A novel full of adventure, hilarity, heroism and... pirates, The Ministry of Strange, Unusual and Impossible Things tells the story of a secret ministry hidden away in the far reaches of the Ulster Museum in Belfast.
It deals with all the strange, unusual and impossible things in the world, the things we don't want to have to think about or deal with: ancient monsters, wild animals, unicorns, aliens and much more.
Some people are born to work in the Ministry, and 12-year-old Jack is one of those people. Endlessly curious, perhaps to a level that might be called nosy, Jack finds himself and his frenemy Trudy as the Ministry's newest recruits.
And their first mission?
To find out where all the school oddbods are disappearing to.
"The book started its life when I noticed a single shoe lying in the middle of the road and wondered how someone could possibly lose only one shoe. I began wondering if it could have been left by a pirate in a rush, and from there the story began taking shape," explained author Paul Gamble.
"I wanted to create a world where everything strange, unusual and impossible had a logical explanation. I've always loved conspiracy theories, not because I believe them, but because I love the logical twists and turns that people take inside their heads to justify the craziest notions.
"But all the good conspiracy theories are for adults, so I figured that we ought to have some that kids could enjoy as well."
Published by Little Island, it will be available from Thursday, 1st September; click here to buy.