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Linus Bailey's tenth birthday, if measured on some kind of “So how did it go then?” scale, would score a one. Maybe a bit less. It started well, but then things went very badly indeed.

Linus' problem is that he makes things up. His mother, for instance, was found living as a head hunter in the Jungles of Borneo. His dad, a man called Nigel who Linus hasn't seen since he was two, is a Ninja Warrior currently living in Japan. His dad fights crime and saves people. Linus' Headmaster is evil and his jumper was knitted by slaves.

Linus Bailey's childhood is my childhood—a childhood where, during one fairly normal winter, the goldfish froze to death in the living room and we kids wrote our names on the ice that formed on the bedroom walls. Surely a life made up was better, warmer, more fun. The only difference between Linus and me is that all his mad stuff came true one frosty tenth birthday...

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