Author(s): Alex Wheatle
THE NEW NOVEL FROM THE WINNER OF THE GUARDIAN CHILDREN'S FICTION PRIZE 2016 Round these ends, it's hard to hold on to your dreams Life's a constant hustle for Mo. Her mum's boyfriend Lloyd is just another man who likes to beat down women; the South Crong streets are fraught with hazards and nasty G's; and when it comes to matters of the heart ...she's still hung up on Sam. No wonder she's vexed so much of the time. Thank god her sistrens, Elaine and Naomi, are on her side: if one of them falls then they all fall. But when badness goes down and a life is left hanging in the balance, Mo has to face her hot urge for revenge ...and she might end up losing more than she wins.
[This] will soon be on school reading lists and examination syllabuses everywhere, as it has "classic" singing from every page ... A joyous shout of youthful exuberance ... Wheatle's Twain-like command of patois never falters ... Enriching and life-affirming ... A total gem for any age. Independent I love this book. It's elegant, authentic and humane. It hums with the beat of real life and the language sings from the page. This is mature, powerful writing by an author with great talent and great heart. David Almond, Guardian Children's Fiction Prize judge Brilliant, tough, heartbreaking read. Tanya Landman, author of Buffalo Soldier, Carnegie medal winner
Born in 1963 to Jamaican parents living in Brixton, ALEX WHEATLE spent most of his childhood in a Surrey children's home. He returned to Brixton in 1977 where he founded the Crucial Rocker sound system and performed his own songs and lyrics under the name of Yardman Irie. He spent a short stint in prison following the Brixton uprising of 1981. Following his release from prison he continued to write poems and lyrics and became known as the Brixton Bard. Alex's first novel, BRIXTON ROCK, was published to critical acclaim in 1999. Five more novels, EAST OF ACRE LANE, THE SEVEN SISTERS, ISLAND SONGS, CHECKERS and THE DIRTY SOUTH followed, all highly praised. His books are on school reading lists, Alex takes part in Black History Month every year, works with Streatham Youth Community Trust, helping to run a homework club. He is representing English PEN, and tours the country with his one-man show, UPRISING. He teaches in various places including Lambeth College, holds workshops in prisons and is frequently invited to schools to speak to students, inspiring in them with his own story a passion for literature. Alex also appears regularly on BBC1's The One Show and on radio. In the autumn of 2010 he wrote and performed his own one-man autobiographical show for Tara Arts, UPRISING, and took the performance on tour in October 2012. He was at Harrogate Crime Writing Festival in July 2011. He was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list for services to literature in 2008. A favourite of reading groups and libraries, he is UK's most read Black British author. He is working on a non-fiction book about Black Britain and on more Young Adult novels. He lives with his family in South London.