyle raps and rap battles made this a very enjoyable read. I think the author has assuredly reached what was set out to achieve.

Sam F

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

I wasn't sure about this book. It took me a long time to get used to the way it was written. I just didn't think it was anything special. I found it quite boring really.

Hannah

Killy Krew

This was a very good book about a want-to-be rapper called Shaun. His relation with Siobhan was very good and the book was full of jokes. I also enjoyed reading about his time with Mr Ricks as he learnt a lot more than English from his English teacher. Sometimes, I found the slang hard to understand but from the context you could usually work it out. Overall, a good read for most!

Aidan M

Ermysted’s

"Steady for This" by Nathaneal Lessore intricately explores the human experience through narratives, delving into themes of love, loss, and resilience. Using humour and vivid characterization, Lessore crafts a beautifully evocative tale that resonates deeply, reminding readers of the beauty and fragility of life.

Jaza

KEVICHG

I really liked this book, although at some points I struggled to understand what Growls and Shanks were saying. I felt that towards the middle the book kind off got too repetitive but then picked back up. Overall I really liked this book.

James W-B

Ermysted’s

The book is about a young boy called 'Growls' (aka: Shaun), who dreams of making it big as a 'rap-artist', until a livestream 'stunt' with his best friend backfires and makes them a laughing stock. This leaves Growls to re-think his life and rebuild his relationships. When reading the book, I was very impressed with the authors' use of wordplay ('Malapropisms') to create humour and the final act is a very effective pay-off (with some good use of social commentary, regarding issues like homelessness and home-assisted care). However, the tone frequently and somewhat unevenly switches between humour and drama, especially in the first half of the book, with the humour undercutting the drama or appearing to mock the protagonist, which, because of the challenges he faces, occasionally feel inappropriate to the tone and context of the scene. Overall, I felt the book got better as it went on, with a strong third act and good social commentary, but the first half of the book nearly put me off getting to this point - it was an enjoyable read by the end (Two stars out of five).

Mr. Robinson

Rockwood Reads

this book was very interesting and unique as it uses slang language. the boy wants to enter a rap competition but then his best friend falls ill because of stress from a live stream where he was embarrassed. overall this book was very good and i would read more of this writer’s books.

yusuf c

Ermysted’s

I found Steady For This really enjoyable. The main character was quite likeable and the pace throughout the book kept me engaged. The use of slang did confuse me in some places but overall really helped with the atmosphere. The use of rap in parts of the book was not something I'd seen before and I enjoyed it. The book touched on some major themes whilst still being quite funny. Overall it's probably my favourite so far.

Ella

St Kaths

Steady for this wasn't really my type of book to read. Although I would recommend it, most of the time it made me laugh because some of the things that were said in there was most likely 'cringey'

Aiah

OLSB Shadowers

For me personally, I did not enjoy Steady For This. I found some parts extremely difficult to understand. However, this book was quite amusing. It wasn't neccessarily meant to be funny when Shaun rapped but I thought it very cringe. I can see a lot of people really enjoying it but this was definitely not for me.

Lauren

OLSB Shadowers

It tried to be funny, but some of the jokes were a little cringy. I could see the points it was putting across, like about the eviction and young carers. Probably more suitable for younger readers, but I liked the ideas and intention.

Isaac

Bingley Bookworms

I found this book amazing. It was a book that I would not have read before and I like all the characters like Growls. He was very funny because he was so silly! I rate this a 9/10!

William B

Ermysted’s

I was quite eager to read this book at first when I saw the cover, however found the protagonist extremely difficult to like once reading the first few pages. The behaviour and the way the character spoke were quite embarrassing and humiliating, in return, it made me find them rather frustrating. On the other hand, I enjoyed how the book depicted the complex relationships and social problems young people have to work through these days.

Aryanna

OLSB Shadowers

I really liked this book! I loved how it was fast paced and was a very easy read. It was able to be funny while still having that emotional touch to it at the same time. Would recommend!!

Eimear

Page Turners24

Shaun (aka MC Growls) is ready to drop his best bars and smash the competition at Raptology. That way, he's convinced Tanisha, his crush, will finally give him a chance. But when a livestream practice goes epically wrong, his plans to be the greatest rapper goes disastrously wrong. MC Growls and his buddy found themselves both a laughing-stock to the whole world. He's finally achieved his dreams of going viral - not in the good way. Now Tanisha won't look at him, he's the joke of the school and there's no way he can show his face at the competition. Then a new girl on the block appears who might be just the friend Growls needs. Especially when she points out that Raptology could be the answer to his problems after all. This was a hilarious book and I would rate it a 8/10 as sometimes I felt really annoyed at Shaun for being really dumb.

Shreya

Perse Carnegians

This book was one of the most hilarious book I have ever read. This book made me laugh as I was reading it. It was funny but also shows how to tackle real life situations. To me, it felt as if the book was talking to me, as I was reading it through. This book really lightened my day up! I would recommend it to anyone who is up for a laugh!

Afreen

Skipton Shadows

This book is really unique and full of elements of music, art and romance. Reading it is like watching someone flipping their lives upside down and back up again. Shaun Thompson ( AKA Growls - because he growls like a tiger before he rhymes ) , is a person in love with rapping, his best friend is Shanks and he fancies Tanisha. He thinks taking Shank with him on a date with his crush Tanisha is a good idea, but he is wrong. He thinks sharing a yoghurt with Tanisha while watching a children's film is a good idea, but he is wrong. Everything seems to go wrong in his life. His dreams of being a rapper are put on hold, when his rap goes live and he embarrasses himself and Shanks. When Shanks falls ill and ends up in hospital he is feeling really low, but Growls can pick himself up again with the help of his friends. This is a very encouraging book and it showed us to never give up on your passion and follow your dreams. Recommended to anyone that likes music and real life stories.

Hayden

Bookiewookiedoodaas

I give this book 7/10. I enjoyed the last 3 chapters because they do the raptology instead of just talking about it. I didn't like the way they spoke - they used slang too often and I couldn't understand it.

Connor R

Ermysted’s

'Steady For This' is a laugh-out-loud funny novel. The slang is tiresome and cringy at times, though for the most part works. The protagonist is sweet, goofy and loveable, making the whole story worthwhile as he is so easily to root for.

Lara

Carnegie Carnage

I really liked reading this book my favourite bit is where this boy finds a friend who soon later becomes his girlfriend I like all the scenes with her. I didn’t really like that this boy was so interested in rap that I couldn’t really have been bothered to read them but other than that it’s so good I definitely recommend it.

Naomi

Herts and Essex

Arin

Waldegrave School

Welcome to our very first review, This book is OK, but that you already knew. I think there should be a dis-claim-er, For all the silly words that make it feel lamer!! Shaun - our guy - he's really sly He's a rapper - Shanks thinks he's really fly. But that film with Tanisha nearly made him cry. Then one day, MC Growls went on live, He rapped the jive, strive, war of 1965, Then Shanks sniffed his armpit and decided to skive From school - while Growls was left alone. His cover was blown; his poo pants were shown. But Siobhan was talking to him - she hasn't got a phone!! She helped him through the time, Missing Shanks and rapping contests were not really sublime. Then he nearly got evicted - Siobhan left, he was conflicted, But he still won the cash - back together in a flash, Mr Rix was so proud and Shaun got his girl. The family was happy and the Three were back at school, The poo pants stunt was really very cruel, But in short, we thought this book was very cool!

Lauren, Evie, and Alana (AKA. The Wrap Sisters)

RLS Readers

This book is about Shaun, aka MC Growls, wants to be a rapper. Partly because, as he says, ‘man’s got bars’. Partly for the money. His mum is always saying ‘no’ and it’s tough wearing shoes with holes. When practising for Raptology, a local rap battle, he accidentally livestreams an embarrassing situation and he and his mate Shanks become a laughing stock. Shanks doesn’t cope well with all the messages and jokes, and is cut off from Growls, who has no other friends. Then the council threatens to evict Shaun and his mum and brother from their apartment . Then a new girl on the block appears who might be just the friend Growls needs. Especially when she points out that Raptology could be the answer to his problems after all. I recommend this book becacause it interesting and fun and it a book about competition

mellissa 8.5

Lionheart24

This book was written really well, but I didn't really enjoy it. I don't think it's really my genre.

Katie

Kingdown 24

Great book 4* This book is great for anyone small or tall but be warned the author over emphasises how a rapper talks - "yeah bruv" "cause imma gonna be there fam" but saying that it does ease of as you progress into the book. The best thing about this book is its comedy and its plot. a great read and one I found to really enjoy by the end.

Eli

Chiswick Carnegie

Steady for this is a funny book about Shaun/Growls and how he fixes his catastrophic life. Personally, I find the language very confusing but I love the storyline. I especially love the caring, loyal character of Siobhan and how she struggles but also finds time to help her friends.

Chloe

SCD Pageturners

I really enjoyed this book because as well as being in first person, it is like the character is talking in rap and slang which is his personality.

angus

Chiswick Carnegie

Steady for this is a book that i will love and loath till i die. the cringe within the story is mostly unbearable but cute. The part of the story where they end up dancing and talking in the wedding is best because it shows that if you work for things most of the time you will get it

sam

Ermysted’s

It’s a different book from what I would normally choose but I still liked it. It has a interesting writing style and was very funny at points even when it get a bit weird but altogether it was a good book!

Poppy n

Royal Readers

I thought this was a really good book as it is very funny in most parts and its almost a life story and I just latched onto it on the first page. This book has lots of funny, serious and typical mum throwing laundry at you scenes. I also like it as growls(Shaun) needed to win raptology(rapping contest) to keep his house otherwise he would have to move away with his mum and brother to a different faraway house because of taxes and a mean, manipulating, disgusting man from the council who was sacked at the end of the book for kicking a lady out with all sorts of problems and trying to kick them out in a month and then coming back 4 or 3 days early to kick them out quicker. The book ended with him getting fired his best friend coming back staying with his other friend and a happy ever after.

