Luke and Jon
Written by Robert Williams
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The Lovereading4Kids comment
This is a wonderfully original and arresting debut novel about friendship, grief and love. Written with great power, warmth and humour with not a word out of place you feel utterly compelled to read on. Luke and Jon is a startling coming-of-age novel that signals a hugely engaging and original new voice to the world of teen/young adult literature.
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Luke and Jon by Robert Williams
Luke's mum is dead. He finds himself in a small, scruffy northern hill town, with a near silent father, who he fears might be trying to drink himself to death. Then he meets Jon. Jon is massively strange. He wears 1950s clothes, has a side-parting and a twitch. The kids at school call him 'Slackjaw'. When Luke discovers his secret, Jon changes his life in more ways than he can imagine.
Luke and Jon is a coming-of-age novel about family, bereavement and how lives can change forever in a single second. Written with great power, warmth and humour, it signals a hugely engaging and original new voice. Compelling and emotionally acute, it is a unique debut.
Review of ‘Luke and Jon’ by Books for Keeps [4 stars]
Winner of National Book Tokens’ one-off Not-Yet-Published prize, chosen by booksellers, this first novel does not disappoint. Lucidly written, it describes the growing relationship between the two adolescent boys of the title, both of whom have lost their mothers. Luke goes to his new school where his friend Jon is mercilessly bullied because he looks so shabby and seems unable to defend himself. He is also the only carer for his senile grandparents, and gets bullied for that too, so anticipating the sad findings of the recent survey carried out by the Princess Royal Trust for Carers and the Children’s Society, revealing that more than two-thirds of young carers face taunts from fellow pupils. Add into the plot an alcoholic father and a dead mother who suffered from a bi-polar condition and the wish that this talented author should occasionally lighten up cannot always be resisted. It is also puzzling that a novel so concerned with bullying should still leave this issue comparatively unresolved. But on the positive side this is sensitive writing that spurns clichés and stereotypes while keeping readers totally involved to the last page. Not recommended for its sense of humour, it still wins through by the sincerity of its writing and a general sense of strong conviction.
About the Author
More books by Robert Williams
Faber and Faber
18th March 2010
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