What's the definition of 'a family' when their lynch-pin, Mum, is tragically killed leaving Dad and two teenage boys to cope
Gary was flicking beany gunge on my flawless new Ellesse top - I was yelling at him. What a pillock! Mum was dead, well - fatally injured - she died later in hospital. We just didn't know it at the time.
Gary, John and Dad, too, are lost without Mum. Gary is only 14 and goes seriously off the rails, getting involved with local thugs and teetering on the brink of being on the wrong side of the law. John is wrestling with the GCSEs and his first romance - the gorgeous Olivia Bellman. But he's carrying the burden of trying to cope with Gary and Dad at the same time. And they're all living with the memories of someone they can never replace.
Alan Gibbons has an extraordinary knack of knowing just what it's like to be a teenager. He writes here with compassion - and flashes of humour - about surviving against all the odds.
Alan Gibbons is a full-time writer and a visiting speaker and lecturer at schools, colleges and literary events nationwide, including the major book festivals: Edinburgh, Northern Children's Book Festival, Swansea, Cheltenham, Sheffield and Salford. Alan is a key supporter of a high-profile, nationwide campaign to champion libraries and librarianship and to reevaluate government commitment to educational spending. He lives in Liverpool with his wife and four children. Alan is an honorary CILIP member.
Visit Alan's website at www.alangibbons.com, read his blog at alangibbons.net, follow him on Twitter @mygibbo, Facebook www.facebook.com/alan.gibbons.35 and Flickr www.flickr.com/people/71279646@N08.