Arthur

Bookwizards

I thought Steady For This was an amazing book! It was hilarious and tackled difficult topics in a humorous way. The characters were (mostly) realistic, and they all struggled with different problems and issues that some readers would definitely be able to relate to. I loved how South East London was presented in such a fun way. Overall, this was a very good read and I would 100% recommend!

Poppy

Page Turners24

This book was definitely one of my favourites, not only is it informative on why you shouldn't live stream anything without telling your best friend, and also the fact Growls attitude changes and he doesn't just want fame he wants to do it for his friends and family. It is also extremely funny

Kaitlyn

Ullswater Readers

Steady For This is a book about a young rapper called Shaun aka MC Growls. After a catastrophic video of his mum embarrassing him on a live stream goes viral at his school he finally gets the fame he's always wanted but not in a good way. After his best mate Shanks gets sent to hospital following several anxiety attacks Shaun's life begins to slowly fall apart and a recent eviction notice only makes things worse for him, however a new friend called Siobhan will help him to navigate a difficult life. An upcoming rap competition offers him the chance to win £3000. I absolutely loved this book as it was one that I could really get lost in the world of and it was a literal couldn’t put down book. I finished it in a day. The only negative thing that I can say about this book is the amount of slang language in it and how if you don't know it then the book could possibly confuse you. Overall I would give the book 8 out of 10 because of the amount of slang in it.

Seren

The Fitzharrys Shadows

AMAZING Its the best book EVER even thou i adore robbin stevens i LOVE this book

Lizzie

More Readers

I loved this book! The story covers a lot of serious topics in a way that made me laugh out loud more than once. The story focuses on when things don't quite go to plan for Growls who wants to be an online rap sensation and date the popular girl at school. A great story that hooked some of our more reluctant readers. Highly recommend!

Mrs McA

Killy Krew

The story of "Steady For This" was a roller coaster of emotions. It tackled a bunch of really difficult topics. The story and characters were really nice but I didn't like the writing style. The overuse of "teenage slang" and the obvious mistakes that the main character made which should be obvious made it annoying and unenjoyable to read. Overall this book has a very specific target audience, the story was interesting and went over difficult topics in a really good way but personally I didn't enjoy the writing and wouldn't read again.

Maisie

Somervale Carnegie Team 2024

This book is really funny, and Growl's (The main character), is very interesting, because he tries to become the best rapper. What makes the book even more interesting is Tanisha, because he has a huge obsession with her. His love for rap, Tanisha and Shanks (his best friend) is unconditional.

Othelia and Florence

Library Goblins

I think that this was a very good book and the story fits perfectly with the characters and was funny, sad and relatable at times. I think that the character contrast between Growls and Siobhan was interesting and led to the character development of Growls. This book basically had me hooked from page one until the end.

Dylan

Waddesdon Shadowers

Steady For This was a good read. The main character Shaun is ready to win Raptology, but nothing seems to be going his way... While the book is quite funny, it also touches on more serious topics such as a hard lifestyle, struggling to pay the bills and a house eviction. I really enjoyed reading the raps that Shaun created and I thought the end of the story was brilliant. The book narrator speaks in a South London slang which I am not familiar with and sometimes it was difficult for me to understand some of the words and their meaning.

Sebastian H

Ermysted’s

The thing that I like about this book is because is a very funny book to read espeacially for teenagers. Another reason that I like about this is book is that it feels like a true life scenario that many teenagers are realte to. However, I did not like was the beggining because it was not getting my attention but later was very good.

Isabella

Sidmouth Insiders

This book is about the dangers of social media. It shows that many things can go wrong and that you have to ask for consent. It shows the way comments can have an effect on people and the way to deal with this. I liked the jokes and the funny things that the character did in this book like sit on a cactus and put sugar under his pillow so he would have sweet dreams. I didn't like how the character ditched his other friend who had done nothing but stay by his side just because his other had called him but I felt like he learnt his lesson well knowing that you can have more than one friend. It sometimes took me a long time to figure out what people were saying as I hadn’t heard many of the words they were saying before. I did like the fact that his friends held him up when he was going through some hard times and how he followed his dreams no matter what. Overall I give this book a 5/10 because there are both good and bad bits in it.

Holly

The Fitzharrys Shadows

‘Steady For This’ is a novel about a teenage boy, who wants to be a rapper, dealing with many challenges, such as his dirty laundry and getting evicted by Gregory Flynn. Personally, I liked this book as it felt very entertaining to watch Shaun (aka MC Growls) make an effort to become famous, only for all his fortune to be sabotaged by a YouTube video and a pair of dirty pants, in addition to this I found it really humorous to listen to Growls way of thinking. I also really liked how 'Steady For This’ ended, as I feel like it really suited the book, finishing with a heartwarming yet funny ending. I would recommend this book to people over the age of 7 because of its vibe. At first, I didn’t like this book due to it being really weird and awkward, but about halfway through it turned exciting and funny, so I have mixed feelings about this book, but overall I really liked it and would therefore give it a rating of 8/10.

Tilly

The Fitzharrys Shadows

A comedy-drama focusing on the every day life of a thirteen year old boy in London. Mixing slang and rap, I initially found it quite confusing and a little uninteresting. Stick with it! As the book progresses my understanding and ease with the language improved with every chapter … and so did my enjoyment. In summary, the story revolves around a family who could get evicted from their council house. Shaun, the protagonist, sees an opportunity to save his family home by winning a school rap competition. This is the heart of the story. This book is populated by a variety of characters. The story involves Shaun, his family and his two best friends. My favourite character is Siobhan: a hardworking kind and clever girl who is home-schooled by her mum. Shanks, another friend of Shaun’s, is easy going and happy, who is very similar to Shaun. While I enjoyed the book, I didn’t always think the dialogue between them to be believable. Towards the beginning of the book, I found the writing style hard to follow but as the book progresses it becomes easier to understand. I was introduced to new vocabulary and inventive word play that made every chapter a joy to read. The author also covers more difficult topics such as poverty, racism and counselling. The ‘blurb’ on the back cover didn’t immediately draw my attention but I gave it a go! Overall, I loved this book for the characters, clever writing style and the heart-warming conclusion. This book introduced me to a new world of vocabulary and knowledge on difficult topics I knew nothing about. This is the author’s debut novel. I would read his next book and recommend it to people my age.

Beau

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

'Steady For This' follows the protagonist Shaun and his journey on navigating a passion for rapping along with a troubled home life. The book has a unique structure that uses Shaun’s raps to display to the reader his talent and true thoughts which is especially useful as Shaun has trouble expressing his feelings with others. I believe this book is well-suited for anyone who enjoys an inspiring story that lets you learn from a upcoming rapper following his dreams.

Jessica

Marshland Readers

I enjoyed this book lots. It showed passion for what Growls cared about - not only rap, but friendship and family. It is inclusive of people with different financial situations and mental health issues. It was a fun book to read.

Lily

Fortismere

I liked this book as it was very funny, although I eventually stopped reading it because I thought it dragged on a bit. At times I found it hilarious because it perfectly impersonated a Year 7 today and the characters were very funny. I thought the plot was very good and the raps were great, and the jokes were funny, although it became a bit boring eventually. I did like it but it was not my favourite.

Max

Fortismere

Endearingly sweet and laugh-out-loud funny, Steady for This drops us steadfastly into the AirMacks (definitely not AirMax) of wannabe-rapper Growls; a wayward, awkward teen from Peckham who finds what he doesn’t realise he’s been looking for, on the doorsteps of his estate, the ends. Steady for This is a story about the importance of staying true to yourself, your family and your friends and the exquisite pain, pleasure, and exhilaration of first love. A refreshing, thought-provoking story from an original, highly relatable and seldom heard voice.

Mrs Eastwood

Free School Readers

This is a very good book. I really like the cover of the book with all the different colours, that make it stand out on the shelf. It was full of funny jokes and the main character "MC Growls" was very funny as well. I would give this book 8/10

Emilie

Rebel Readers

Steady for This by Nathanael Lessore ‘Steady For This’ is an amazing and hilarious book. The main character is called Shaun AKA MC Growls and he lives in London in a flat with his brother, Adrian, and his Mum. Shaun is a school boy who loves to rap with his Best friend Shanks but when they are freestyling live Shaun’s Mum embarrasses him and now he is the laughingstock at school along with his mate Shanks. Suddenly Shaun’s household starts to feel the stretch even more with money. Can Shaun find the confidence within him to stand up at raptology and just rap? This is an amazing tale of the ups and downs of Shaun’s life and is one of the funniest books I have read in a while. The author uses slang to show realistically the language used by someone with a bubbly, silly and funny personality just like Shaun’s.

Mila

SHSK Shadowers

I really enjoyed Steady For This. It was brilliant to see the dialect and culture of many young people in London represented so positively, and it made me laugh out loud more than once. An excellent read.

Mr Hale

Reepham Readers

This book was very fun to read because of its informal language, which made me feel as if I was actually in a conversation with the character. The book involves a lot of rap music, which also makes me like this book. Out of all the books I have read so far this was the most fun to read.

Kazim

Going Places

I haven't finished reading Steady For This however the beginning is very intriguing and the bright colours are very attractive. The colours of the cover do clash and don't complement each other. The plot so far is a complex one with a deep sense of longing for a friend. I have also found though that it is very to read a large chunk of the book in one go.

