By Gillian Cross
“ violent gangs attack ordinary families who have been ‘outed’ on social media as ‘hoaders’ ”
In a futuristic, dystopian England food supplies are very scarce, and violent gangs attack ordinary families who have been ‘outed’ on social media as ‘hoaders’. People traffickers are loading the back of trucks with those who can pay to escape through the chunnel to France. What they don’t know, is that as soon they cross the border into France they will be herded into an enormous refugee camp where the conditions are worse than at home.
The young boy at the centre of the story is resourceful, and is able to make a few dollars by repairing bicycles, but when his younger brother becomes dangerously ill he must put his ingenuity and courage to the test to access vital medicine through the black market. This is when an adult he trusted betrays him, adding doubt and suspense to what has been fairly simple characterisation up to this point.
This story looks at displacement, resilience, bullying, deception, difference and humanity, and highlights that fact that in a different time, any one of us could become a refugee.
Reviewed by Ms Michelle Sweeney