Reader Reviewed Tape by Steven Camden


Written by Steven Camden

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

This stunning debut novel by acclaimed spoken-word artist Steven Camden tells two stories which take place twenty years apart but which are connected by one old cassette tape. Ryan and Ameliah each tell their story. Both are suffering unhappiness following the death of their mothers. Ryan has to deal with his malicious half-brother; Ameliah is trying to piece together her mother’s life. When Ameliah finds an old tape among her mother’s possessions she begins a connection that will change her life. It is a powerful story and Steve Camden unravels it with a delicacy and subtly that adds much to its impact.

One of our Books of the Year 2014.

Reader Reviews

A small number of readers were lucky enough to be invited to review Tape. Read their reviews below.

  • Ayesha Afghan - 'this book is a love story packed with thrills, time travel and action.' Read full review >
  • Jade Craddock - 'This was an exciting debut that points at much more to come from this author.' Read full review >
  • Madi Campbell, age 13 - 'Tape was a very mysterious read which kept you wanting more. A slightly slow beginning, however it started to unfold later on in the novel. Two worlds linked together; absolutely amazing!' Read full review >
  • Alice Horncastle, aged 13 - 'You wouldn’t know that Tape is Steven Camden’s first novel - it is an incredibly moving narrative that is down to earth at the same time and very funny in parts!' Read full review >
  • James Smith, age 15 - 'This book is a must-read. I really enjoyed it, the atmosphere is just incredible. It is hard to believe that this is Camden's first novel.' Read full review >
  • Delilah Acworth, age 13 - 'It was a constant guessing game and I adored it. The shock, the delight, the understanding, they all made up a fantastic tale. I highly recommend this to anyone who breathes.' Read full review >
  • Hannah Glenton, age 17 - 'Initially Tape confused me, but when I understood it I realised what a clever piece of writing it innocent and heart-felt novel that really captures and explores the emotions.' Read full review >
  • Rosa Boran, age 13 - 'Really good book. Really enjoyed it although there were some things I didn't. Can't wait to see what else Steven has in store for us.' Read full review >
  • Josh Hall, age 13 - 'A really good book with a brilliant cover. Well worth a read...The storyline was really good and I enjoyed it from start to finish.'Read full review >
  • Aimee Sweet, age 13 - 'An outstanding book that has so many genres and stories twisted into one blinding story it is amazing...definitely a 5 star.' Read full review >
  • Juliana Christianson, age 14 - 'I would 100% recommend it to other people my age! Steve Camden is so talented and I cannot wait for his next book!' Read full review >


Tape by Steven Camden

Tape is an outstanding debut. Told with crackling prose, shimmering with humour and deeply moving, it will haunt anyone who reads it...Record a voice and it lasts forever...In 1993, Ryan records a diary on an old tape. He talks about his mother's death, about his dreams, about his love for a new girl at school who doesn't even know he exists. In 2013, Ameliah moves in with her grandmother after her parents die. There, she finds a tape in the spare room. A tape with a boy's voice on it - a voice she can't quite hear, but which seems to be speaking to her. Ryan and Ameliah are connected by more than just a tape. This is their story.


'Truly gripping... a cleverly structured, movingly characterised and powerful tale.' The Sunday Times

'Steven Camden is a born storyteller. Read TAPE, rewind, then read it again.' Phil Earle

'Time-warping escapism. I loved it!' Jordan, Rizzle Kicks

'Steven is one of my greatest influences, he is a powerhouse in his field, both looked to and admired. This book is just as original, playful as Steven is. Full of heart.' Laura Dockrill

'Warm, funny and honest. [Steven] writes about familiar things and makes them magic. He writes about magic things and makes them familiar.' Kate Tempest, winner of the Ted Hughes Award for innovation in poetry

'Sad, poignant, true, funny and bursting full of heart.' Nikesh Shukla, author of Coconut Unlimited

About the Author

Steven Camden

Steven Camden is a leading spoken-word poet, performing as Polarbear. He also writes radio plays, teaches storytelling in schools, and was a lead artist for The Ministry of Stories. Tape is his first novel. When you read it, you will find this hard to believe.

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Book Info


368 pages


Steven Camden
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HarperCollins Children's Books an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Publication date

29th January 2015




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