Photo: Orion Books
This book has tremendous emotional pull
Debut novelist Annabel Pitcher has come up with a moving story told by a ten-year-old English boy in search of sparkle for his bereaved family. Jamie Matthews from London, starting at a new school in the Lake District, makes no friends because he wears a Spider-Man T-shirt to class every day, never washing it because his Mum sent it to him for his birthday, or so he thinks. Mum lives with a new lover in London, Jamie's father is out of work and drinks all day and Jamie's sister Jas is hardly eating. The family has been gutted by the death of Jas's identical twin sister Rose, who was killed by a terrorist bomb when Jamie was little. It doesn't help that Jamie's best friend at school turns out to be a feisty Muslim girl called Sunya. The story has tremendous emotion pull, it's smart and funny in parts, the characters are uncompromisingly alive (except for Rose of course) and it really does sparkle. Orion is publishing this as a children's book but it's suitable for young adults and, in the style of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, this tale of a child in search of solutions for himself and his family will also be enjoyed by many adults.
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