The Door Of No Return
Written by Sarah Mussi
Lovereading4kids Price £4.79
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The Lovereading4Kids comment
Shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2008. This is one of the most through-provoking and complete debut novels published recently and fully deserves to be on the shortlist of the Branford Boase award for debut novels. It’s got just about everything between its covers, from hair-raising excitement and characters that are so memorable they’ll stay with you forever, to breath-taking vistas of Africa as well as almost every emotion you can think of. You’ll be gripped by it, moved by it and once you’ve read you’ll want everyone else to read it too because it’s different and original.
Comments from the judges of this year's Branford Boase, Best Debut Novel of
the Year Award:
Nikki Gamble: “This year a large number of books were submitted for the awards and the judges noted an increase in established adult writers producing first novels for children. These trends reflect the increased profile of children's books in the press and media as well as the commercial success. The books selected for the shortlist are marked by their distinctive voices and authentic feeling for child or teenage readers. They are accessible but explore profound themes in the context of a story well told”.
Linda Buckley-Archer: “With its aim of recognising the author of the best debut novel for children and its editor(s), The Branford Boase Award continues to highlight and promote the next generation of children’s fiction writers. The 2008 shortlist represents some fascinating new voices across a variety of genres which are sure to excite and challenge readers. The judges noted a tendency on this year’s longlist away from fantasy and towards history and social realism.”
Trish Beswick: “We were delighted to find a spread of intelligent fiction submitted, eliciting spirited discussion amid the good humour and agreements. One-size-fits-all cannot and does not belong in the world of writing for children, and the complacent and bland were quickly cast aside. My thanks to the other judges for a booky, sparky afternoon!”
Ian Dodds: "The nominations for the 2008 Branford Boase Award yet again demonstrate the full range of new writing talent for children and young people. All the writers on this year's shortlist have distinct voices and all are adept at creating stories that will grip, excite and challenge young readers. Good writing for young people is vitally important and this shortlist proves that."
The Door Of No Return by Sarah Mussi
Zac lives with his grandfather, Pops. When Pops is killed by muggers, Zac is devastated. Dumped with foster parents, then in an orphanage, Zac stumbles from trouble to trouble, but the one thing he hangs on to is Pops' obsession with their family history and his ambition to go to Ghana in search of a ransom paid by a descendant 200 years earlier, to keep his son from slavery -- a ransom stolen by British government agents at the time, which then disappeared. At least, Zac thinks, he can keep faith with Pops by continuing his quest. So Zac wangles his own way to Ghana. Alone and far from home, he discovers that Pops' death and everything since is part of a wider plan by some shadowy others, also connected to the lost ransom. In a web of intrigue, deception, betrayal, skulduggery and murder that reaches out of the past to entrap everyone in the present, Zac's quest culminates in a perilous voyage to the Door of No Return in the walls of the ancient slave fort - through which the slaves were once herded to the boats that would take them across the ocean, on a journey many of them would never survive.
'... powerful and extremely well-plotted modern adventure novel rooted in the terrible actuality and legacy of the African slave trade ... Sarah Mussi bravely engages with the most serious issues - friendship, trust, betrayal, greed, degradation, survival, the presence of the past. ... Sarah Mussi's narrator, a 16-year-old hoodie, Zac, is wholly disarming and her writing is consistently robust, vivid and tensile.'
... consistently engaging ... This is a really excellent and original thriller. ... its premise and Zac's wry, streetwise voice make it fresh, funny and compelling. Amanda Craig, The Times '... original, page-turning ... filled with action, adventure, emotions, a well crafted plot and a delicately handled theme regarding the roles of Britain and Ghana during the slaving era. ... a contemporary adventure story
School Library Journal
About the Author
More books by Sarah Mussi
Hachette Children's Books
19th April 2007
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