Issybel

Burford School

I sort of enjoyed this book but at times i thought it was a little slow. I also think that it was a little bit over descriptive but i did like the way it was well explained and nicely written

Ellie

GreatB00ks

i personallly did not like steady for this as i found some parts of the book hard to understand . However i really liked the premise of the book and the topics it touched on such as streaming in our age

chloe

OSSMAORATORS

Great book and story line of how Shaun Thompson (aka growls) entered raptology to stay in his home and not be evicted

chay

KES Readers

Steady for This is an amusing, modern book that explores the life of Shaun (aka Mc Growls). Shaun is ready to enter Raptology, the local rapping contest, as one half of Mc Squared, a duo with his best friend, Shanks. But, when the two of them go live on social media, all of their hopes come crashing down when things are unwantedly exposed; they become viral, just not in the way Shaun had hoped. He cannot bare the thought of school, especially as Shanks isn’t by his side after falling ill from anxiety. And to top it all off, the council come knocking, threatening eviction, resulting in Growls feeling neglected by his mother. Shaun starts to crack under the pressure of everything, but will he manage to do Raptology and solve all of his problems? I loved Steady for This! This novel has something for everybody with elements of humour and drama. Through a fascinating and gripping storyline, it demonstrates how everyone is perfectly imperfect – I liked how Shaun’s teacher, Mr Rix, used a tree to convey this message to Shaun in the book. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and it maintained my interest throughout – I think the laugh-out-loud moments really brought the book to life and made it even more engaging. During different stages of the book, you feel different emotions from sorrow to hope. The ending surprised me as I didn’t expect it. My favourite characters are Siobhan and Shanks because they truly are Shaun’s biggest supporters; Mr Rix was also one of my favourites as I felt he was a big inspiration to Shaun. I felt the characters were relatable and well-written. I particularly loved the use of first person and that there was a lot of slang language as it represented Shaun’s personality. For his debut novel, I thought Nathanael Lessore’s book was incredible and I hope he continues to write more novels as I would 100% consider reading them. There really was nothing to dislike about this book! To summarise, I think Steady for This is a humorous, innovative and relatable story. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone aged 11+ as it is a very enjoyable read and you will not be disappointed.

Lucy

The Fitzharrys Shadows

This is a book about a teenager who has an obsession with rapping. He is also trying to impress a girl. However his plans go disastrously wrong. I think the author created something that might appeal to a range of ages and has a true life scenario that many will relate to. A great story for boys and girls. I couldn’t put it down

Noah

St David’s Bibliophiles

Despite this not being the style or subject matter of book that I would normally read, I surprised myself slightly in really enjoying this book. It explores themes to do with poverty, healthy friendships, young carers and anxiety, as well as discussing the perspectives of people of colour in working class communities. I also really liked the style of the book, where he raps in between writing/talking. I also got more gripped by the book as it went on, even though I didn't think that the ending was particularly believable. Overall, I would definitely recommend this book!

Eve

St Kaths

Shaun is a sequacious kid struggling under the burden of learning disabilities, trying desperately to make ends meet with few close friends to rely on. Being one of the blunter tools in the shed, he attempts to navigate his way through the callous road of life, exuding perseverance through seeming ineluctable obstacles, until a superior talent in rapping brings him to fame at the very end. Although this book is a brusque and down-to-earth representation of living a less fortunate life, I feel it portrays children of our age in unflattering and erroneous lights, particularly girls. Reflecting on this book after reading, I feel it lacks interesting vocabulary, deep characters, and morally appropriate lessons. Except for a drizzle of light and meaningless humour, the story did not contain suspense or twists that encouraged me to read on, meaning I consistently got bored. As 'Steady for This' brands itself a 'teen novel', it ironically applies more to younger children in KS2. Sorry, Nathanel Lessore, but using words like 'fam', and 'legit' doesn't make this book for teenagers. I rate it 3/10 and would be shocked by how bad the other books are if this one wins.

Zuyi

Perse Carnegians

It was a good book. I really like the rap and the silly sense of humour. I think the author used Mr Rix as his mouthpiece and because gave really powerful thoughts and messages. I don’t really read books like this so it was nice to read something different.

Amy

Horsham BOok HUNTers

“ Steady for this” is about a 13 year old boy called Shaun Thompsom (aka Growls), who loves rapping. As Raptolagy is coming up, Shaun is focusing on rapping more than ever. But when his dirty underwear is exposed on a live stream by his mum, Shaun's hopes of success at raptology are lost. When he comes back to school, everyone thinks he is disgusting, even Taisha whom he thought he had made a good impression on when they went on a date. With all this happening and Shanks being taken out ill, Shaun starts to hang out in the classroom of his least favourite teacher, Mister Rix. He then meets a girl called Shaevon, and the two become best friends. But when Shaun and his family are being threatened with eviction, Shaun needs to win raptology to stop this from happening. This book has things which are good and not good. I do not like the use of modern day language, as it makes the book seem a tiny bit too cliche, like the author is trying to be a teenager by using modern words like “Fam” and “Bruv”. Although the use of these words decreases throughout the book, which gives it a normal feel I do like the character arc though. The way the growls transform through his language and actions throughout the story, like spending more time with friends. Overall, this book was alright to read and I came to enjoy this book in its last few chapters.

Elsa

Euro Bookworms

"Steady for this," is a comedy book recommended for readers age 11+. The cover looks appealing to readers around this age. Shaun (aka MC Growls) likes rapping with his friend Shanks and they are planning to enter Raptology, an under 18 rap competition. They set up a livestream to try and platform them in Raptology, but it all goes wrong and they end up livestreaming dirty underwear and armpit sniffing! Shaun has to find a way to come back from the viral livestream and win the Raptology competition and save his family from eviction by winning the money. Shaun is the main character, narrating the book in the first person. Shaun has a unique interpretation of the world he lives in. Shanks is Shaun's best friend. Shaun meets Siobhan, a girl who has to care for their injured mother, and they become friends. It all works out in the end. The main reason that I liked the book was the humour. Other things I enjoyed were the references to music because I like music. My favourite character was Mr Rix because Mr Rix taught Shaun valuable lessons on rapping techniques, such as teaching Shaun to tell a story when rapping. Mr Rix is based on a real person and I liked that as well. The humour might not be to everyone's taste because the jokes were mostly based on Shaun getting his words muddled up. It could have been good to have humour from some of the other characters as balance. The language may appear slightly dated for other readers of my age. Overall, the book has an exciting ending and I was really hooked! I would recommend this book to anyone who likes humour and music. It took me a while to get into it, but it was a compelling read!

Merlin

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

THE BEST BOOK IVE EVER READ 1 1/10! I WANT THIS TO WIN 100%

Artie

Macaulay Book Club

Steady for this is a humorous book about a young boy who raps. He tries to impress a girl in his class with a rap that was also meant to go into a rap competition ,Rapatoloy, and whilst going live something horrible happens. It makes everyone go against him. Meanwhile, he and his family are getting evicted due to unnecessary rent going up. Can Shaun get everyone on his side, and win Rapatology for the money, and save his family from being homeless?

prabhnam

Lionheart24

‘Steady for this’ is about a teenage boy named Shaun, AKA Growls, as he tries to win Raptology, a rap competition, while his family struggles with poverty and the threat of eviction. For me, the beginning was hard to understand. There was a lot of slang, some of which I hadn’t heard before, as it drew on Jamaican patois, and some words were spelt phonetically. I felt that constantly having to work out what was being said detracted from the plot, so at the start, less would have been more. However, I found the second half much more interesting. It had some laugh-out-loud moments and addresses real-life issues such as poverty. Shaun’s character also develops immensely, becoming much more believable and likeable as the book progresses . The book also becomes considerably easier to read. The book ends on a high, and no loose ends were left, which I found fairly satisfying. Overall, I would give ‘Steady for this’ a 6.5/10, as it wasn’t entirely for me. I would recommend it to older readers who enjoy rap music/rapping.

Maria

Larkmead

I actually liked this book a lot more than I had first anticipated (I had unfairly assumed I would hate the book after reading the first few pages filled with cringey language). Shaun was actually a very lovable character, who I have come to appreciate. This book did make me dizzy though, one second it was cringey, and the next it was super wholesome; it gave me some serious whiplash. However, I did end up loving the book so I guess, in the end, the whiplash really did help.

Shaan

Mansell Library Reviewers

Steady for this was a very comical and fun book to read. It is about a boy called Shaun, who calls himself MC Growls, and his journey through meeting new people, becoming close to his family and friends, and as he calls it, 'Spitting bars' (rapping). I liked this story because of its motivational lovable chapters and characters, and at points it is quite heartwarming. Although I loved the humour of this book, at points it made it hard to understand where the characters were coming from, as in what they meant, but my favourite part was the end of the book because it actually ended how I hoped it would. Overall, I would recommend this book, it was a great read.

Olivia

Skipton Shadows

I love this book, at the beginning it was a bit slow but the way he kept going and at the end achieved everything he wanted despite past mistakes really inspired me and I highly recommend this book to others

Tom

Horsham BOok HUNTers

I thought that steady for this was a verry good book because it really shows what living in a rough area in a working class family in the down edge of London is like. Personally this book wasn't my favorite for that the tone of the book didn't have a verry nice and made me feel quite sad.

Elsa

Carnegie Dragons

'Steady For It' was a good book. I enjoyed how the author creates a relationship between the reader and Shaun as he writes as if Shaun was speaking to us and letting us see his thoughts. It is a very good book that deals with quite heavy subjects yet Nathanael Lessore manages to create a safe atmosphere while writing about them. Overall, it was a good book that I enjoyed reading.

Kitty

The St. Bede’s Literary Critics

This book was not quite for me - The language used was not very realistic in my opinion, it sort of seemed like adults were trying to forcibly fit in with the current slang but it's not quite used appropriately. E.g. "Shanks is legit my OG." The slang doesn't seem like it's used correctly and the context doesn't really fit.

