The Book That Made Me: Philip Reeve 16/10/19
At school Lemar, also known as Liccle Bit due to his height, is like any teenage boy. He's in love with a girl who barely notices him, he mucks about with his best mates and he spends a lot of time doodling in his work books. However, at home on the South Crongton Estate his mum is constantly exhausted, his sister is struggling to adjust to life as a single Mother, and his dad is living on the other side of London with his new family.
At least Lemar has art to help him escape, and it's even getting him some attention from the girl he likes, Venetia King. Yet Lemar has also gained the attention of South Crongton's most notorious gangster, and it's not long before he has Lemar running errands for him. Soon a chain of events will see Lemar down a road he never wanted to go down, will he be able to stop it?
Alex Wheatle has a history in adult fiction, and it shows in his first outing for younger readers. While the subject matter is much lighter, the plot is just as racing and the dialogue just as witty as his other books. Wheatle perfectly captures the highs and lows of teenage life, while also highlighting the humanity and tragedy occuring in the lives of some of London's poorest teenagers.