Reader Reviewed Beck by Mal Peet, Meg Rosoff


Written by Mal Peet, Meg Rosoff

13+ readers   Books of the Month   Christmas Books 2016    YA readers   Julia Eccleshare's Picks   
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The Lovereading4Kids comment

*** Suitable for ages 16+

Julia Eccleshare's Book of the Month September 2016 In turns brutal and passionate, Beck is an utterly compelling story of survival and romance which will catch the breath of all readers and inspire them to fight against injustice. And to trust in the power of love. The eponymous Beck’s fate is a bleak one: conceived accidentally, orphaned young and betrayed by all those who might have looked after him, Beck is dispatched to Canada, a country then in the grip of depression. Abused by the Christian Brothers and still a young child, Beck is sent into a life of servitude made worse by prejudice because he is black. Escaping, Beck takes to the road in search of something better. His journey and the experiences on it are harrowing but, when it reaches its end, Beck discovers kindness and love and finds there is a place for him in the world. Award-winning Mal Peet’s final story has been finished by his friend and fellow award-winning novelist Meg Rosoff. Together they have created an unflinching story that tackles the many inequalities of the world head on. ~ Julia Eccleshare

Julia Eccleshare's Picks of the Month for September 2016

A Poem for Every Night of the Year compliled by Allie Esiri

Gruffalo Crumble and Other Recipes by Julia Donaldson

A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston

Beck by Mal Peet and Meg Rosoff

Tom's Midnight Garden Graphic Novel by Philippa Pearce and Edith

Jinks and O'Hare Funfair Repair Kit by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntryre

Reader Reviews

Teens and YA's love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Melanie Chadwick - 'At times very bleak, this is a very tough story of hardships endured and a childhood ruined. The overall feeling of the book is however one of hope.'

  • Humaira, age 18 - 'I wish it was to my taste but alas it wasn't. Hopefully it resonates well with someone else.' 


Beck by Mal Peet, Meg Rosoff

Both harrowing and life-affirming, the final novel from Carnegie Medal-winning author Mal Peet is the sweeping coming-of-age adventure of a mixed race boy transported to North America. Born from a street liason between a poor young woman and an African soldier in the 1900s, Beck is soon orphaned and sent to the Catholic Brothers in Canada. Shipped to work on a farm, his escape takes him across the continent in a search for belonging. Enduring abuse and many hardships, Beck has times of comfort and encouragement, eventually finding Grace, the woman with whom he can finally forge his life and shape his destiny as a young man.

A picaresque novel set during the Depression as experienced by a young black man, it depicts great pain but has an uplifting and inspiring conclusion.


Praise for Mal Peet

“Profound, lyrical, yet compulsively addictive” Phil Earle on Keeper

“Physical, spiritual – Arthurian, even – this is true enchantment” Jan Mark on The Penalty

“Glorious, cartwheeling, magical, frightening” Frank Cottrell Boyce on The Penalty

“Totally electrifying” The Times on Exposure

“Peet’s prose is both lyrical and unflinching” Booklist on Exposure

“Witty, super-smart, heartbreakingly generous, it’s so good you almost want to keep it a secret” Patrick Ness on Life: An Exploded Diagram

“One of the best books I know” Daniel Hahn on Life: An Exploded Diagram

“Beautifully crafted with a finale that took my breath away” Publishing News on Tamar

“gorgeously detailed prose” Kirkus Reviews on Tamar

“Stunningly good” The Times on Exposure

“something for every reader” The Guardian on Keeper

“Impossible to put down” TES on The Penalty

“Peet’s language is beautiful and assured” Kirkus Reviews on The Penalty

About the Author

Mal Peet, Meg Rosoff

Mal Peet's first novel, Keeper, won the Branford Boase Award and the Bronze Nestle Children's Book Prize; Tamar won the Carnegie Medal; and Exposure was the winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. A writer and illustrator, Mal produced many books for children throughout his lifetime, most of them in collaboration with his wife, Elspeth Graham. He also wrote a critically acclaimed adult novel, The Murdstone Trilogy.

Meg Rosoff is the award-winning author of How I Live Now, which won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the Branford Boase Award. Her second novel, Just in Case, won the Carnegie Medal and her other books include Picture Me Gone and Jonathan Unleashed, her first novel for adults. She lives in London.

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Book Info


272 pages
Interest Age: From 14


Mal Peet, Meg Rosoff
More books by Mal Peet, Meg Rosoff


Walker Books Ltd

Publication date

18th August 2016




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