Ashton

St Martin’s Bookworms

In my opinion Steady For This is an amazing book. It is full of humour and emotion and you almost feel connected to the characters. The story is set in London where a young boy called Shaun or his rapper name Growls is trying to fulfil his dream rapping career but some embarrassing things happen to him and on top of the he could get evicted. I think the humour is just perfect for teenagers now as it uses newer ‘slang’ in lots of different ways. Overall I would highly recommend this book to anyone from the age of 10 to25 as it fits in with the age group.

Jasper

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

The book “Steady for this” is about a boy called Shaun, who is also called MC Growls. He wants to be a rapper. Partly because, as he says, ‘man’s got bars!’. Partly for the money. His mum is always saying ‘no’ and its tough wearing shoes with holes. When practising for Raptology, a local rap battle, he accidentally livestreams an embarrassing situation and he and his mate Shanks become a laughing stock. Shanks doesn’t cope well with all the messages and jokes, and has cut himself off from anything to do with MC Growls, who has no other friends. Then the council threatens to evict Shaun and his mum and brother from their apartment. But, then a new girl on the block appears in his life, who just might be just the friend Growls needs. Especially when she points out that Raptology could be the answer to his problems after all. I recommend this book because it’s interesting and it’s such a competitive world that it tries to portray and I could not stop laughing loudly in some scenes in the book!

Anita

Lionheart24

I absolutely loved this book! It is funny and so well-written. It should definitely win the medal.

Alice

Ullswater Readers

In 'Steady for this' the characters were good but I found the story very boring.

Toby

Bibliomaniacs

“Steady for this” is such a unique book, it’s not so common to find such a relatable book. What I loved about this book is how it’s different from the rest and easier for me to read. It was a pleasure for me to read it from the perspective of Shaun or how he refers to himself as 'Growls' because his thought train sometimes made me giggle and made me think of myself. The struggles that Shaun had made me feel quite connected as it was something similar, I had been through.

emmanuelle

STCCG Shadowing

Reading the book, it’s a book that will be memorable for me. It is funny and made me laugh out loud. The author had made creative jokes and I could relate to some parts of the book. I would encourage others to read it too because it had an inspirational ending. It kept me engaged and reading one page, gave me the urge to read more. The characters of the book really stood out to me, and every character had a good role. Personally, I would've wanted the ending to be a bit different, but I still enjoyed the book.

Bea

STCCG Shadowing

It is a very engaging and exciting book where you wonder what will happen next. It also gives you a new kind of perspective on people like him (Rappers) and is inclusive of a not very written about community. The ending was amazing and it answers all the questions you might have.

Max

St Kaths

I thought that "steady for this" was a very captivating and inspirational book because it had some moments where the characters needed a bit of encouragement to do something they thought they couldn't do.

Ivy

Macaulay Book Club

I thought that steady for this was a very captivating and motivational book partly because it was all about pushing and encouraging one another to get to a goal we thought we couldn't get too.

Ivy

Macaulay Book Club

I thought that steady for this was a very captivating and motivational book because at the the beginning in my opinion it was not catching my attention but later on in the book it had some jaw-dropping and fascinating moments

Ivy

Macaulay Book Club

I really like the general plot of this story, two regular high school boys who’s accidental video making them go viral puts a huge hole in their plans for the future ( raptology ) they believe that it is impossible to even show their face but after Shanks faces illness Shaun AKA MC Growls takes up to the mike and wins. Shaun as a character seems a friendly character, always with his friends and isn’t really great with girls at the beginning of the story but as the book progresses we find out more about him. To be completely honest, I am not a fan of the style Nathanael Lessore has written the book in ( including all the kind of road men like style) but how he made it, it was a good mix of using the language and not which made the book really interesting Overall I would say this is a great read and would recommend for ages 9-13, and would give it a solid 7/10

Josh

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

A heartwarming and beautifully written book! The story just gets better and better as you read on and you can really relate to the characters' lives. Overall the storyline was unique and like no other book I've read before!

Lola

Weald of Kent Tonbridge

Steady for this is a great book that confronts the challenges of poverty. The over-arching plot is relatable and interesting, and shows the impact of kindness and resilience (and partially education). A bit sad, but also funny, would recommend to all.

Evan

MTS Northwood

In my opinion I thought that steady for this was a good book. It included a lot of different themes, for example happiness, humour but also sadness and the book had a quick pace throughout, It was never dull or boring. For me, I struggled to understand some of the language used and thought the story provided a lot of second-hand embarrassment which I personally did not enjoy. However, I quickly warmed up to the story, so even though I was unfamiliar with the story’s setting I still enjoyed the book as a whole.

Hannah

Tractor

I have given this book a 4/5 star rating. It was a really funny book. It made me laugh! What a true comedy. I wouldn't usually laugh at books but this definitely made me. A romantic tale of rapping and friendship. It really is a good book to me. In some parts it was sad and heart breaking, and in other parts it was funny and good. I did not give this a 5/5 because I couldn't really understand the language used for example: Siobhan or Yvonne, but I found out that they were Irish names and it is pronounced as Sheevon and Eevon and another thing that was confusing was the chapter names like in my feelings like R n B but overall this was a good choice for the Carnegies, and the illustrations clearly expressed 'Growls' and what sort of book it would be.

Summaya

The Reading Queens

"Steady For This" was a very interesting book, however not the genre I would usually read. It covers important topics relevant to the modern world such as the cost of living crisis and bullying and conveys messages of kindness, friendship and resilience. The book uses slang throughout and by linking to the modern world appeals to children of all ages as it is relatable. Overall the book covers big issues, has a relatable plot and attracts not only avid readers but also children who might not always be inclined to read a book.

Pauline

KEVICHG

I really enjoyed Steady for This and laughed out loud throughout. I particularly enjoyed the small details hidden throughout the book, for example, the pineapple lip balm relationship between Siobhan and Growls. I also thought that it was very cleverly written as it really did sound like the story was being told by a 13 year old boy. Growls thinks slightly strangely throughout the book but that just added to the good nature and humour of it. Although most of the characters had good storylines, I thought that Siobhan's was very predictable and I didn't like her character as at first it seemed she was taking advantage of Growls. I also didn't like Shanks' character either. I thought he wasn't a very good friend to Growls throughout the book. I also thought that it was good how modern the writing was in the book, using lots of slang. It seemed realistic. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I would recommend to most age groups.

Nikita

SHSK Shadowers

The book was very difficult to complete, failing to truly hook me and annoying me more often than entertaining me. While the narrator's tendency to mix up words does create some comedic moments, this mainly breaks any connection to the book that the reader may feel. While the premise itself is interesting, I found the execution to be incredibly poor. This book also tries to delve into too many different social issues, which, while important to address, only makes the book feel spread too thin, and prevents any of these issues being truly explored and given the time that they deserve. I think that slang was effectively used to reveal certain aspects of his character, and the characters themselves were understandable, but too little time was spent with each of them to make them feel truly rounded. While I may recommend this book to a friend, it would only be ironically. I would rate this book at 3/10.

Ethan

Bramcote College Bookclub

This book was challenging to get through as a lot of the story does not add much to the overarching story. However, I believe that Y7~Y8 boys would like the book as it uses language that appeals to younger readers like using "inducing me" instead of introducing me for the first chapter's title. This causes some funny moments throughout, however I believe that this is overused. The ending brings together the main themes of the book, apology and learning when to ask for help. Overall, I believe that this book is good, but just not for me. 5/10

Matthew

Bramcote College Bookclub

Such a sweet book. The main character had such a good heart and overall the book has a really positive message that is inspiring to many. A beautiful story that is definitely worth a read.

Diya

Bramcote College Bookclub

MC Growls is a great character - clever but dozy at the same time. I wish he was one of my library users! I didn't understand it all (and needed my son to translate sometimes), but I think that is a good thing, because the book wasn't written for me. This is definitely a book I will recommend to all kinds of readers.

MrsMidge

Balcony Bibliofans 2024

Steady for this is a comedy book by Nathanael Lessore about a boy called Shaun (stage name MC Growls) who loves rapping… and Tanisha (a girl in his class). He desperately wants to get into a rap-battle style competition called ‘Raptology’, but when he turns on a live stream trying to impress his crush, everything goes wrong. Now, he and his best friend Shanks are being made fun of left and right, and his life is turned upside down. I chose to read this book first as a bit of a joke. Honestly, when I read the extracts from it at the first big meeting, I thought it looked hilariously dumb and cringey so I wasn’t expecting it to actually be good. However, only a few pages in, I was already laughing. I went around school all day reading bits to my friends, and it was really fun! The main character Shaun gave me A LOT of second hand embarrassment, but at the same time, he was strangely very likeable. I found that the author managed the balance between funny and serious very well, and it had a plot that hooked me. There were funny parts soon after serious and less funny ones, so I was never left feeling sad for long (which I like). I would recommend it to anyone who likes fun, slightly silly books.

Sophie

Euro Bookworms

I thought that Steady For This was a decent book. However, i found the slang very annoying to cope with and i think that it ruined the book for me as it was EXTREMELY cringe. I would rate this book a solid 5/10

Ava

GreatB00ks

This book is soo good im so happy i read it because i loved it. It is quite easy to read and short and the characters are cool and have interesting back stories. My opinion is everyone can read this book and should, you wont regret it.

Grac

GreatB00ks

I loved this book and would rate it 10/10 as it was very funny, and made me laugh. The book is short, and an easy read. The characters are all interesting and add to the plot. I would recommend this book to everyone.

Rebecca

GreatB00ks

steady for this is an inspiring book about motivation and encouragement to be the best you can be and it shows you to not give up for example when growls goes live and his mom talks about his dirty washing he was bullied and still went to raptology on his own to win money as they were getting evicted

ellie

CTA Book Club

"Steady For This" was a very interesting book, however not the genre I would usually read. It covers important topics relevant to the modern world such as the cost of living crisis and bullying and conveys messages of kindness, friendship and resilience. The book uses slang throughout and by linking to the modern world appeals to children of all ages as it is relatable. Overall the book covers big issues and attracts children who might always be inclined to pick up a book.

