Sub OutlawJourney cover finalRiver OdysseyGhosts of the PacificOutlaw in IndiaSeas of South Africa Cover - finalEcoWarrior_CoverStealth of the Ninja CoverBlood_BrothersCouvFreresRoy-Bell-Cover

Below, find reviews of Philip’s books. In order to read the full text of a review, please click on the publication.

Reviews of the Submarine Outlaw/Un rebelle Series:

Sub OutlawJourney cover finalRiver OdysseyGhosts of the PacificOutlaw in IndiaSeas of South Africa Cover - finalEcoWarrior_CoverStealth of the Ninja Cover

“Submarine Outlaw and its sequels have firmly established themselves as a riveting adventure series that has gathered a significant following who are anxiously awaiting this next installment. And they will not be disappointed! This personal quest and the internal struggles that it evokes for Alfred give this book a new dimension and allow his character to be more fully developed. . . . Roy continues to keep this series fresh and engaging. We will all join Alfred in anticipating his next voyage.”— Atlantic Books Today

“This is an award-winning series that will appeal to young readers, particularly boys who are drawn to adventure stories and the technical elements of sea travel…..Readers who follow the entire series will see real growth in Alfred as a character––from a single-minded fourteen-year-old who just wants to explore, to a sixteen-year-old world traveler who has learned the beauty and dangers of the sea, witnessed firsthand man’s destruction of the oceans, and pledges to do something about it by becoming an environmentalist.”VOYA Magazine

“Confident, refreshing….compelling….echoing the myths and legends, knowledge of seafaring and sea lore. Like Treasure Island’s Jim, Alfred is old enough to pursue his quest…young enough to retain a sense of wonder….it has an odd credibility about it, and appealing characters. Philip Roy…embraces a more comprehensive definition, resulting in another fabulously rich tale of adventure.” Canadian Literature

“A truly riveting adventure story, Submarine Outlaw will likely capture the heart and minds of all who have longed to escape the confines of their everyday world and try something exciting and even dangerous.” 

“Philip Roy’s Submarine Outlaw is a wildly imaginative story of adventure full of surprises and fast paced, yet there is also wisdom and insight to be found here.”Lesley Choyce

“A refreshing Canadian novel about following a dream.”Resource Links

“A terrific and uniquely imaginative premise for an Atlantic Canada novel for kids.”The Chronicle Herald

Submarine Outlaw is so well written it is totally believable. Dramatic and touching. Highly recommended!”Hi-RiseNewspaper

Submarine Outlaw is a fast-paced adventure novel that leaves you wanting more. . . . I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a great read.”What If? Magazine

“A coming of age story set in a submarine. Too awesome. Good for boys, good for middle-grade and above, good for everyone who likes adventures.” –Kim Aippersbach

Journey to Atlantis kept me biting my nails as Al and his crew of dog and seagull tackled peril after peril. Al’s a rare thing these days, an intelligent hero driven by intellectual curiosity, a courageous hero in the face of both physical danger and ethical choices, a hero we’d all want to be. The story plunges from one tense moment to another, yet still has time for fun, for thoughtfulness, and for wonder at the world above and below the sea.” -K.V. Johansen, author of The Warlocks of Talverdin series

“The age-old quest for the father gives depth to this exciting adventure story. Readers who discover the Submarine Outlaw in this book will want to read his earlier adventures and will eagerly await the next one. Highly recommended.”CM Magazine

“Roy’s writing keeps getting better and better. He has a fun, original concept. Ghosts of the Pacific is a page-turning adventure with depth. Roy has done his research, and he has a brilliant plot device with which to work. Alfred is a thoughtful, practical, sympathetic narrator. The book is packed with information—geographical, historical, political—but it never feels didactic….an excellent series to have in the classroom. Suspenseful, exciting, thought-provoking and fun…for any age. Highly recommended!” –CM Magazine

“Like a great adventure, Ghosts of the Pacific does not allow the reader the opportunity to be distracted or bored….The plot is relentless, always enriched with unexpected subplots, steeped in a multifaceted landscape of cold and warmth, hardness and softness.” CanLit for Little Canadians

“[Ghosts of the Pacific] will draw in boys as well as girls, and perhaps even reluctant readers as Roy’s writing is clean and simple, while the story is gripping and full of adventure.”Resource Links

“[Ghosts of the Pacific] will capture the heart of any explorer, environmentalist, adventurer or history buff. A must for any classroom library, and a real treat for the avid readers in your school!” Canadian Teacher Magazine

“Great books for reluctant readers. The language is clear and simple, the plot is full of exciting episodes–completely engaging.” –Kim Aippersbach

