Mal Peet (deceased) with Meg Rosoff
ISBN 978 1 4063 3112 7 Themes: Black teenagers/ Canada 1900s/ Catholic church/ Depression USA 1900s/ Sexual abuse of children
Beck was born as the result of a brief encounter between an African American soldier and a young woman from Liverpool in the early 1900s and spends his life trying to find his real place in the world. This takes him to Canada and to conditions even tougher than those he has left behind – including a spell in a Catholic boys’ boarding school and a trip across the whole Canadian continent. This is a painful (and graphic) story to read but the conclusion is something not to be missed. Meg Rosoff, a close friend of Mal’s, worked on his unfinished novel after his death at his request and the seamless result is a tribute to both of these amazing writers for young adults. In my opinion it would be very wise to be really sure of the maturity of the reader to whom I was recommending the book.
Mature readers only
Watch for Susan Price's first children's book - coming next week: