Authors: 12+

Jason Reynolds & Akhran Girmay

Jason Reynolds is the New York Times bestselling author of Long Way Down and The Boy in the Black SuitLong Way Down is a powerful verse novel about Will who, after his brother is shot in a gang crime, knows he must get revenge. The Boy in the Black Suit tells the story of Matt who works at the local funeral home. 

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Akhran Girmay is a UK-based, illustrator who is enthralled by storytelling from ancient mythologies and enjoys the act of world-building. Often his stylistic objective is to produce textured and coarse illustrations through the use of traditional media and with a focus on dynamic and bold characterisations. 

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1 book

When I was the Greatest

From Carnegie winning author, a coming-of-age novel about friendship and loyalty across neighbourhood lines – illustrated by award-winner, Akhran Girmay.

A lot of the stuff that gives my neighbourhood a bad name, I don’t really mess with. The guns and drugs and all that, not really my thing.

Nah, not his thing. Ali’s got enough going on, between school and boxing and helping out at home. His best friend Noodles, though. Now there’s a dude looking for trouble – and, somehow, it’s always Ali around to pick up the pieces. But, hey, a guy’s gotta look out for his boys, right? Besides, it’s all small potatoes; it’s not like anyone’s getting hurt.

And then there’s Needles. Needles is Noodles’s brother. He’s got a syndrome, and gets these ticks and blurts out the wildest, craziest things. It’s cool, though: everyone on their street knows he doesn’t mean anything by it.

Yeah, it’s cool . . . until Ali and Noodles and Needles find themselves somewhere they never expected to be . . . somewhere they never should’ve been – where the people aren’t so friendly, and even less forgiving.

‘A funny and rewarding read.’Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review
‘Fiction with heart . . . unexpectedly gorgeous.’ Booklist
‘Moving and thought-provoking . . . defies readers’ expectations.’Kirkus

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