“Perhaps the most imposing character in Outlaw in India is not a character at all. It is India. The country, as Alfred experiences it, is a living entity, a complicated being of the expected (e.g., the heat and amazing foods) and the surprising (e.g., discrimination and kindness).Though the series could easily be promoted as a great adventure series for boys, the Submarine Outlaw books will continue to garner fans of both genders for its great characters and adventure with a frisson of the impossible and the hope for everything working out well (a.k.a. the happy ending). Readers will continue to find all that here in Outlaw in India, fresh and engrossing, just as each new book in the series has offered.” –CanLit for Little Canadians

“Outlaw in India…is a stand-alone novel that can be enjoyed without reading the others….The plot is full of incident and excitement…This fifth volume is the best Submarine Outlaw book yet. It’s a fast-paced, fun read with interesting themes that will appeal to anyone who likes travel and adventure. Highly Recommended.” –CM Magazine

“….[T]houghtful and philosophical…. a Humanities curriculum would be well served to add…[Outlaw in India]…to a list of recommended reads in multicultural literature….” –The Deakin Review of Children’s Literature

“Philip Roy….lulls the reader into calm with the beauty of his words….[t]hen…plunges you into heart-stopping tension….In Seas of South Africa, Philip Roy goes beyond the adventure story…and the history…[and]….demonstrates with subtlety that perspective can alter and justify interpretations of the same circumstances….” –CanLit for Little Canadians

“Seas of South Africa is the darkest episode yet…Roy’s descriptions are particularly vivid, and he brings many contrasting faces of Africa to life: beauty and squalor, desolation and human industry, majestic wilderness and treacherous seas. Seas of South Africa could easily be used in a high school Social Studies class….It can be read as a stand-alone, [and the]…series as a whole traces a compelling character arc. Anyone who has been following Alfred around the world won’t want to miss his adventures in Africa. Highly Recommended.” CM Magazine

“Seas of South Africa is an exciting and fast-paced story from beginning to end. With a lively yet straightforward writing style….[and] thrilling action….[it is] a fun and interesting read….a fantastic and educational book in an exciting series that would appeal to a wide range of readers….”–Resource Links

“This seventh book in Philip Roy’s series, [Eco Warrior], adroitly explains environmental activism in a manner that it is comprehensible to readers at any level! Although Alfred’s past voyages are all filled with adventure, new perspectives and understanding, there is a subtle shift in this novel….The uncertain plight of the oceans is stark – but Roy leaves the candle of hope lit within Alfred and the reader! Highly Recommended!”–Recently Read

“Philip Roy’s Eco Warrior grips the reader from the beginning and holds us throughout….Eco Warrior shows readers that every individual person’s choices can contribute positively to the battle against environmental destruction.” There Will Be Books

Stealth of the Ninja is the eighth book (!) in the Submarine Outlaw series, and it is as riveting and fresh as any book in the series….Philip Roy always bathes his stories in such distinctive settings that they are virtual characters…(and) creates worlds to which readers can travel in their minds to experience Alfred’s ventures and vicariously face dangers beyond the norm….Alfred himself is a source of hope that there are amazing young people out there who care about this world and, recognizing its problems, see themselves as part of the solution….”CanLit for Little Canadians

“Highly Recommended…..Stealth of the Ninja is….introspective [and] exciting…..a page-turning adventure with deeper themes of morality and responsibility….[It’s] a great choice for reluctant readers….[and] will appeal to anyone who likes realistic adventure stories, anyone [who is] fascinated by submarines, and anyone who is concerned about the state of the ocean.” CM Magazine

Young Readers’ Reviews of the Submarine Outlaw Series:

“I read this book in a day and I loved it! Submarine Outlaw had everything! Everyone in my school in the Red Maple Club rated it 5. This book is gonna win for sure!”

“I love this series with all my heart. It is by far the best series of books that I have ever read. The author, Philip Roy, keeps the book alive with adventure. I would sit down to read for about 20 minutes and would end up reading for hours….I’m not one to read a book twice, but I could read his books a million times more.”

“Loved this book. So much adventure and action!”

“Honestly, probably my #1 pick!!! It’s DEFINITELY different than my usual choice, but it’s AWESOME!!! I read it first, and it’s still the best!”


Reviews of the Happy the Pocket Mouse/Youpi, la souris dans ma poche Series:

Mouse Tales/Les contes de Youpi:

Mouse Tales, the first volume in the “Happy the Pocket Mouse” series, is a very funny book for children. The interaction between John, the human, and Happy, the mouse, comes to life while offering a humourous take on classic fairy tales and the bedtime routine. Andrea Torrey Balsara’s full-page illustrations help to expand and embellish the story by offering clues only hinted at in the text. The colour palette is perfect, using beautiful blues, greens, and purples to represent the time of night. She also conveys myriad emotions on Happy’s face, giving visual cues to the tone of the dialogue. Mouse Tales is a fun read for bedtime.” –CM Magazine

“Brisk, endearing and expressive…the right mix of sweetness and reality…the collaboration between Philip Roy and Andrea Torrey Balsara is marked for great success.” –CanLit for Little Canadians

“Skillfully written…a heartfelt story…enhanced by the vibrant, colourful and expressive illustrations of Andrea Torrey Balsara. This story is destined to become a beloved book, begged to be read aloud, over and over again! Highly Recommended!” –Recently Read

“What a gem this picture book is!…Tender, yet comical, [Mouse Tales is a] blend of well-known bedtime stories [and] the cutest illustrations…a truly enjoyable read. A great Canadian picture book to add to the elementary library collection for readers of all ages.” Library Services: Pause & Read

“Well-written, colourfully illustrated, cleverly crafted, this picture book is entertaining as well as a teaching tool for young children and parents.” –Resource Links

Jellybean Mouse/Youpi et ses bonbons:

” . . . a curious child who asks, wonders, listens, and ponders, and looks for a way to get what he wants without being selfish . . . Happy is now as firmly entrenched in my heart as he wanted to be in that jellybean machine.”Can Lit for Little Canadians

“This second book in the Happy the Pocket Mouse series….is as delightful as the first, and [is] sure to entertain….with its lively banter back and forth between Happy and John. The digital illustrations are colourful and imaginative.” –CM Magazine

“Philip Roy has created a sweet friendship between….Happy and…John. Their conversations are imbued with great kindness and love, as well as delightful humour. [Andrea Torrey] Balsara’s illustrations are soft-hued and perfect for bedtime reading or a classroom read aloud. This is a feel-good story for young readers. Rated: Excellent.”–Resource Links

Mouse Pet/Un ami pour Youpi:

“The dialogue between Happy and John is so endearing and honest that the reader will feel privileged to eavesdrop on their conversation….The text is appealing…concise and emotive, and the illustrations by Andrea Torrey Balsara are…charming.”CanLit for Little Canadians

“Roy has nailed the child voice. Happy is inquisitive, thoughtful, and logical in an absurdly childish way…Couple Roy’s cheeky story with Andrea Torrey Balsara’s bright, expressive illustration style, and you have a recipe for success. The illustrations…offer humour and a scope for learning….Balsara’s drawings bring a liveliness to the already cheerful voices of John and Happy as they sort through the logistics of pet ownership. Happy’s innocent joy is contagious; this one will not get old.”There Will Be Books

Mouse Vacation/Youpi en vacance:

“By having John and Happy working out what it means to take a vacation and finding a way to compromise, Philip Roy has again produced a charming life lesson in a storybook.  And Andrea Torrey Balsara flawlessly brings the story to visual completion….the magic is in the collaboration, between the text and illustration, and between John and Happy. That’s what makes the story, and Philip Roy and Andrea Torrey Balsara have done it again, blending the two into a story of adventure for the mind, the heart and the soul.”CanLit for Little Canadians

“A great curriculum connection for primary children! Highly Recommended! FIVE STARS!”Recently Read

Halloween Mouse (French translation unavailable):

“The Happy the Pocket Mouse series has given readers “a unique friendship as the basis for positive messages about curiosity, adaptation, and sharing….Happy is the bright spot of inquisitiveness and heart, eager to learn and experience new things, but always with John by his side for guidance….Lisa Ferguson….emulates the characters and landscapes of the original books with dexterity and feeling….[John and Happy’s]…touching relationship and honest explorations are portrayed with gentle colours and soft lines, even as related to potentially scary Halloween….Roy’s words and…Ferguson’s art…have given us the sweetness of a chocolate bar and the amusement that comes with dressing up, wrapped up in a special friendship that the very young will appreciate.”—CanLit for Little Canadians

“Children will love this story. The full-page, full-colour illustrations in cartoon format depict the rich colours of fall. Jack-o-lanterns, ghosts, witches, bats, children in costume, all help to explain…Halloween…Teachers/caregivers could use Halloween Mouse to introduce and/or discuss the custom of Halloween to young children, and it could also be used with older children, too, who are new to Canada.”–Canadian Review of Materials 

Reviews of Me & Mr. Bell:

Roy-Bell-Cover“Me & Mr. Bell… is a gem of a book, a tale to inspire any young reader to overcome their weaknesses by finding their strengths….This is an uplifting story about finding our path, how one person seeing and believing in us (plus some tenacity) can turn your life around.” –49th Shelf

A lovely look at an earlier time, this book is a success worth celebrating.” –Atlantic Books Today