Pauline

KEVICHG

Personally I didn't enjoy the book as I felt as if it was boring and I couldn't connect with any of the characters as I wished I would. In addition to this, I thought it was good book but not my style of reading, I also didn't really enjoy it as I didn't understand it much. However, the parts that I actually understood were interesting and actually quite detailed. I also liked the front cover of it as it was quite vibrant which would catch a potential reader's eye if they were walking in a book shop.

Kaitlin

OSSMAORATORS

This book is good but some of the slang is quite confusing. This book is good for people who enjoy rap.

Finn B

Ermysted’s

I really enjoyed this book. It was very different to what I have previously read but the way that Nathanael Lessore portrayed the characters was brilliant. He managed to get across how much Growls was struggling without saying it outright. The book really gripped me because I always wanted to know if Growls would be able to do what he was attempting at that time. He did this by having a lot of action and description while not having too much of either. Overall an amazing book

Sam

Horsham BOok HUNTers

I thought that steady for this was a very interesting book because it didn't really catch my attention at the beginning but later on in the book it had some jaw-dropping and fascinating moments. Overall its a 4/5 for me due to it being very motivating and captivating and it having some very funny moments.

Ivy

Macaulay Book Club

I thought that steady for this was a very captivating and motivational book, partly because in my opinion it wasn't really thrilling or catching my attention at the beginning, so i motivated my self to carry on reading and then many jaw-dropping and fascinating moments happened later on in the book. Overall i think it was a 4/5 because in the end it was very interesting and definitely caught my attention.

Ivy

Macaulay Book Club

This book is great! The use of non standard English and slang really helps to convey Shaun's character, as well as representing his unfortunate home situation. The story is well-written, with lots of opportunities and character development, shown through how Shaun reacts to other people, such as Mr Rix, his supportive English teacher, and Shanks, his closest friend. Shaun develops really well, and I love that it is a cyclical narrative, starting and ending with him telling us who he is (in his opinion). This really helped to show the contrast between who he was and who he has become, and the fact that the book is entirely in first person makes it more personal. This means that many teenagers will be able to relate to and understand it, which is very important in my opinion.

Lydia

LSST Library Shadowers

The book is about a boy whose family has very little money. He is going to get kicked out of his apartment and have nowhere to live. But can the boy's passion for rapping save his house? I think this is a nice and funny book, and I will also definitely recommend reading it.

Joseph

Reader Leaders

Steady For This was an incredible book that pushed the boundaries of youthful book writing using modern-day English slang in a school environment which made it one of the most immersive books I had read in my life. I would recommend this to all age groups as it pushed the boundaries of modern-day book writing setting an example to all readers and writers to break the stigma of modern-day book writing.

samuel

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

I was not a massive fan of "Steady for This" as I didn't understand a large amount of the language and I just wasn't super drawn in however I think that other people would very much enjoy this book such as my younger cousin who would be more interested. One thing that bugged me while reading this book was that sometimes Growls couldn't spell simple words while other times he could spell very long complicated words. Overall this book is a good read however not one I would pick for myself.

Libby

Tractor

The book was a really good book but not really my style. I did like the way he kind of snapped back to reality after Shanks went to hospital. And he was more grateful for what he had. I liked how it ended on a high of him winning aswell! But overall wasn't really my style and I probably would recommend for someone of that style!

Ava

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

Steady For This by Nathanael Lessore is a hilarious, easy to read and relatable story that makes you really connect with the main character in a way that perhaps many books suited for 12-15 year olds don't. This is because the author seems to understand what it is like being a teenager nowadays very well. He mentions at the end of the book how all the novels he read about poorer communities were "gritty and dark" and he has shown that that stereotype is not necessarily correct in a very innovative manner with this plot. I would highly recommend this book to anyone my age.

Joseph

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

I personally liked this book because of the backstory of all of the characters and normalizing that having problems with your life is okay. Additionally, I liked how the book was set in modern-day society as it is relatable to the audience. However, the slang used throughout the book was hard to understand but I understand why it was used as it's set in the UK. Overall, I believe that the people reading this book would enjoy the ins and outs of this book because of how 'corny' and 'fun' it is. Thankyou, Lydia Oakley from OSSMA.

LYDIA

OSSMAORATORS

It is very good. It doesn't really go into the characters but just the fact of public humiliation is awful for everyone. Also, the fact that he felt like his friend would not be friends with him because he is friends with someone else

Ben

Bredon Readers

Steady for this was a very unique book with an interesting plot leaving you wanting more. I chose the book because the front had a lot of bright colours but it was a lot more than that. At the end the authors note was very nice. The story took a while to happen. Like the characters and how you can see them evolving throughout the story but I don't really like how long a short story took to read.

Ashley

VISTA Academy

I really enjoyed this book, it was very interesting and there wasn't a point that bored me . The chapters were short so it kept your attention . I recommend this book as it had a lot of slang and was fun to read. The best part in my opinion was when MC Growls met a new friend and became very close with her . I enjoyed the end as it was satisfying.

Daisy

Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Llangynwyd

I think that the style of writing was childish compared to the target audience and that the characters were not relatable, as well as being not accurate for their ages. The language was too informal and the plot seemed immature. I probably wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

Olivia

Kingdown 24

In my opinion, I didn't really like the book because it wasn't really my style and I just didn't really feel like I connected with the main character but I would recommend this book for people that like rappers and people who aspire to be a rapper or a singer.

Hanna

Kingdown 24

I really didn't like this book. It was really not up my street.by the time I got to page 16 I stopped and haven't read any more since. I don't know what it is that is making me not like this but i wouldn't advise it to others.

James

SHS On The Same Page

I found this book overall to be slow and hard to follow. The language used was hard to understand. Some of the words were spelled phonetically which in my opinion made the book a difficult read and took away from the plot. While the book touched on difficult topics very appropriately and should be commended for it I myself did not like the overall book.

Martha

Fortismere

Overall I found the book, 'Steady For This', very intriguing. It showed all the ups and downs, the twists and turns in Growls' life. I really loved how it gave examples of all the raps he wrote which explained how he felt. I also liked how how the story showed the other side of his friends' lives which he would not have known about unless he asked them or showed an interest. They also faced their own struggles. I found the way that Growls' older brother swooped in at the end to save him from giving up on his dreams on becoming a rapper inspiring.

Hannah

The John Mason Shadowers

Although Steady for This is a Children’s Funny book, it covers many deep and possibly grave issues, such as social inequality and ethnicity, in a light and sometimes childlike way. This does not make them any less serious, on the contrary, injustices appear even worse when there is a young and naïve narrator. The fact that the limited dimensions of the narrator’s life are so affected by these issues shows that racism, for one, is everywhere. The book evokes a transformation: Growls, the narrator and protagonist, is very enthusiastic about rapping because of the material riches that he believes being a famous celebrity would bring. However, after becoming closer with his English teacher, his malleable mind quickly learns to love the poetry and the roots of rap music and culture. On the way, Growls discovers the importance of family and true friendship. I liked this book for being in touch with modern culture and the challenges of being a young person. However, I thought there was limited figurative meaning and so the book lacked depth in that way. 2.5/5

Benjamin

Perse Carnegians

Steady for This By Nathanael Lessore This book is an amazing read in my opinion and I think kids all over the world would enjoy it. The character in this story is called Shaun, but he has a nickname which is MC Growls. In this book he would like to be a rapper over anything in the world as he says it’s his passion and he has a best friend called Shanks they couldn’t get split apart even if you tried. Style: The style of this book has a lot of information in it and I like that about books but they were also very clever at choosing slang such as fam and I think that made the book stand out more than a average book. Plot: The plot of this book is about someone called Shaun or MC Growls and him and his friend were like a dynamic duo never be split apart and they both wanted to be rappers so they were kind of like a rap duo and Shaun MC Growls was suppose to go on a date with this girl called Tanisha and he never had any luck on any dates he wasn’t very good at that, but Shaun wasn’t as lucky as other people as his mum didn’t have a lot of money as he went on a date with yogurt as a snack (not the most normal thing).But they nearly turned homeless because of there lack of money.

Harry

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

When I read "Steady For This", there were definitely some moments that were laugh out loud. The front of the book is really eye-catching, which is very important for any book. I really loved reading this. Personally I think the end was all a bit rushed, as I thought it happened all very quickly. However, I liked the way the slang appealed to teenagers and older children, which made the book less serious in a very positive way. The author definitely got "Growls" spot on, by using spelling mistakes and slang. I rate this book a 9/10.

Jennifer

Rebel Readers

"Steady for This" is a laugh-out-loud and unforgettable teen fiction novel by Nathanael Lessore. It follows a boy called Shaun (known as MC Growls) who is determined to drop his best bars and win Raptology, hoping that it might finally catch the attention of his crush, Tanisha, and lead to a chance to date her. However, things go off track when a livestream goes horribly wrong: his mum walks in with his dirty laundry, and he becomes the joke of his school. The story continues as he meets a new friend who might just be the person Shaun needs the most. The book touches on topics such as mental health, eviction, bullying, friendship, and a hint of romance. It was a fantastic read, and I definitely recommend it. I will never forget those unforgettable jokes!

Sophia

Fiction Addiction

'Steady For This' was an interesting and emotional book. It had a lot of twists and turns. It had modern language and slang. Overall, I really recommend it.

