The Pavee and the Buffer Girl
Publisher: The Bucket List
Jim's from a traveller family and has never been to secondary school, but one day his dad says he has to go - so it's into Uncle Mirt's van with the other kids down to Dundray. School is horrible - Jim can't read, so lessons are boring and everyone either calls him names or ignores him. Everyone apart from Kit - who becomes his friend and, away from the pressures of school, teaches him to read.
But even though Jim's life might have a new brightness in it, things are getting darker for all of the Pavees. When bullies take things too far, their violence threatens to uproot Jim's life and that of his whole community.
Stunningly illustrated by Emma Shoard, this short story by the late Siobhan Dowd is full of sensitivity and subtle, deft storytelling, and reminds readers of the need for compassion and understanding.