Voice-driven debut YA novel, full of humour and friendship, about a teenage boy who gets caught up in gang culture on an inner city estate. 'A gripping tale of family and friends, love and loyalty' Malorie Blackman, Children's Laureate
What's worse than hiding a secret? Liccle Bit's about to find out...
Venetia King is the hottest girl at school. Too bad Lemar is the second shortest guy in his year. Everyone calls him Liccle Bit, and his two best friends, McKay and Jonah, never tire of telling him he has no chance with girls. Things aren't much better at home. His mum is permanently hassled, his sister a frustrated single mum and his dad moved out years ago. Liccle Bit wishes he could do something - anything! - to make life better. A new phone would be a start...
When Venetia starts paying Liccle Bit attention, he secretly hopes he's on a fast track to a first date. Unfortunately, as a new gang war breaks out, he finds himself on a fast track to something much more sinister. South Crongton's notorious gang leader has taken an interest in Liccle Bit. Before he knows what's happening, he finds himself running errands. But when he hears about a killing on the estate, Liccle Bit is forced to question his choices. How can he possibly put things right?
What a gripping tale of family and friends, love and loyalty . . . Lemar's voice is so strong and I loved the humour in it too.
This is a tender and totally believable YA novel by a writer who knows unseen places, unheard people and untold stories. He knows because he has lived a life that might have remained hidden if he hadn't found within him the urge and talent to write. His previous books spoke to many who were not regular readers. This one will excite the urban young because their world is brought alive on the pages and those who raised in green and pleasant lands. Funny, painful, gritty and soft, this is a lovely book.
Alex Wheatle is the bestselling author of several books including the modern classic Brixton Rock, and the multi-award winning Crongton series. He was awarded an MBE for his services to literature in 2008, has been twice nominated for the Carnegie Medal, and has won numerous awards including the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize.