The October Story

By Robert Martin (Reginald Alec Martin)
First Published 1959 by Harrap
Illustrated by H Redmill

First edition wrapper. Click to enlarge and see full picture
First edition dustwrapper
H Redmill
Harrap 1959
After winning the local home-made car race, Johnny October, the boy hero of this exciting story, is determined to become a racing driver.
But his parents - and his Aunt Ethel, who lives with the family - are strongly opposed to the idea. Mother wants Johnny to enter the Civil Service, or a bank. Aunt Ethel would like him to enter the Church. In the end, his father decides that Johnny should train as an engineer, and apprentices him at a local garage.
This job turns out to be Johnny's golden road to the career he dreams of. Starting at the bottom, and doing all the routine work, he gains invaluable experience of motor engineering, and also comes under the wing of Monty Sherman, who teaches him all about tuning engines, finding correct axle ratios, and generally the tricks of car racing.
At the same time Aunt Ethel is peruaded to buy Johnny an old car to convert for racing trials.

This is the first of a number of books planned for career-minded boys. Each will relate the story of how a boy can progress in an exciting career.

First edition:
Harrap 1959:
Hardback with dustwrapper; 140x200mm; yellow cloth, red blocking to lettering on spine and car design central front board; 160pp; full page frontispiece and six part-page illustrations with several chapter-end decorations all in black and white; illustrator not credited on dustwrapper or title page but many illustrations signed REDMILL or HR; full colour dustwrapper wraps to include the spine, front flap has 'blurb' transcribed above, and cover price of 9/6 net.

Foreign Editions:
Carl Ueberreiter, Germany 1962:

German edition, as Start frei für Thomas.
Mike's copy is an ex-library copy with pictorial boards or the dustwrapper laminated to the boards.
Size: 130x205mm; 197 pages; price unknown.
It is illustrated by Harry Neustadtl with 21 black and white illustrations; the dustwrapper does not appear to be signed or credited but is probably by the same artist.

It would appear that the hero's name has been changed from Johnny to Thomas for his edition.

Click to enlarge
German edition cover by Harry Neustadtl
Ueberreiter 1962

This page is part of the Reginald Alec Martin Website. To enter this site by the front door, click here.
Illustrations copyright the respective Publishers
Text copyright John Allsup and Mike McGarry
created 12th October 2011
Last updated 29th November 2011