Ava

Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Llangynwyd

In my opinion this is a great book because the way that Nathanael Lessore wrote in the style of MC Growls using street terms like Ps and Bars made you feel like you were living the life of Growls. I also loved that way that the character sometimes may not understand fully the concept of things and the author portrays this in a funny and laughable way. The author manages to portray Growls' relationship with the other characters really well, like when he feels so down because Siobhan has moved to Bristol, you can see and feel it in the writing and the raps that growls recites. In general I think that this was an extremely good book and made me laugh ot loud multiple times

Mattia

Fortismere

I thought this was a very enjoyable book that was exciting to read. I feel like the characters are relatable and well written. Even though it was a good book you could tell how it would finish a while before it happened.

Caitlin

St Kaths

It is a very funny and engaging book, the ending is especially good and there are no plot holes or questions unanswered. Overall I loved the book and it was very moving.

Max

St Kaths

I found this book really interesting because it uses language and terms from areas like south London and talks about the poor financial state of many of the people in the area. I love Shaun's character because even though he is in a bad financial state, wearing broken shoes and only having a potato for dinner, he always carries on doing what he loves. I also like how Siobhan's character is very mysterious when she is first introduced but we slowly learn more about her situation and personality. I like how the author deals with mental health problems when Shaun's friend becomes hospitalised from his bad state of mind. I think that this book definitely deserves to be on the shortlist.

Dylan

Ermysted’s

'Steady For This' is a fantastic book about finding out who you are and not following in others footsteps but instead your own. I have to be honest, when I started reading the book, I found it quite slow and boring because it was very repetitive and nothing much was really happening so it didn't draw me in that well. But I didn't give up on it and kept reading and then about half way through the book I started to really enjoy it and found the book very funny and heartwarming. Something that I actually really liked about this book was the chapter names and how different and funny they were. For example, Chapter 12 is called, 'so much beef the stakes are high'. This really made me laugh and helped me to understand the type of character Shaun is. I really like Shaun's character and how he is represented because he is one of those kids who is not afraid of who they are and does their own thing without being embarrassed. I thought this book was not exactly the same but quite similar to 'The Hate You Give' which I really loved. In conclusion, I thought that this book was fantastic but it is mainly about character rather than plot.

Evelyn

Fortismere

I quite liked this book as it was funny at times and had a good plot. It is a book that some people might be able to relate to. The book is quite unusual (in a good way) because it has rap lyrics as well as normal writing. I would recommend this book as it made you laugh out loud while really feeling the main characters emotions.

JJ

Fortismere

This book is about a young rapper and his best friend, together they are "MC Squared". They are ready to win Raptology. Shaun (Growly) and Shanks are confident until they are exposed on a livestream. Dirty laundry is uncovered and Shanks falls ill due to stress. Now Growls can hardly bear the thought of school, especially without Shanks by his side and to make matters worse, they are on the verge of being evicted! Growls feels broken but a few people come along who help him face his fears and step up to the mike. I liked the story because it showed real life situations and what life is like for better and worse. However some of the language and slang/abbreviations were hard to understand as I didn't know what they meant. The raps were also a little intruding to the story. I found it a bit too cool! My favourite character was Siobhan as she was fun, active and hopeful. She was also engaged with the real world and if she had her heart set on something, nothing got in her way! I would recommend this book for older readers and fans of real life scenarios. Also the kids who understand slang/abbreviations, so they understand most of the language used. I'd rate this book 7/10 as I enjoyed it but I got confused by the language.

Flo

The Fitzharrys Shadows

In my personal assessment of this exceptional book, I find it to be both captivating and remarkably authentic, weaving a narrative that feels entirely believable from start to finish. I even found myself drawing parallels between certain aspects of the story and the experiences of my own relatives. However, While not every reader may find resonance in its pages, once in the hands of its perfect audience, they'll be eager to turn over each page, hungry for what unfolds next. It is a literary gem that resonates with both teenage boys and girls alike. This narrative delves into profound societal issues, encompassing themes such as racism, poverty, the struggles of young carers, and the instability of housing security. However, Nathanael skilfully interweaves humour into his captivating narrative, ensuring that amidst the depth of the tale, moments of levity and laughter abound, adding an extra layer of richness to the storytelling experience.

Marwa

The Bentley Woodlanders

The book was relatable in many ways. It had language that you don’t usually see in a book as it is slang so it makes the characters feel more alive as you can tell how they talk. It was informal and funny but you could see a deeper meaning of bullying and poverty as well as mental health. Growls is an interesting character with a fresh view of life. It had serious moments but they were balanced with humour. Overall I would read the book again!

Ana Christina

Winchmore Carnegie Group 2024

I thoroughly enjoyed reading steady for this, it is a book about a boy Shaun, also known as Growls. He loves to rap and dreams of becoming famous, and having lots of money. But he ends up finding his own style of rapping, with some help from his teacher. Growls is a very relatable, and likeable character. Things happen to him that have most definitely have to a large majority of us, such as falling in love, and going viral for all the wrong reasons. This book is amazing, and a great read, I recommend it!

Caitlin w

VISTA Academy

Steady for This was a really enjoyable book. Despite the problems Growls faced, the book always managed to keep a lively atmosphere making the book a joy to read. There were so many moments that made me laugh! I would definitely recommend to a friend.

Patience

STCCG Shadowing

when I started this book I thought it wasn't good but as I moved on, the story started to become more interesting. This book mostly inspired me because of the twists and turns Shaun (aka MC Growls) made. I found I could relate to the family crisis in the story. I would give Steady for This a 9.5/10 for the plot, for the characters and how they are described and for the structure. Steady for this makes the reader really imagine the story. I really recommend this book.

Gloria

SPS Shadowers

Steady for this is a lovely book and as soon as I picked it up to read I just couldn't put it down until I had finished it. I would recommend it to all ages and to people who are maybe struggling a bit with their life so they can realise that sometimes bad things happen but you can change them into good things. I love the fact that he makes mistakes saying phrases and words because it just makes the book even more awesome.

Amelia

Skipton Shadows

At first I found it difficult to really enjoy the book as the style of writing was different to what I normally read. The book is written in a very informal style that tries to replicate the speech of a young man going through secondary school. Throughout the book I began to get into the book more and more as I got used to the slang. The ending was unexpected and went against what I though would happen. Overall, it's a good book that is good if you can get past the difference in language.

Benjamin R.

Ermysted’s

At first I found it difficult to really enjoy the book as the style of writing was different to what I normally read. The book is written in a very informal style that tries to replicate the speech of a young man going through secondary school. Throughout the book I began to get into the book more and more as I got used to the slang. The ending was unexpected and went against what I though would happen. Overall, it's a good book that is good if you can get past the difference in language.

Benjamin R.

Ermysted’s

I really enjoyed this book. I really liked how the author made it feel like some of the characters could read the other character's mind. The story is told in an original way with raps in the book. It is also a really good laugh out loud book.

Bethany

Ely College Reading Group

Steady For This At first I didn't think I'd enjoy this book, but as I kept reading it grew on me. It is written well and has shown the growth of Growls throughout the story. A wonderful read.

Amelia

Reepham Readers

I would have liked this book a lot more if it didn't use as much slang. Overall I liked the general plot but it was the amount of slang that it used that meant I didn't like it as much. I also think that the ending could have been a bit better.

Alfie S

Ermysted’s

At first I thought I wouldn't enjoy Steady for this , as the heavy colloquial language was a bit much, but as I got used to it, my view of the book completely changed! It is really funny, and all the characters, especially Shaun, felt so alive and colourful! The way the story resolves at the end is really heart-warming, especially as I found myself really likeing the characters. Overall, this is a book that I enjoyed so much more than I originally thought I would.

Edward L

Ermysted’s

"Steady For This" is a novel telling the story of "Growls" and his passion for rap music. We meet many characters along the way including Siobhan, a girl that changes "Growls" life. We also discover the challenges of eviction, being a child carer and living in poorer areas. This book definitely requires patience. Upon reading, I was confused by the language but began to laugh out loud at the cringey jokes made by "Growls". Many other reviews describe just how awful the book is after only reading a few pages, and I would agree. However, after a few chapters you will soon begin to love and feel sorry for "Growls" and some parts even made me cry! I would not call this a masterpiece in literature, but it is very inspiring especially for younger children, and although it is quite confusing to read (if you are not familiar with slang), the story and its morals are lovely and are clear to understand. Please do give this novel a go, even if you are reluctant at first, as it is a heart warming read. However, I would not classify this book as "Young Adult" and more age 9-12 with the understanding that there are some upsetting topics such as eviction and being a young carer. Overall, this is not the best book I've read but I would give it 7/10 for its wonderful ending and sweet characters.

Lola

PGHS Shadowers

It was very boring and I didn't like the book. The most annoying part was the slang.

hasan i

Ermysted’s

I thought that steady for this was a fairly good book but I didn't really like how it was anticlimactic with him spending the whole book trying to win Raptology to save him from eviction but his mum managed to get a better job anyway so it didn't matter. I liked the way he got facts or words wrong but sometimes he managed to get a really long word spelled right so it doesn't really fit with how he is portrayed for the rest of the book

Robin

Ermysted’s

The book "Steady for this, is an absolutely hilarious book! It really makes you laugh out loud with joy. I like the way the book uses teenage slang such as silly nick names like MC Growls and Shanks. Not only is the book amazing on the inside but the front cover is just beautiful and it has such vibrant colours that really make you smile. Overall this was a really good book that I really recomend 10/10

Eimear

Rebel Readers

Easily my least favourite so far, Steady For This was not a fun read. This is largely due to my disliking of this style and the author being rather oblivious to the fact that most people have absolutely no idea what half the language meant. For example, who would know that the word 'skeen' is slang for whatever/I don't care? Usually, I can credit the author on the plot or the characters if another part in the book is weak as they have previously made up for their mistakes with different aspects of writing but both the plot and characters in this book were appalling. Neither had any depth to them at all and seemed so extremely unrealistic, I spent time trying to think of the possibility of them happening in real life (which probably gave me more pleasure than reading the actual book.) Although I thoroughly despised this book, there was one feature that I actually liked, which was a part of the raps themselves, as they were relatively well structured, meaning I was able to follow the rhythm in my head. However, I did not enjoy reading the lyrics as they were genuinely atrocious, mainly related to ongoing events in Shaun's life, which did not fit the rhythm that I was able to understand. Overall, I found that this was a poor book with a weak plot and characters. Score: Characters:7/20 Plot:8/20 Inspiration:10/20 Total:25/60

Sevan

Ermysted’s

It is a fantastic book with amazing turns and twists. It is about a boy who is very good at rapping. Like the rest of the books it shows the difficulty of someone, in this case Shaun. I rate it a 8/10.

ming

Ermysted’s

This book was all right; some of the slang used was not executed that well but the protagonist was really sweet and although I disliked him at first I warmed up to him. 6/10

Isobel

Eltham Hill Book Club

This is a great fiction thriller about a boy who lives in Peckham who is a great rapper who wants to go to a competition but things go wrong when he get's an eviction notice and is made fun of at school for a video he made. My favourite bit in the book is when he wins the rap competition and all of his friends come celebrate it with him. It is a great, gripping, interesting book that makes you want to read more of it. In my opinion it is a great book that I would recommend for teens that enjoy fiction thrillers and stories about real life and gang violence. Overall, it is a great story with a good plot to it and i would definitely recommend this book.

