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:
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.
Browse inside this book
‘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
Interest Age: From 12
More books by Jason Wallace
Andersen Press Ltd
28th January 2010
Andersen Press Ltd is an imprint of Andersen Press
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.
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