Winner of the Angus Book Award, THE EDGE is crackly with tension. How will this mother and son escape their abuser and start a new life? We've got to go. Now. It's early morning and Danny's mother is at his bedside, urging him to get up. They're on the run from Chris, his mother's boyfriend, a violent man who beats them both up, and won't let them go. Chris pursues Danny and his mother from London to the north, where they take refuge with Danny's grandparents. But even there, nothing is safe. Danny is conspicuous as the only mixed-race boy in their small community, and with the ever-present threat of discovery, he has to learn how to live continually on the edge. A tense and chilling story with terrific drama, THE EDGE shows the depth of character and the understanding of the predicaments of children today that gives Alan Gibbons his special quality.
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(197mm x 132mm x 15mm)
Orion Children's Books (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
Publisher: Hachette Children's Group
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
Danny is 15 and for the last few years he has watched his mother, Cathy, being terrorized by her abusive partner. When she finally makes a break for it he helps her strike a blow for freedom and believes they are running away to the promised land, a land without fear or danger. Together they go to Cathy's hometown but there is an unpleasant undercurrent here too. Cathy's Mum is pleased to see them but her Dad isn't and while Danny quickly makes friends at his new school he also runs into trouble with the local bullies. Coming from multicultural London, it takes a while for Danny to see that a big part of the problem in the small northern town is his skin colour. It bothers some people, and some of them are bothered enough to make life very hard for Danny. In between dealing with racism and looking over his shoulder for his Mum's ex-boyfriend, Danny manages to get on at school and for the first time gives some serious thought to the father he's never met. The story is presented by turns from the main characters' viewpoints. Danny is undoubtedly the lead but a much broader picture is revealed by including a first-person narrative from everyone around him. This is particularly effective in allowing the reader to see that Danny's grandfather, despite his racist views, has redeeming qualities (and, indeed, he comes good in the end). It also gives a chilling insight into the mind of the thuggy ex-boyfriend, who sees nothing wrong in his violent quest to reclaim what's his - Danny's Mum - and punish her for not loving him enough. Gibbons paints a world where lines are drawn along a black-and-white divide but where there's plenty of grey to blur the issues. All of the characters are well-drawn and believable. The action is fast-paced and the book becomes unputdownable as the various strands reach their turbulent climax. Well-written and exciting, it will get readers thinking about others' motivations and feelings. Ages 12+ (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Alan Gibbons
Alan Gibbons is a full-time writer and a visiting speaker and lecturer at schools, colleges and literary events nationwide, including the major book festivals. He lives in Liverpool with his wife and has four grown up children. He travels globally and is known the length and breadth of the country for his high profile Campaign for the Book and school visits. Visit his website at http://www.alangibbons.com, read his blog at http://alangibbons.net, follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/mygibbo, Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/alan.gibbons.35 and Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/people/71279646@N08.