Out of Shadows by Jason Wallace
  

Out of Shadows

Written by Jason Wallace

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

A Lovereading4kids 'Great Read' you may have missed 2011 selection.

A memorable, moving and disturbing coming-of-age story about how different individuals react to the political changes around them and, especially, to the changing power structure between blacks and whites under the new rule of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe in 1980s. Robert Jacklin, newly arrived from England, is encouraged by his father to see the new regime as the start of a hopeful future for racial tolerance, but his friendship with the seemingly all powerful Ivan casts doubts over that possibility. Ivan will stop at nothing to prevent the overthrow of white supremacy. Against a background of increasingly terrifying violence, a generation of schoolboys grow up in a country where the hope for change is quickly extinguished.

This is definitely a novel for 14+ and not younger.

Winner of the Costa Children's Book of the Year Award 2010.

Shortlisted for the Teenage Book Prize 2010. Shortlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2011.

The Costa Children's Book Award Judges said: "A stunning debut novel without a false note. Accomplished and powerful, it changes the way you think... For us, this extraordinary debut novel was a unanimous winner. This compelling portrayal of a nation in crisis gripped us from start to finish and has stayed with us since.”

A message from the author on hearing Out of Shadows had been shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book of the Year Award 2010:

As both reader and writer I’m always striving for certain key ingredients in a book, and so I felt a tremendous tingle of excitement on the day I believed I’d found a strong storyline and memorable characters that could be set against a backdrop that means so much to me. That Out of Shadows should be enjoyed by others and recognised with such a prestigious shortlist nomination is a deeply moving and humbling reward, and has rendered this author (hopefully temporarily) wordless.

Winner of the Branford Boase Award 2011.

As Branford Boase Award chair of judges, Julia Eccleshare says: ‘The 2011 shortlist was an extremely strong one and any of the titles would have made a worthy winner. However, the quality of the writing in Out of Shadows really impressed the judging panel. It is an important story and one told with great nuance and subtlety.

Titles shortlisted for the Branford Boase Award 2011:

I am the Blade

Out of Shadows

Tall Story

The Crowfield Curse

Unhooking the Moon

When I was Joe

Synopsis

Out of Shadows by Jason Wallace

'If I stood you in front of a man, pressed a gun into your palm and told you to squeeze the trigger, would you do it?' 'No, sir, no way!' 'What if I then told you we'd gone back in time and his name was Adolf Hitler? Would you do it then?' Zimbabwe, 1980s: The war is over, independence has been won and Robert Mugabe has come to power offering hope, land and freedom to black Africans. It is the end of the Old Way and the start of a promising new era. For Robert Jacklin, it's all new: new continent, new country, new school. And very quickly he learns that for some of his classmates, the sound of guns is still loud, and their battles rage on ...white boys who want their old country back, not this new black African government. Boys like Ivan. Clever, cunning Ivan. For him, there is still one last battle to fight, and he's taking it right to the very top.


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Reviews

‘An extraordinary coming-of-age novel . . . a startlingly original debut . . . Charting the change from childhood to adulthood against growing political discord gives the novel a sense of urgency, and the book's intensity, drama and pace leaves a lasting impact.’ - The Bookseller

‘One of the best debut novels I've ever read . . . At times chilling and dark, yet strangely hopeful, one of those books that I know I'll revisit in the future . . . I can't recommend it highly enough.’ - Wondrous Reads

‘Excellent. (Out of Shadows is) the latest lacerating addition to the boarding-school-as-living-hell genre...read on if you have the courage. The author attended a similar establishment at the age of 12, and gives every indication of knowing exactly what he is writing about.’ Nick Tucker, Independent

‘Beautifully written.’ - Independent on Sunday – Hit List, Ruth Swindon

‘Jason Wallace is a writer to follow – there will hopefully be many books to look out for in the future. In spite of my reservations this is a book to be read, to bury a past that has no place in the new Zimbabwe that remains to be built.’ - The Zimbabwean

‘(Out of Shadows is) a provocative story, powerfully written. Some may find the themes difficult, the climax shocking, but Wallace has produced a first novel where all the heat and intensity of an African nation in flux burns on every page. He's a definitely a writer to watch in the future.’ - Keith Gray, The Scotsman

‘A thrilling teenage tale of belonging. The charismatic Ivan is a marvellously drawn character; subtle, clever, tough, cruel, devious... Jason Wallace (is a) fine debut author.’ - Ham & High Series

About the Author

Jason Wallace

Costa Award-winning author, Carnegie nominee, Booktrust teenage fiction prize nominee - the list goes on. The success of Jason Wallace’s debut novel, Out of Shadows, has been nothing short of exceptional. This raw and powerful coming-of-age novel set in a boarding school in Zimbabwe in the 1980s just after Mugabe came to power was described by the Costa Award judges as ‘a stunning debut novel without a false note. Accomplished and powerful, it changes the way you think.’

Jason is related to Tolkien and a descendent of one of the first International English cricketers, and also of the world-renowned Victorian circus owner “Lord” George Sanger. He was born in Cheltenham in 1969 but moved to London after his parents split up. Aged 12 his life was turned upside down when his mother remarried and the family emigrated to Zimbabwe. It was this experience in a tough boarding school during the aftermath of the war for independence that forms the foundation of his incredible first novel. And he did actually meet Robert Mugabe when he visited his school.

Jason is currently a web designer, living in South West London.

Author Q&A

What was your inspiration for Out of Shadows?

I’d always wanted to write a book that made use of my own experiences of growing up in Zimbabwe: A fictionalised, ‘what if?’ version, heavily embellished with some strong characters and with a political undercurrent.

Which character was the most fun to write?

I think Weekend was the most fun. There are some quite dark characters in Out of
Shadows. Weekend was a breath of fresh air.

What was the last film that blew you away?

Memento, written and directed by Christopher Nolan. It covers a few days in the life of a man who’s lost his short-term memory and is trying to find his wife’s killer. The film runs backwards so pieces everything together in a very clever way, I thought.

If you were invisible for a day what would you do?

I certainly wouldn’t worry about having to iron my shirt. Bliss.

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Book Info

Format

Paperback
288 pages
Interest Age: From 12

Author

Jason Wallace
More books by Jason Wallace

Author's Website

www.jwallace.co.uk/

Publisher

Andersen Press Ltd

Publication date

28th January 2010

ISBN

9781849390484

Categories

Publisher Profile

Andersen Press Ltd is an imprint of Andersen Press

logo Andersen Press is one of the leading independent children’s publishers, publishing some of the biggest names in the world of children's books including the much-loved picture book characters the Little Princess and Elmer the patchwork elephant. Andersen Press is the home of many award-winning authors and illustrators including Melvin Burgess, Rebecca Stead, Satoshi Kitamura, Tony Ross, David McKee, Chris Judge and Jeanne Willis. Founded in 1976 by Klaus Flugge it won the Bologna Best Children’s Publisher prize in the European Category in 2016, the company’s 40th anniversary year.

Publisher's Website

www.andersenpress.co.uk


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