In a nutshell: gritty but uplifting story of a life transformed by an unexpected friendship
Calum is used to living on his own; his mother left years ago and his truck driver father is often away for days at a time. So he’s not happy when his dad moves his new Polish girlfriend and her son into their home. To make it worse, Calum and his friends have been systematically bullying the boy at school, mostly because of his nationality. But various events change Calum’s view of Sergei, and the world in general, in a story that is determinedly down-to-earth but still able to encompass dreams and wish-fulfilment. Slater references both Kes and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner in the book and their influence is clear in her warm, truthful and insightful depiction of working-class life. Readers who enjoy 928 Miles from Home should look out Bubble Wrap Boy or Being Billy by Phil Earle. ~ Andrea Reece
Fourteen year old Calum Brooks has big dreams. One day he'll escape this boring life and write movies, proper ones, with massive budgets and A-list stars. For now though, he's stuck coping alone while his dad works away, writing scripts in his head and trying to stay 'in' with his gang of mates at school, who don't like new kids, especially foreign ones.
But when his father invites his new Polish girlfriend and her son, Sergi, to move in, Calum's life is turned upside down. He's actually sharing a room with 'the enemy'! How's he going to explain that to his mates? Yet when Calum is knocked down in a hit-and-run and breaks both legs, everything changes. Trapped at home, Calum and Sergi slowly start to understand each other, and even work together to investigate a series of break-ins at the local community centre. But Calum can't help feeling that Sergei's hiding something. Is he really trying to help, or to cover up his own involvement in the crime?
Praise for Smart:
It's painful to see how Kieran is treated, but heart-warming when people realise what he is capable of and how he doesn't hold the prejudices against other people as most of us might do. Smart leaves you with the hope that this realisation will extend beyond Kieran and will soon become a part of everyday life transatlanticbibliophilia.blogspot.co.uk
Sometimes you don't know what you want to read until it's in your hands. Smart should be in your hands. Lorna Duncanson, Seven Stories Centre for Children’s Books
Kieran is brave, charming, smart and a delight to get to know. Such a stand out must read. Carly, Book Blogger, Fiction Fascination
Publication date: 05/04/2018
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan
|Publication date:||18th May 2017|
|Publisher:||Macmillan Children's Books an imprint of Pan Macmillan|
|Suitable for:||11+ readers, 13+ readers|
Kim Slater honed her storytelling skills as a child, writing macabre tales specially designed to scare her younger brother! Taking her literary inspiration from everyday life, Kim's debut novel, Smart, has won ten regional prizes and been shortlisted for over twenty regional and national awards, including the Waterstones Children's Book Prize and the Federation of Children's Book Groups Prize. Smart was also longlisted for the 2015 Carnegie Medal. Kim lives in Nottingham with her husband and has one grown-up daughter.More About Kim Slater
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