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Flinty Maguire
Writer & Illustrator

Flinty Maguire is the founder and editor of this website, She has always written 'stuff' but writing for children is, she says, the best job she's ever had.
More about the author >

Flinty Maguire: author of the Ellie Booton's Journal series

*Trouble at the Crab Shack Café, Ellie Booton's Journal, No. 1
*The Lighthouse Code, Ellie Booton's Journal, No. 2
*Ellie Booton's Journal, No. 3 - coming soon...

Exciting, thoughtful adventures, suitable for boys and girls, reading age 10 upwards.

I appreciate feedback. I'm very happy to visit schools (within reasonable travelling distance) to read to children and discuss themes occuring in the books: relocation, friendship, bullying, fuzzy logic, problem solving.

I donate copies of my books to local schools.


Publisher's website:


Trouble at the Crab Shack
Flinty Maguire Flinty Maguire


Blurb: What can I tell you about the Crab Shack café? Well, first of all, it's not a shack and crab isn't on the menu. In fact, soon, it might not be a cafe at all, and that means one thing - DISASTER! PLUS - Eddie and Susannah have fallen out - Cooper and Abigail are hanging round with that Gilby Flynn - and Elsie is about to have a nervous breakdown. And would you believe it - our school project is ONLY to make the world a BETTER PLACE - as if we didn't have enough on our plates. We're all in BIG, BIG TROUBLE.

Paperback and Kindle

Sample the book

Review >

The Lighthouse Code
Flinty Maguire Flinty Maguire


Blurb: The first time I saw the red flash I wasn't too worried, but red is a WARNING, and I should have known better. BAD stuff was about to happen. I didn't know who and I didn't know why, but one thing was obvious - someone, somewhere was trying to get a message through. It's OK, you can read my journal. Just be careful not to make the same mistakes in your life...

Paperback and Kindle

Sample the book >

Review >

Flinty Maguire writes: I moved around as a kid and went to several schools, but my most settled, happy time was when I lived in a house with a view of the sea, which is the inspiration for Ellie Booton's Journal. I've been writing on and off for years, but it's taken a while to find the right genre - and I love writing adventures for children. I remember finding Enid Blyton's, The Island of Adventure, in my grandmother's box room. I still have that book all these years later.

I have lived in lots of locations. I was a mature student and graduated from Leeds University with a Cultural Studies degree. I've muddled through - never had a grand plan.

I came to Saltaire in 2003 and started in 2006 as a bit of a hobby. It's become a way of life to develop and maintain it.

The themes in my book are, hopefully, thought provoking, exciting and ultimately uplifting. I try to sprinkle lots of humour in there too. The world is experienced through the eyes of young Ellie Booton. She's a thinker, a little quirky, compassionate and a problem solving kid. Her life is not straight forward and like most children, Ellie experiences the challenge of change, the frustrations and fragility of relationships as well as the rewards, and on occasion, the threat of danger.

The world is a complicated place for any child to occupy, and it's humbling and amazing how resourceful, brave and compassionate children can be.

I appreciate feedback. I'm very happy to visit schools (within reasonable travelling distance) to read to children and discuss themes occuring in the books: relocation, friendship, bullying, fuzzy logic, problem solving.

I donate copies of my books to local schools.


Publisher's website:

Ellie Booton

Big brother, Eddie

Juna Budd, creeps around like a shadow

REVIEW: Trouble at the Crab Shack Café - Ellie Booton's Journal, No. 1

A Remarkably Engaging Story of One Young Girl's Summer

Bop Bob writes: "Ellie Booton is a bright, observant, sensitive, practical young girl who undertakes to write a journal describing a tumultuous summer in her little village. From her new friendship, to multi-generational family dynamics, to a sibling love story, to a beloved neighbor's financial crisis, events both large and small are filtered through her eyes and imagination and presented to us as lovely and fresh thoughts about the many virtues, pleasures, and small kindnesses we often overlook. Spiced with sly good humor, some very funny bits, and the occasional bit of edge, this book is never heavy-handed, but is always brisk, direct and engaging.

Ellie is a cheerful, unflappable and genuine companion, and this book is a calm, clever and mellow discovery."

REVIEW: The Lighthouse Code - Ellie Booton's Journal, No. 2
Flinty Maguire

Calm, Measured and Insightful Look At Bullying (and Life)

Bop Bob writes: "This is the second Ellie Booton book and it differs considerably from the first. Book one, "Trouble at the Crab Shack Cafe", features young Ellie Booton. In it she recounts the events of a tumultuous summer in her little village. It's funny and insightful and introduces an endearing and perceptive new heroine in the person of Ellie Booton. There are many story lines, but the book is episodic and mostly tied together by the overlapping and interconnected lives of the people in Ellie's village and the members of Ellie's family. Ellie sees a lot and understands most of what she sees, while we understand the rest of it.

This second book in the series has a more focused plot, a message and a point of view. While there are side stories, some humorous set pieces, and some echoes of events from the first book, the main thrust of this story relates to bullying and the complicated process that kids go through in deciding how to react to, deal with, and report bullying.

While book one was mainly a cheerful lark, this book falls mostly into the category of a "problem book". That's not at all a bad thing, (and a book that addresses bullying in a realistic way is always welcome), but it does make this a different reading experience. Added to that, some of the incidental sub-plots are a bit dark and add a hint of gloom and edginess to the early sections of the book. We all come out into the light by the end, but that doesn't feel like a sure thing at the outset.

All of that said, it is important to stress that Ellie Booton remains an engaging and sympathetic heroine. Her voice is strong and her observations are always interesting and well expressed. Also, a number of characters from the first book, (especially Grandma and Ellie's brother's girlfriend Susannah), continue as strong, appealing and wise/comforting presences. Ellie's friends also distinguish themselves. While they are sometimes confused or indecisive, they are also bright, thoughtful, loyal and sensitive.

Of the two main points that I took from the book , the first was a better understanding of how and why kids can convince themselves to keep silent about bullying. The second was an appreciation of how alert adults can cut through that silence and release the kids from their quandary.

The upshot is that this book is considerably more than a kids version of a village comedy of manners. This book makes a point and encourages one to think about bullying. It does so in a convincing fashion that feels authentic and avoids false steps or exaggeration. It's not that often that you find a middle grade book that is practical, pertinent, thought provoking, and engaging, but that's where I ended up as I read this book.

Please note that I found this book by searching Amazon KindleUnlimited free downloads. I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book."

Text and images copyright Flinty Maguire


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