Books
  • The Best Medicine Cover
  • Best Medicine, The

    By Christine Hamill

    Quick Overview

    A multi-award-winning and hilarious take on the unfunny subject of cancer.
    • $8.00
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    Awards Received

    Winner of the Laugh Out Loud Book Awards 2017

     

    Winner of the 9-13 Laugh out Loud Award (Lollies) 2017

    Winner of the Haringey Children’s Book Prize 2017

    Shortlisted for the Great Reads Award 2016

    Shortlisted for the St Helen’s Libraries Book Award 2017

    'No. No. No. NO! Anything but that. Anything but the B word. How could she do this to me? Now everybody would be saying the word ‘breast’ all the time as if it were some ordinary everyday word like ‘teapot’.


    A multi-award-winning and hilarious take on the unfunny subject of cancer.

    This book brings one of modern life's most prevalent illnesses into the light and gives it a human face.

    Philip's mum has breast cancer. Philip wants to be a stand-up comedian like his hero, Harry Hill. Now he has to find the funny side of an unfunny subject, to help his mum - and himself.

    Philip is twelve years old and life is pretty good. He gets on with his mum and gets by pretty well at school - in spite of girl problems, teacher problems, bully problems and - er - poetry problems. Philip's happy-go-lucky life is disrupted when his mother gets breast cancer. Bad enough that your mother is seriously ill - but could she not have developed a less embarrassing kind of cancer - toe cancer, maybe, or ear cancer? Philip's attempts to cope with his situation are both hilarious and touching.


    Through it all, he's writing letters to his hero, the comedian Harry Hill, looking for advice.

    ‘Funny, moving and strangely empowering in its determination to laugh in the face of the seemingly unbearable, it’s hard to believe that it’s a first novel. Look, just buy it. You won’t regret the decision.’
    – John Connolly, New York Times Bestselling author of The Book of Lost Things

    ‘I was bowled over by it. She has a wonderful voice and a great sense of humour. She reminded me of Frank Cottrell Boyce. I devoured it in one sitting. It’s about a boy whose mother is diagnosed with breast cancer. But it’s also about the comedian Harry Hill and a boy who loves to tell jokes and a mother who is behaving very oddly and about falling in love and about your best friend falling for the girl you fancy … Just go out and buy it. It’s fabulous.’ – Patricia Forde, author of The Wordsmith

    ‘The book is a real insight into how a parent’s illness can impact a child, and the unusual ways they cope with it all. A perfect little book if you your little one knows a close family member who is battling cancer, and is unsure how to deal with the diagnosis.’ – Mummypages

    ‘Christine Hamill has a way of bringing humour to the trauma of cancer that no other author has dared to’ – The Belfast Telegraph

    ‘The light-hearted touch in this story stops it from becoming a maudlin tale about illness, which is particularly clever given the subject matter. Instead, it is a down-to-earth, funny, emotive story which has you laughing and crying at the same time … This uplifting book will open the eyes of those who think illness should be kept behind closed doors and only whispered about.’ – The Book Activist

    ‘The story drives along at a rollicking pace – the comedy and the serious matter of potential tragedy harmonising nicely.’ – The Irish Times

    ‘The stages of Philip’s Mum’s illness and treatment and its emotional effects are portrayed convincingly and the light-hearted fictional approach to a difficult subject, told through Philip’s likeable, funny voice, will help young people to understand and cope with a situation that many are likely to face.’ – Books for Keeps

    ‘A tender and engaging novel, that will also make you laugh out loud. Not only does the book thoroughly entertain throughout, it will also provide comfort and support for adults and children alike who are experiencing a familiar situation. Whilst it can seem like the future in such circumstances is grim, Christine shows that you are not alone and that you can find support in the most unlikely of places. I can not recommend this book highly enough!’ – Ulster Tatler Magazine

    ‘Sweet, funny and touching. I loved it.’ – Sue Leonard, Irish Examiner

    ‘A highly entertaining and wonderfully realistic tale ... The powerful bond between mother and son, and the wonderful support and comfort that such a relationship bestows, forms the beating heart of the story.’ – The Bookbag

    ‘A remarkably confident book, not shying away from the intricacies of the disease; or the importance of humour despite it ... The Best Medicine may tackle a sensitive subject, which is a source of trauma for many (and that’s just the first love bit); but it does so in a reassuringly accessible and life-affirming way. Ultimately far more than a book about an illness, The Best Medicine is a heart-warming and satisfying read, which will keep both adults and children engaged to the very end.’ – Emily Elphinstone, Nomoreworkhorse

    ‘A very funny new book for children about the unfunny subject of cancer.’ – NI4Kids, chosen as one of their Summer Reads 2016

    ‘Christine Hamill’s first novel is a very accomplished, sensitive exploration of the effects of cancer on a single parent, single child family. It is made all the more compelling by the vivid and realistic characterisation of twelve year old Philip.’ – The School Librarian, Sept 2016

    ‘The story steers its way through the tricky subject of coping with cancer to great effect. A story that could so easily resort to pathos rises to become a tenacious tale, invested with genuinely funny moments.’ – Carousel Magazine

    Christine Hamill lives with her son in Belfast and teaches creative writing in a college of further education. This is her first novel and her first book for children. She is also the author of a non-fiction book for adults, B is for Breast Cancer.

