Pig Iron by Benjamin Myers

John-John’s character and his situation have shades of Billy in A Kestrel for a Knave and also of David Copperfield. They are all innocents abroad in a world which is uncaring and cruel. But they are not infected by it; indeed they make the utter hopelessness bearable.

Read More

The Quality of Silence by Rosamund Lupton

The story is tremendously exciting; a predatory fracking company, the malign presence of a tanker stalking them through the tundra, mysterious emails depicting strangely mutilated animals and the sharp grief of loss. But the important thing about it is the growing understanding between mother and daughter as they both come to terms with her deafness and her choice not to use her physical voice.

Read More