Caged by Theresa Breslin


Written by Theresa Breslin

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In a Nutshell: Fighting | Surviving | Treachery | Trust | A powerful contemporary novel set in the shady world of underground cage fighting, from a Carnegie Medal-winning author.

After running away to London to escape his mum’s bullying boyfriend, Kai finds himself homeless. He’s on the verge of packing up and leaving the big city when Spartacus turns up scouting for teenagers to join his “Cage Fighters for Freedom” tournament. While their underground tunnel location and identities must remain secret, each fight is broadcast, with proceeds going to a homeless charity and the fighters being given a sum of money to help them get back on their feet once the last match has been fought. Most of the fighters “got along OK”, expect Kai and Leo, between whom there’s immediate friction, largely due to their rivalry over “beautiful, dark-eyed, mysterious Raven”. But this tension turns out to be the least of their problems.

When Kai and Raven leave the tunnels on a recce for Spartacus, they spot someone - Bird Girl - spying on the entrance to their secret subterranean world while searching for her missing sister. With an outsider in their midst and heightened risk of exposure to the authorities, tension mounts as the group gears up for the last stages of the tournament. While the teenagers’ cage fighting days are almost over, it looks like their world is about to cave in around them.

Gripping, nimbly written and packing a powerful emotional punch, readers’ hearts will surely pound through this novel’s explosive conclusion, and swell with compassion for the teenagers’ troubled backgrounds, and the resilience of their spirits. ~ Joanne Owen


Caged by Theresa Breslin

Carnegie Medal winner Theresa Breslin explores the dangerous world of cage-fighting in this dark and powerful new novel. Escaping from a troubled home and struggling to survive on the streets, the abandoned tunnels of the London Underground are a perfect sanctuary for Kai. Along with other teenagers running from their pasts, he finds somewhere to belong in this strange community of outcasts. But Kai is now facing a very different kind of fight. Every night, led by the enigmatic Spartacus, the runaways must become cage fighters, each fight broadcast to the outside world via YouTube. With gambling profits from these videos racking up, Kai and his friends hope to be able to start a new life. Yet treachery and danger are never far behind, and a new arrival threatens the order that Spartacus has worked so carefully to maintain. And then there is the looming finale, the last battle between Kai and his nemesis Leo: the Kill Fight...


Also by Theresa Breslin:

GHOST SOLDIER ‘Another must-read novel by one of Scotland’s finest writers’ Scotsman

SPY FOR THE QUEEN OF SCOTS ‘A gripping historical thriller from the brilliant Breslin’ The Bookseller


THE NOSTRADAMUS PROPHECY ‘Terrific novel . . . enormously enjoyable’ Guardian

THE MEDICI SEAL ‘A superb historical thriller . . . an enchanting novel about genius, and a gift to an enquiring mind’ The Times

REMEMBRANCE ‘Immensely readable, passionately written’ Guardian

SASKIA’S JOURNEY 'Mesmerising . . . truly memorable’ The Bookseller

About the Author

Theresa Breslin

Theresa Breslin is the critically acclaimed author of over 30 books for children and young adults whose work has been filmed for television, broadcast on radio, and is read world-wide in many languages. A respected contributor to professional journals, she is passionate about children’s literature and literacy. She travels extensively, doing research for her books and speaking at international conferences and book festivals.

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Book Info


240 pages
Interest Age: From 12


Theresa Breslin
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Corgi Childrens an imprint of Random House Children's Publishers UK

Publication date

1st September 2016




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