The Book That Made Me: Jeremy Strong 13/07/20
In 1993, Ryan records a diary on a casette tape, as a way to express how he feels about his mother's death, his dreams, and the girl who has caught his eye. Twenty years later, dealing with a loss of her own, Ameliah discovers an old tape in her grandmother's spare room: a tape with a boy's voice on it, which seems to be speaking directly to her. As Ryan and Ameliah's stories unfold, it soon becomes clear that their lives are connected by more than simply a tape.
The first novel from acclaimed spoken word artist Steven Camden, aka Polar Bear, is a funny, moving and readable story about the complexity of family relationships. Using two contrasting first person narratives, Camden writes with sensitivity, as well as straight-talking directness. Teen readers will especially enjoy the references to music threaded through both Ryan and Ameliah's stories, whilst older readers might especially relish the 90s nostalgia of Ryan's part of the narrative.