The man with the golden pen: QE’s favourite author is to visit

The most borrowed author in The Queen’s Library is to visit the School in the autumn.

Robert Muchamore’s CHERUB books about teenage secret agents have proved hugely popular – and Librarian Ciara Murray reports that the Library’s latest acquisition, New Guard, the high-octane finale to the series, has been causing quite a stir. In fact, it was so eagerly awaited that Ms Murray devised a competition to decide which boys would be the first to borrow it.

“Robert Muchamore outstrips even J K Rowling here: his books account for an amazing 1,550 loans since the Library was first opened. They rarely get put back on the shelf – as soon as they are returned, someone else wants to borrow them! – so we are really looking forward to his visit.”

The books were devised when Robert Muchamore’s 12-year-old nephew complained that he could not find anything to read that interested him, and since their publication have delighted hordes of teenagers, even those who were formerly reluctant readers.

""The competition, which involved a “fiendish” quiz, was open to Years 7–10 and required entrants to show their knowledge of CHERUB, or Charles Henderson Espionage Research Unit B – a fictional British Government security agency employing children and adolescents. There were more than 100 entries.

“As a tiebreaker, boys had to tell us why they love Robert Muchamore’s books; the answers demonstrated that their appeal continues apace, even as the series draws to a close,” said Ms Murray.

Three boys stood out in the competition, achieving 100% in the quiz and giving the following tiebreaker responses:

  • “There is one thing I am gutted about: Why does CHERUB have to come to an end? … I would like to take this opportunity and recommend CHERUB to everyone 11 and up. It is truly something you will get stuck into.” – Manomay Lala-Raykar, Year 7 (pictured above left).
  • “They are packed with hidden surprises and suspenseful scenes….One of the things that is wonderful in the series is the character progression – how the main character (James) progresses from a lazy, arrogant child to an intelligent and skilled secret agent.” – Aadarsh Khimasia, Year 7 (pictured above right).
  • ""“They are very different from regular generic adventure books as they aren't set off in a distant land or world, so you can imagine yourself in the situations the characters are in.” – Tarun Bhaskaran, Year 9.

A further eight runners-up proved their expertise, also achieving 100%.

Once the winners of the quiz have had their chance to read the books, New Guard will be available to all. “We are already anticipating a long waiting list!” said Ms Murray.