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Alleged alien encounter inspired by true events
Shortlisted for the UKLA 2018 Book Award | April 2018 Book of the Month |
An utterly absorbing novel based on the real-life phenomenon of a group of Zimbabwean schoolchildren claiming to have experienced an extra-terrestrial encounter.
With over fifty children asserting that they saw the same spaceship, and the same evil-eyed aliens, American psychiatrists have come to investigate. It could be a form of mass hysteria, but why are all the accounts and depictions so completely identical? How could so many kids tell the exact same lie for so long, and why would they lie? Alongside being gripped by the uniquely mysterious event at the heart of the novel, I was bowled over by the author’s mastery of multiple narratives. The intertwined lives of six young people affected by the encounter are explored in all their brutal complexities, and the novel’s real-life origins will surely draw in more reluctant readers. Magnetic, haunting, and richly rewarding.
Zimbabwe, 1994. A group of children spot peculiar lights in the sky over the grounds of their school. From this moment on, six young people's lives are changed forever. Gary hides the anguish he feels now his mum's left, acting out in fury and hatred. Chloe has no words for the thing she fears most every day. Karl is the headmaster's son, now fallen from grace. Tendai knows he can never live up to his grieving father's ideals. And Sixpence watches all, knowing he'll never be like these other children. All of them have seen something they can't explain. In amongst these tangled, tortured lives, comes a group of psychologists to verify the spookily similar claims of every witness. Their daughter, Holly, can tell there's more to it than aliens or mass hysteria - can she reveal the dark truths that haunt them?
Inspired by true accounts, this is the long-awaited new novel from Costa-award-winner Jason Wallace.
Teens and YA's love to read and so in addition to the review by one of the Lovereading4kids editorial experts some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel members were also lucky enough to read and review this title. Click here to read their full reviews.
Ingeniously constructed, and as transfixing as the sighting of a UFO -- Nicolette Jones Sunday Times
A powerful, at times bleak and brutal, read for older teenagers -- Fiona Noble The Bookseller
A beautifully written and thought-provoking book about aliens whose lessons on human empathy reach as high as the heavens Big Issue, Kids Books of 2017
A demanding read with many rewards... this novel reflects an exploratory mind, uncompromising yet respectful towards his readers capacity for agile responses Books for Keeps
A thought-provoking book which deals honestly with some important issues including child abuse, bullying and verbal abuse... it impresses on every young person the importance of speaking up, and on every adult, the need to listen and support Carousel
|Publication date:||5th April 2018|
|Publisher:||Andersen Press Ltd|
|Suitable for:||YA readers|
|Recommendations:||Books of the Month, eBooks, Reviewed by Children|
Jason Wallace was born in Cheltenham in 1969 but moved to London after his parents split up. Aged 12 his life was turned upside down when his mother remarried and the family emigrated to Zimbabwe. It was this experience in a tough boarding school during the aftermath of the war for independence that forms the foundation of his incredible frst novel, Out of Shadows, which won the Costa Children’s Book Award, UKLA Award and the Branford Boase Award. This raw and powerful coming-of-age novel set in a boarding school in Zimbabwe in the 1980s ...More About Jason Wallace