“Me & Mr. Bell would be a great addition to a classroom library and history lesson. Roy has created a fantastic story….The story is inspirational and leaves an impression that will not be soon forgotten: trust in your own abilities, and you will go far. Highly Recommended.” –CM Magazine

“This inspiring and fast-paced novel should capture the interest of young readers….It should provide excellent stimulus for classroom discussion and should be a popular addition to an elementary school library collection.” Resource Links

“Families of all ages will enjoy this inspirational and heartwarming award-winning story about the unusual friendship between one of the world’s great inventors and a young boy who cannot learn to read and write.” The Vancouver Sun

“This is a wonderful read, chockfull of history, math, and science, without ever being dull.” –The Children’s Book Review

“Both eminently readable and decidedly memorable.” The Nashwaak Review

“For teachers…looking for great historical fiction…I would enthusiastically recommend Me & Mr. Bell. Me & Mr. Bell has it all…Perfect package for everyone!” –Can Lit for Little Canadians

Reviews of Blood Brothers in Louisbourg/Frères de sang à Louisbourg:

Blood_Brothers“Young readers are treated to a thoughtful, artfully-rendered account of this time in Nova Scotia’s history….We see a more balanced and clear-eyed depiction of events and motivations than textbooks are apt to provide. These two young men are engaging and sympathetic characters whose stories are beautifully told….Roy has created a rich and vivid historical drama that readers will undoubtedly enjoy becoming invested in….It is a noteworthy young adult offering that brings our history to life in a way that will capture the imaginations of its readers and invite discussion and further interest.” –Atlantic Books Today

“…the book is a suspenseful, inevitable climb toward two lives colliding…A coming-of-age story that gives us a real glimpse into this time in history, (1744), and helps build empathy….” –49th Shelf

“[Blood Brothers in Louisbourg is]…entertaining…[and]…Roy has surely accomplished no easy feat…[with his] battle scenes, love-triangle, and intriguing storyline serv[ing] to pique readers’ interest in early Canadian history….”Quill & Quire

“This is exceptional historical fiction. The writing is intricate and beautifully-crafted. The author delves deeply into the time period, making it come to life for readers. The characters are well-developed, and the book can be understood on many levels. It leaves the reader with much to think about….” Keen Readers

“Evocative detail, lyrical language and good pacing make this novel a winner. 4 out of 4 stars. Highly recommended.” –CM Magazine

“[An] amazing tale….a moving story that rings true and that resonates long after you put down the book….” –The Children’s Book Review

“Philip Roy’s writing is richly detailed, and it is clear he has done his research on everything from philosophers in the 1700s to Native practices and rituals. Blood Brothers in Louisbourg is a thoughtful, philosophical exploration of the topics of war, personal fulfilment, and finding where you belong….” Amy’s Marathon of Books

“Mr. Roy has created a moving historical tale that touches on a part of Canada’s past that is often overlooked — observations from both inhabitants – those ‘discovering’ Canada and from the First Nations. It is an engaging story that can be used as a read aloud as it ties in with the school curriculum and can spark many debates and /or discussions within the classroom.” Recently Read

Reviews of The Kingdom of No Worries:

“A parable for our times.” –Kirkus Reviews

“Veteran children’s book author Philip Roy….covers some big ideas in this middle-grade novel….The Kingdom of No Worries is a fun read, with energetic, witty, and engaging dialogue. And there is an impressive interior world as well.” –Quill & Quire

“….one of the “season’s most enticing new releases.” –Atlantic Books Today


If you would like to order signed copies of Philip’s books, please e-mail Leila at, or visit our online bookshop: You can also call us at 613-499-9485. Philip’s books can also be purchased through,,,,, The Book, and Philip’s books are additionally available via his publishers, Ronsdale Press, Nimbus PublishingLes Éditions Perce-Neige, as well as through distributors including Raincoast Books/PGC, Library Bound (LBI), United Library Services (ULS), Whitehots, Tinlids, LitDistCo.,, Baker & Taylor, Ingram, and SPD. You can also find Philip’s books at fine independent bookstores like Woozles, Tattletales, Carrefour Atlantic and The Puffin Gallery, Westminster Books, The Village Bookshop and the Wellfleet Booksmith at the Wellfleet Marketplace. (Our books can also be ordered in at your local bookstore if they are not already on the shelves.) If you are looking for museums that carry Philip’s books, please visit The Submarine Force Museum, The Antique Boat Museum, The Fortress of Louisbourg, The Alexander Graham Bell Museum National Historic Site, and The Bell Homestead National Historic SiteAll of Philip’s books are printed in Canada on responsibly-sourced paper. 

Please e-mail Leila at if you’d like to be added to our digital mailing list. (We’ll let you know whenever new titles are out!)