Caught in the Crossfire by Alan Gibbons


Caught in the Crossfire by Alan Gibbons

Set in a Northern town, where right-wingers are determined to stir up hatred and racial prejudice, CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE is about six teenagers whose lives are woven together by a series of shocking and tragic events. A British Muslim brother and sister, two Irish brothers who take different sides, and two lads out looking for trouble: all of them get caught in the crossfire. Inspired by the Oldham riots and the events of September 11th, this is a book that needed to be written. It is a chilling account of what is happening in Britain today, but as always Alan Gibbons writes with humour and understanding and is utterly on the wavelength of his many readers.



...There's a slice of real life in this book, and the writing - short, sharp pieces that take us into the mind of each character - is accessible and compulsive.

...what engrosses one is the behaviour of the characters in the novel, who are so real, so human, that one could excpect to meet them at any time. As the complications, the animosities and solidarities develop towards the outbreak of the riots it is difficult to put the book down. The Ending is a dramatic climax.

Gibbons is a writer of great conviction and integrity. 13-year-old son read the book obsessively through the night and was so deeply moved that he woke me at 3am to tell me. To keep a teenage boy awake all night , Gibbons must be one amazing storyteller

pertinent...topical and tightly written

Serious themes indeed, in a story well told, giving much to think about as the stones begin to fly. The book is pacey and written in short episodes.

Returning to the episodic style that served him so well in The Edge, Gibbons turns his attention to small-town racial tension, festering in the aftermath of the World Trade Centre attack...The West Side Story/Romeo and Juliet motif provides the heart for thie challenging and plausible story.

In unsparing detail this outstanding novel charts the build up to the race riot in a run-down northern town...At its heart is a touching Romeo and Juliet story of lovers from opposing sides...but its real strength is in the portrayal of of political manipulation, of wretched lives given a malign focus...Fast moving, unputdownable and frighteningly relevant

I would recommend this book to anyone of any age just looking for a good read!

About the Author

Alan Gibbons

Alan Gibbons is a full time writer and a visiting speaker and lecturer at schools, colleges and literary events nationwide, including the major Book Festivals: Edinburgh, Northern Children's Book Festival, Swansea, Cheltenham, Sheffield and Salford. Alan is also a key contributor at the QCA/National Literary Strategy 'Writing Together' conferences. As well as being a writer, Alan is a high profile library campaigner. He lives in Liverpool with his wife and four children.

He has written over 60 books and won many prestigious awards such as the Blue Peter Award for ‘The Book I Couldn’t Put Down’, the Angus Book Award and the Stockport Book Award. He has also been shortlisted twice for the Carnegie Medal and his books have been published into dozens of languages.

Alan Gibbons Q+A
If you could choose a football dream team – which players would you choose?

Peter Schmeichel, Gary Neville, Paolo Maldini, George best, Bobby Charlton, Duncan Edwards, Ryan Giggs, Diego Maradonna, Pele, Franz Beckenbauer and Bobby Moore. What a great side!

Which sports person would you most like to meet and why?

Muhammad Ali. He was quite simply The Greatest. If I had a tardis and could time travel I’d like to meet George Best when he was very young so as to tell him to stay away from the booze.

The 1966 World Cup Final when England best West Germany and the 1970 World Cup Final when Brazil beat Italy. Then there was the night Muhammad Ali beat George Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle and won back the world heavy weight boxing title.

My head says “no” but my heart says “yes.” Wayne Rooney to score the winner in South Africa.

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Book Info


304 pages
Interest Age: From 12


Alan Gibbons
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Author's Website


Publication date

2nd January 2003



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