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    Description

    'No. No. No. NO! Anything but that. Anything but the B word. How could she do this to me? Now everybody would be saying the word ‘breast’ all the time as if it were some ordinary everyday word like ‘teapot’.


    A multi-award-winning and hilarious take on the unfunny subject of cancer.

    This book brings one of modern life's most prevalent illnesses into the light and gives it a human face.

    Philip's mum has breast cancer. Philip wants to be a stand-up comedian like his hero, Harry Hill. Now he has to find the funny side of an unfunny subject, to help his mum - and himself.

    Philip is twelve years old and life is pretty good. He gets on with his mum and gets by pretty well at school - in spite of girl problems, teacher problems, bully problems and - er - poetry problems. Philip's happy-go-lucky life is disrupted when his mother gets breast cancer. Bad enough that your mother is seriously ill - but could she not have developed a less embarrassing kind of cancer - toe cancer, maybe, or ear cancer? Philip's attempts to cope with his situation are both hilarious and touching.


    Through it all, he's writing letters to his hero, the comedian Harry Hill, looking for advice.

    Praise

    ‘Funny, moving and strangely empowering in its determination to laugh in the face of the seemingly unbearable, it’s hard to believe that it’s a first novel. Look, just buy it. You won’t regret the decision.’
    – John Connolly, New York Times Bestselling author of The Book of Lost Things

    ‘I was bowled over by it. She has a wonderful voice and a great sense of humour. She reminded me of Frank Cottrell Boyce. I devoured it in one sitting. It’s about a boy whose mother is diagnosed with breast cancer. But it’s also about the comedian Harry Hill and a boy who loves to tell jokes and a mother who is behaving very oddly and about falling in love and about your best friend falling for the girl you fancy … Just go out and buy it. It’s fabulous.’ – Patricia Forde, author of The Wordsmith

    ‘The book is a real insight into how a parent’s illness can impact a child, and the unusual ways they cope with it all. A perfect little book if you your little one knows a close family member who is battling cancer, and is unsure how to deal with the diagnosis.’ – Mummypages

    ‘Christine Hamill has a way of bringing humour to the trauma of cancer that no other author has dared to’ – The Belfast Telegraph

    ‘The light-hearted touch in this story stops it from becoming a maudlin tale about illness, which is particularly clever given the subject matter. Instead, it is a down-to-earth, funny, emotive story which has you laughing and crying at the same time … This uplifting book will open the eyes of those who think illness should be kept behind closed doors and only whispered about.’ – The Book Activist

    ‘The story drives along at a rollicking pace – the comedy and the serious matter of potential tragedy harmonising nicely.’ – The Irish Times

    ‘The stages of Philip’s Mum’s illness and treatment and its emotional effects are portrayed convincingly and the light-hearted fictional approach to a difficult subject, told through Philip’s likeable, funny voice, will help young people to understand and cope with a situation that many are likely to face.’ – Books for Keeps

    ‘A tender and engaging novel, that will also make you laugh out loud. Not only does the book thoroughly entertain throughout, it will also provide comfort and support for adults and children alike who are experiencing a familiar situation. Whilst it can seem like the future in such circumstances is grim, Christine shows that you are not alone and that you can find support in the most unlikely of places. I can not recommend this book highly enough!’ – Ulster Tatler Magazine

    ‘Sweet, funny and touching. I loved it.’ – Sue Leonard, Irish Examiner

    ‘A highly entertaining and wonderfully realistic tale ... The powerful bond between mother and son, and the wonderful support and comfort that such a relationship bestows, forms the beating heart of the story.’ – The Bookbag

    ‘A remarkably confident book, not shying away from the intricacies of the disease; or the importance of humour despite it ... The Best Medicine may tackle a sensitive subject, which is a source of trauma for many (and that’s just the first love bit); but it does so in a reassuringly accessible and life-affirming way. Ultimately far more than a book about an illness, The Best Medicine is a heart-warming and satisfying read, which will keep both adults and children engaged to the very end.’ – Emily Elphinstone, Nomoreworkhorse

    ‘A very funny new book for children about the unfunny subject of cancer.’ – NI4Kids, chosen as one of their Summer Reads 2016

    ‘Christine Hamill’s first novel is a very accomplished, sensitive exploration of the effects of cancer on a single parent, single child family. It is made all the more compelling by the vivid and realistic characterisation of twelve year old Philip.’ – The School Librarian, Sept 2016

    ‘The story steers its way through the tricky subject of coping with cancer to great effect. A story that could so easily resort to pathos rises to become a tenacious tale, invested with genuinely funny moments.’ – Carousel Magazine

    About the Author

    Christine Hamill

    Christine Hamill lives with her son in Belfast and teaches creative writing in a college of further education. This is her first novel and her first book for children. She is also the author of a non-fiction book for adults, B is for Breast Cancer.

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