Anthony McGowan, Guest Editor June 2015 chose A Kestrel for a Knave as one of his favourite short novels...."At 200 pages, this is rather long for a short novel, but I just couldn’t leave it out, as almost no other work of fiction has had such an impact on me. It’s the story of a day in the life of a working class kid, Billy Casper, whose only respite from a loveless home and a brutal school comes from caring for a Kestrel he has reared and trained. It’s a depressing book, full of violence and a grinding poverty, but it also has moments of quiet beauty. Dense with drama and incident, above all, it’s a book that just feels so utterly true."
One of the 'New Windmills' series offering classic and contemporary fiction for schools to suit a range of ages and tastes. Determined not to follow his brother down the pit, Billy Casper is floundering at school and under pressure at home, but the wild hawk he finds and trains gives him a direction and passion.