12 Jul What To Read Now
Three great books, reviewed by our Director, Alison Palmer. What have you enjoyed reading recently?
Kofi and the Rap Battle Summer by Jeffrey Boakye, suitable for ages 9+
Kofi is often in trouble; if only he would apply himself to school work rather than the hair-brained schemes he comes up with. He’s making money from selling a fanzine with lyrics from bands that his schoolmates like listening to. Things are going well…until they aren’t. Full of heart and with family at its core, you will laugh and cheer for Kofi every step of the way.
It also features the best description ever: “She was 70% cardigan.”
We spoke to Jeffrey in #SecondaryBookChat on Twitter about Kofi and the Rap Battle Summer, catch up on the chat here.
My Life As A Chameleon by Diana Anyakwo, suitable for ages 12+
This is a book about memory. It’s Lily’s story – charting her relationship with her father through his illness and death, and how she navigates her teenage years. Her older siblings have all escaped the family home, and she feels like an only child. Lily’s confused by the world around her and spends time in Manchester and Lagos, finding it difficult to make friends and fit in both places.
It’s written so thoughtfully, and we cheer on Lily as she works out who she is. The descriptions of the heat and bustle of Lagos and 1980s dreary Manchester are excellent; they stay with you as you think about her life. I really want to know what happens next.
When Our Worlds Collided by Danielle Jawando, suitable for ages 14+
Winner of the Jhalak Children’s and YA Prize
The book deals with the consequences of a tragic random event – the stabbing of Shaq outside a busy shopping centre in Manchester. Chantelle, Jackson and Marc, all from very different backgrounds, are brought together by the experience and how they choose to react in a split second. Their stories interweave as they see how the community believes the stabbing must be gang-related and that the victim is somehow to blame. As Jackson is caught up in the justice system, the anger they (and we) feel is all too real.