Bulent

Fiction Addiction

Steady for This is new, imaginative, thoughtful and funny. It follows the escapades of young rapper Wannabe Growls, a.k.a. Shaun, as he tries to recover his reputation (after a disastrous live stream), save his family from being evicted and win Raptology, the local Rapping competition for teens. The book is incredibly funny and heart warming, and I instantly fell in love with the characters. It's use of slang is inspired, and really shows the book from Growls' point of view, which inspires empathy. The problems in Growls' life just keep stacking up, but, with his friends and family behind him, the book concludes with one of the best raps I have ever read. Steady for This is absolutely worth a read.

Jamie

Norwich School Carnegie Shadowers

Steady for This, by Nathanael Lessore, is a hilarious, beautifully written book. It is written in the perspective of Shaun (aka MC Growls). It follows how he copes with his ever-changing life, and how he copes with going viral in the wrong way. I love how Lessore made the reader feel like they were Growls. Also, the use of slang made characters in the book so fitting. Some of the jokes are hilarious, such as ‘I was supposed to be getting a black belt in origami’! It is one of the funniest book that I have ever read, and I cannot recommend it more!

Zachary

MTS Northwood

Steady For This is a book about Shaun aka Growls who wants to win Raptology with his best friend Shanks. However, as they livestream Growls dirty laundry is exposed to thousands of people including students making him the laughing stock at school. On top of that the council come banging with an eviction notice on his door. What I like about this book is how Shaun’s relationship with his family ends. In the start of the book they all seem like they all have their own struggles and they don’t communicate with each other however during the end of the book they start connecting like a family again. What I also like about the book is how it’s very modern and new day. This book uses a lot of modern slang which might interest those who don’t read as something to start with. Nevertheless, this language might confuse readers as not everyone knows what some of these words are. However, there is one thing I don’t like, which might be different for everyone, are the raps at the start of the book. Sometimes I feel like Shaun is using random words that don’t even fit with the rap which is quite random. Other than that, there’s nothing else I don’t like about this book. I would rate this book a 8/10 and recommend it to those who know their slang as some of it may be confusing.

Esi

The Fitzharrys Shadows

It was a funny book ,but I felt sad for Shaun because he had a lot going on in his life.

Humera

Winchmore Carnegie Group 2024

‘Steady for This’ by Nathanael Lessore - I found myself wanting to know more about the main character Shaun AKA Growls as the story progressed. He gets into trouble, makes wrong choices, doesn’t know how to talk to the girls and everything he says is wrong and confused (as the title of the book and the titles of the chapters show - the overuse of Growls saying things incorrectly almost spoilt the book for me, although you might find it funny). It doesn’t matter how doppy he comes across, he has friends and family that accept him. These friends are key in Growl’s life and they and others help him learn to cope with what he is going through - developing friendships, acceptance, loss, parental issues, online bullying and lots more. The length of the chapters are not that long and I find the story moves on at a quick pace. I found it easy to follow and always wanted to read more - I think that was because the characters in the story felt real and authentic - I could picture these characters and imagine what they were going through. Sometimes, in life a situation can feel very bleak but talking about how you feel and accepting the advice and support you’re given can make all the difference, as Growls proves. It’s definitely worth a read, as it addresses many issues that young adults may face and how they may overcome these situations with the help of teachers and staff in school ready to listen - there are quite a few hidden heroes in this story.

Mrs Lucas

Marshland Readers

Shaun aka Grimes is a high school kid who dreams of becoming a famous rapper. Life isn’t always easy for him and the author highlights the struggles that many of today’s youth face when living in poverty. The writer draws you in with emotive language and humour which means you can really laugh and cry along with the characters. Although well written with some laugh out loud humour, I wouldn’t be rushing to read the book again. However this book may appeal to you if you yourself are an aspiring artist who fancies a quick read.

Florence

HHS

I found this book really hard to read. I didn't finish it. I just couldn't get into it. It was boring, and it didn't flow.

Oscar Overend

Ermysted’s

Brilliant jokes and laugh out loud moments that make steady for this a hilarious novel. Shaun is only a teenager when his life is filled with looming threats of eviction, he's a laughing stock on social media and school, and his best mate is hospitalised by anxiety attacks. This book is interspersed with masterful raps that are enjoyable to read. Steady for this has a really satisfying ending and epilogues that tie all loose ends together. This story reminds everyone that, no matter what, everyone has friends or family to support them.

Caiden o

VISTA Academy

Even thought this book was not something I would usually read, I really enjoyed it. I found it very abstract and it was much better than I had originally expected. I would give this book four out of five stars.

Cerys

St Kaths

I would give this book a 5/10 because it just meets the alright mark. Growls mum works hard for him, I think Siobhan and him should just be friends. Honestly, I believe that the fact he is called "poopy pants" is pathetic and just cringe because all his mum did was carry laundry. It's also not Growls job to worry about eviction- it's his parents.

Rashad

Brooke Weston Book Busters

Steady For This is a new and refreshing type of writing that engages the reader with modern slang. The story is about a young MC and his friend trying to start their career but after a disastrous live performance everything is turned upside-down. The author’s style of writing is an innovative way to unearth the world of rap and modern day life for teens. Personally rap had never interested me but I couldn't put the book down and found it an engaging read. 8/10

Isla

The Fitzharrys Shadows

The book Steady for This takes place in the east end of London and is about a boy whose life is turned upside down. But when his best friend stopped turning up to school, can he find new ones? Can he do the local rapping competition by himself? He must find a way to prevent his family from losing their home. The part in this book I really enjoyed was how the storyline was laid out and how the protagonist (Shaun AKA Growls) really progressed as a character and grew to appreciate the art of rapping. An aspect of this book I didn't like was the language. Although it set the scene of his personality and style of speaking, I couldn't really understand what the author was trying to say, through Shaun. This book has an interesting insight on what life is like in east London. I would recommend this book to 12 - 14 year olds and would give it a 4/10 as it’s not a genre I particularly enjoy.

Eloise

The Fitzharrys Shadows

I really enjoyed this book and the rhythmic pace of the book interspersed by humour and also disaster and just by looking I could tell I was looking at something special. Outstanding must read.

benjy

Fortismere

‘Steady for This’ is amazing and I thoroughly enjoy it. I love the concept and the humour and once it gets into the book, the plot. I love how the story develops and overall the goofiness of it, whilst also having a deeper meaning.

SophieH

Sir Harry’s Shadowers

Lily c

Sir Harry’s Shadowers

I have been injured, I wonder how this got into the shortlist let alone got written seeing the clear lack of intelligence behind its writing I felt myself slowly falling into a deep depression whilst reading this excuse for a novel.

Daniel

Sir Harry’s Shadowers

My brother read 3 pages of this to me, and i am honestly scarred for life. This is one of the worst books that i have ever begun to hear. I will try to read this absolute abomination of literature, but i quite frankly don’t know if i can force myself to. After hearing this, i am genuinely concerned about my mental state should i actually complete this. It is a tasteless mish mash of words that makes me genuinely concerned for the future of our generation. Thank you for your time.

Sophie

Sir Harry’s Shadowers

I am two pages in and this book makes me want to cry myself to sleep. There is so much slang that there should be a Duolingo course on it, it's very weird and bad. Please beware if you read this you will never be able to go back. 1.764/7.8

Lily c

Sir Harry’s Shadowers

I was utterly horrified by the first page - it was really cringey and awkward and felt too juvenile. I was already begrudging the anticipate wasted time spent reading this. But... It was brilliant. By the end I absolutely adored Growls and would have loved to have had him in my class. Although I didn't like the 'amazing-teacher-everyone-listens-to-straight-away' trope and didn't overly buy into Siobhan's love for him (rather than friendship), I really enjoyed how relatable the character was. It worked hard to show that Shaun's mum was actually a really good mum who tried hard, and sometimes those people who really irritate us don't do it maliciously. I think it would be a great text for all students to read to help them develop empathy for others and realise that there is more to everyone's story than we first assume.

Mrs W

VISTA Academy

Steady for This is a book about a teenage boy named Shaun (aka MC Growls) who aspires to become a rapper. He becomes aware of a competition called rapatology. He is all ready to win when a series of events leaves him unable to enter. This book unfortunately begins in a plotless way but it soon develops into an engaging and gripping story. In the middle you begin to feel for Shaun in a way that only the best authors can do (especially because I found him irritating to begin). Overall I would rate this book at a 7/10. It only lost marks for the beginning.

Simon

The Fitzharrys Shadows

Steady for this is a rapping book, Shaun (Mc Growls) gets a bad livestream look. Alone, with no friends he can’t show his face, But Siobhan makes him feel like he’s winning a race. Yet poverty is knocking and the eviction clock is tick tocking, So can he find a way to solve his case? I really enjoyed this amazing novel, Not at once did it feel like a big struggle. With a relation to the real world, I felt this story unfurl. My favourite character was Mr Rix, He always helped Shaun when he was in a fix. Influential and great advice, He was always extremely nice. Scenes talking to Shaun after the livestream were certainly mysterious, However, this did make the book fun yet serious. Although I didn’t enjoy this book at first, It filled me with a reading thirst. With great punch lines and comedy, This could be described as a reading anomaly. Overall, I would definitely recommend this book, To people with humour so give it a look!

Orla

The Fitzharrys Shadows

I HATED THIS BOOK SO MUCH. Everything about it was dreadful: the characters were all detestable, the plot was awful, the events were ludicrously annoying and the language used was so cringey I couldn't finish it. I read the first page, thought in my head, "This looks terrible" and put it down halfway through the book and never picked it up again. How this was ever shortlisted, or even willingly published, I will never know. Would never recommend this to anybody. -10/10

Lily

Wolfpack

I found this book OK. It had a good plot, with characters that you could sympathise with. I just didn't like the way it was written. I know it was meant to be funny, but I just found it annoying to read.

Dylan

TBGS Readers

Steady For This is written from the perspective of a high-school kid, and uses slang to express this. Although this is useful, it is occasionally difficult to understand, but has a good effect overall. I liked how Shaun faces lots of challenges, like the threat of eviction, and Shanks falling ill, but overcomes them and wins Raptology. I also like how he wins it: everyone else was flinging insults left right and centre, but he told his story, and didn't insult his opponents.

Aashaz

Ermysted’s

For this book, I really did not like it at all. The boy in it talks like no real human being would actually talk. He sounds like a kid in an American high school film. It was not funny, and I just read it as fast as I could just to get it done and over with. I cannot stress enough that NO ONE actually talks like that, and I didn't even like the story line. A boy trying to do 'raptology'? What on earth is that? It got a bit better towards the end and at least he achieved his goal. Rapping. Wow. The author could have at least done something other than terrible raps. I would understand singing, but rapping? That's scraping the bottom of the barrel. Anyway, I don't mean any offense to the author, I guess that is just what adults think we sound and talk like these days. I give it a great score of 2 out of 10.

Elliott.H

Ermysted’s

'Steady for this' is a funny and surprisingly moving book by Nathanael Lessore. It's the story of Shaun (or MC Growls) who dreams to be a renowned rapper, and is all set to win Raptology (a freestyle rapping competition) with his best friend - that is, until he's embarrassed big time when his mum comes in with his dirty pants during his and Shanks' live rapping video. Now he's the laughing stock of the entire school, his crush is disgusted by him, his best friend is in hospital and to top it all, he has to deal with him and his family getting evicted. Every chapter is funny and meaningful, with relatable characters and slang language. The author addresses major issues like bullying, mental health, friendship issues and racism, exploring and challenging them, while balancing it out with awkward and comical situations to lighten the mood. Personally, I really enjoyed this book as it was hilarious and genuinely moving, and gave me a wider perspective and knowledge of stereotypes and issues around the world. I would definitely recommend this novel to any reader who enjoys funny and touching books.

Farida

Fiction Addiction

I have read this book and I must say I was astounded with how good it was. It has language that people would say nowadays and teenagers will definitely enjoy this book. It reflects with how students in year 8-9 feel about classes. Rapping seems to be the main theme of this story about a guy named Growls trying to win a contest but goes wrong. One thing I like is the character development I highly praise character development and it works really well. Overall it is a book I feel like going back to one day.

Mikail

FPHS Reading Crew

I think this book shows an amazing insight into gang culture, showing how their life really is and helping you empathise. And how he is trying to be 'cool' really makes you think that maybe not all people who appear deeply into gang culture may just be someone from a low socioeconomic background trying to be 'cool'. I think that descriptions of Shaun and Shanks could be clearer as you don't really find out much about what they look like. I would rate this book 64/70. I think it would be better if the romance wasn't quite so textbook, but overall a great book.

Isobel

Skipton Shadows

MC Growls is ready to drop his best bars and smash the competition at Raptology. that way, he's convinced Tanisha, his crush, will finally give him a chance. but when a livestream practice goes epically wrong, hes finally achieved his dreams of going viral but not in the good way. now Tanisha won't look at him, he's the joke of the school and there's no way he can show his face at the competition. then a new girl on the block appears who might be just the friend Growls needs. Especially when she points out that Raptology could be the answer to his problems after all

Rajanp

Ermysted’s

I found this book really funny and engaging (there's even a bit where the main character gets stuck in a pram). I would definitely choose this book for the awards!!! This book would be great for someone going through a hard time as well. And all the characters are so immersive and true-to-life!!! This would also be great for people who are just getting into reading.

Rosellen

Rebel Readers

this book was surprisingly good, it was quite similar to another book I have read called The Poet X. this book was also quite funny as Growls doesn't really understand most of the things people say and he speaks in a funny way the only thing is the end was pretty predictable, seen as everything goes to plan.

IsaacJ

Ermysted’s

This is one of the funniest books I've ever read. Shaun's weird type of language makes the book seem very unique. The characters in this book are all very different. Sometimes it can be a bit weird but its a great book overall. I would recommend this to 12-15 year olds and rate it a 9.5/10.

Baasit

Ermysted’s

This refreshing debut novel by South East London author Nathanael Lessore offers authenticity whilst maintaining a light, comical tone that will engage teenage readers. The vibrant, visual appeal of the cover makes this title pop and could potentially draw in more reluctant readers when browsing the shelf. Modern slang dialect is used by the main character throughout the novel (which, due to my unfamiliarity, took me some time to get used to) which might also draw in readers of this age. There is regular ‘code shifting’ as dialogue bounces from slang to other forms of language used by the influential people in Growls’ life – his mum, his English teacher, Mr Rix, and his home-schooled friend, Siobhan. I particularly liked the dimension that Mr Rix’s character brought to the story, helping Growls to realise the power of unearthing the history of rap music, forging a connection through mutual interest in an art form I LOVE THIS BOOK

Laksh

Ermysted’s

I really liked how when Shaun is talking the author swaps outs words with other words like he says he is exercising his triceratops instead of his triceps. Some of the words used might be hard for some people to understand as quite a bit of the book uses slang. Overall I think its a good book.

alfie s

Ermysted’s

This book was amazing and made me laugh lots of times. It also had unexpected moments and twists and turns. Very good highly recommend

Jamie

The St. Bede’s Literary Critics

Steady for this by Nathanael lassore is a fantastic book with amazing turns and twists. It is about a boy who very good at 'rapping'. He experiences many difficulties but pulls through them one at a time. With having to handle rejections and dates. This book has it all. It is most notable for how funny the book actually this. This master- piece had me not wanting to stop reading. This book is gripping and is a vital read. I would recommend this book for people who like funny and gripping storys

kieran

Fiction Addiction

I really enjoyed this book. It flowed well and you could share the way Growls felt. The rap verses were very good; they made sense , told a story and rhymed most of the time. The jokes made me laugh and it was easy to read and understand. On the whole, I loved it - a really good book - I would recommend.

Sophie

The St. Bede’s Literary Critics

I enjoyed the book mainly for the kind of topics mentioned; the bullying, the eviction and the struggle to pick between friends. I also like the journey he took to reach fame and the fact that his friends and family stood by his side through most of it. It is simply heartwarming.

Victoria

SHS On The Same Page

This book is about a boy called Shaun who loves to rap. He has a great personality but when his best friend stops coming into school- and even leaving the house- he makes friends with someone new. The story was based on the author’s own life and appeared to be a real story. My favourite character was Siobhan because she’s a very strong and independent character despite struggles at home. It’s a hilarious story and incredibly hard to stop reading. It was just a little hard to follow because of the style. Nathanael Lessore made the choice to misspell certain words to imply that Shaun doesn’t speak the same as everyone else. I really liked this book and couldn’t stop reading it. I would recommend it for ages 11-14 and would rate it 8/10.

Hannah

The Fitzharrys Shadows

I quite liked this book and I thought it was very well written; the humour was well balanced with the emotion and challenges that Shaun faced. The language used made it easy to imagine the character of Shaun/Growls and gave insight into his thoughts and ways of life; the constant word plays were clever and conveyed how rapping is a big part of his life. It was kind of endearing how he seemed naive and sometimes stupid although there were times where I thought that actually, this was purposeful or a part of his ‘bars’, which was interesting to read about. I also really liked Siobhan though her storyline was slightly predictable. The plot was not very eventful and seemed kind of hastily resolved but the rap lyrics were clever and funny and overall, I enjoyed the book.

Rosie

Bookiewookiedoodaas

I liked this book because of the dialect used although some people might not understand the dialect used I understood it and it was funny I also like how the book was a good length for its content. I didn't really like the start of this book but when i got near the middle i liked it. This and Choose Love are my favourite books.

baasim

Ermysted’s

Possibly the worst book I have ever read. I felt like I was losing IQ for every page I read. I couldn’t wait to put the book down as I was cringing with every second of reading. Read if you wish, but bear this in mind.

Sam S

Ermysted’s

This book took me a while to get into, but once I got past the middle of the book I did enjoy the story. I found the style it was written in hard to read.

Mrs C

Ossie’s bookworms

This was quite slow at the start, however got much better towards the end. The word play that was used was funny and it was a decent length for the content. Good for fans of Angie Thomas or Run Rebel (from a few years ago).

Aaron

Ermysted’s