Tom Fletcher Book Club: Utterly Me, Clarice Bean by Lauren Child

Tom Fletcher Book Club: Utterly Me, Clarice Bean by Lauren Child

Watch Tom’s Bedtime Story:

Clarice Bean, Utterly Me – Lauren Child

Clarice Bean loves reading the adventures of Ruby Redfort, ace girl detective and secret undercover agent. Ruby is always going on exciting missions. Whilst all Clarice gets to do is go to the local shop on her own. But when Clarice and her best friend, Betty Moody, decide to do their school project on the Ruby Redfort books, they suddenly start finding mysteries everywhere.

Read Tom’s Review:

This book is UTTERLY brilliant. Clarice is such a great character that you’ll feel like you know instantly. The way the story within a story of Ruby Redfort – the secret detective, weaves in and out, mirroring Clarice’s life is amazing and the illustrations will feel familiar to anyone who read Charlie and Lola.

Favourite quote:
She is utterly, absolutely never not ever late for class. Except very rarely.

Read an Extract from Clarice Bean, Utterly Me:


This is me, Clarice Bean.
I am not an only child, but I sometimes wish I was.
My family is six people, which is sometimes too many.
Not always, just sometimes.
Mainly my dad is mostly in an office answering the phone and going, “I can’t talk now, I’m up to my ears in it.”

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Mum is always gribbling about pants on the floor and shoes on the sofa.
She says, “This house doesn’t clean itself you know.
Who do you think does everything around here?
Mr Nobody?
I don’t get paid to pick up your smelly socks!
If I did I’d be a rich woman.” etc etc non-non-stop.
I am the third oldest and I think it would have been a good idea if I was the youngest too. I am not quite sure why my mum and dad wanted to have more children after me.
They don’t need another one and it’s a shame because he is spoiling it for everyone else. He is called Minal Cricket and he tends to be utterly a nuisance.
He is non-stop whining and causing other people to get themselves in trouble.

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You might think
        it would be a
relief to come to school,
        but if you do,
then obviously you don’t know
some of the people in my class.
Naming no names,
        i.e. Grace Grapello,
what a show-off.

Sometimes I stare boredly into space,
    thinking utterly of
This makes Mrs Wilberton very irritated.
I get on her nerves.
I know this because she is always telling me I do. To be honest, Mrs Wilberton is not my favourite person on the planet of Earth.
Unfortunately, I am from Earth and she is my teacher.
Mrs Wilberton says I have got utterly not a speck of concentration.
I am trying to prove her wrong about this by trying to remember to concentrate.
I think about it all the time. I am so desperately trying not to not concentrate and I say to myself, ‘Don’t drift off like you did yesterday.’
And then I start thinking about how I drifted off yesterday and how I was thinking I must listen to Mrs Wilberton and all the things she is telling me.
And then I am wondering,
    how does all this stuff she is telling me fit into my head?
And then I am wondering if I should have a clear out
    of the stuff I don’t need anymore –
  you know,
like when my dad cleared out the attic,
      except we all decided
we needed
    and he just had to put it all back again.
But maybe valuable space is being taken up in my head
with not the important things and
  is why
    I can’t
      c o n c e n t r a t e
because all my concentration space
    has been used up
on things like,
‘Elbows off the table,’
‘Don’t pinch your brother,’
not needed
   don’t matter.

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It’s Mrs Wilberton.


She says,

“Clarice Bean,
    you are utterly lacking in the concentration department.
        A common housefly has got
  more ability to apply itself!”

And I want to say,

    “You are utterly lacking in the manners department, Mrs Wilberton, and a rhinoceros has got more
        politeness than you.”

But I don’t say it because Mrs Wilberton is allowed to say rude things about me and I am not allowed to say them back.
That is the rules of school.

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