"An ice-cold thriller about identity, pain and veracity. . . . David writes in steely, short sentences as Joe grapples with his new school, his mother's inertia, and his own deadly secret."
Daily Telegraph (London)
A superb and exciting debut teen novel exploring knife crime and witness protection by an outstanding new author.
School is the only place where I feel calm. Everywhere
else I'm looking out for exploding shops and heavies
bursting from the shadows. It's completely exhausting
because nothing actually ever happens, so I'm wasting
tons of energy watching and worrying.
But once I go through the school gates I feel better.
No one can find me here. I'm camouflaged among
hundreds of other kids all dressed the same. It's not
like London where everyone looks different. In the
playground, pretty much everyone is the same colour,
has the same sort of look. I never even knew you could
be this invisible.
My invisibility doesn't hold up in the classroom
though. My class is full of babies. The boy who sits
on my left - Max - is about seven inches smaller than
me, and his voice is as high as James Blunt's. The girl
in front of me - Claire - is even smaller. She looks like
an eight-year-old who's borrowed a uniform five sizes
too big for her.
I'd been quite interested in the idea of sharing
a classroom with girls. But even the ones who look
thirteen seem incredibly young. There're only one or two
who make a real effort with make up and stuff.
Among this lot I really stick out. I'm the tallest.
I sometimes look like I might need to shave. I know
everything - it's so helpful that St Saviour's was
unbelievably strict and made us work so hard. Redoing
year eight is a breeze. A boring one.
Today I'm dozing in English class, thinking about
a picture I once saw in a magazine of a woman member
of a tribe somewhere in Indonesia. Her left hand had
only two fingers; the rest had been hacked off, one finger
for every family member she'd lost. It was her tribe's way
of remembering the dead. I can't see it catching on in
England, but right now I think it's got possibilities.
People would know something about you right from the
start, without asking questions. So you never forget,
and you carry the truth on your body.
Some losses don't really deserve a whole finger
though. When my dad left, I was only about two and he
just kind of faded out of my life. Now he's gone forever,
I suppose. He'd never find us even if he looked.
Maybe he's worth a little toe. What about losing a friend?
KEREN DAVID was brought up in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire and went to school in Hatfield. She left school at 18 and got a job as a messenger girl on a newspaper. She was freelancing as a reporter on the old Fleet Street by her mid-twenties and, after living and working in Scotland for two years, was appointed as a news editor on the Independent at the age of 27.
She and her family then went to live in Amsterdam for eight years where she was editor in chief of a photo-journalism agency. On returning to the UK in 2007 she decided to attend a course on writing for children at
the City University. When I Was Joe started out as a project for that course. She lives in London with her husband and two children. Her other titles for Frances Lincoln are Almost True, Another Life and Lia's Guide to Winning the Lottery (9781847801913).
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Good Fast-Paced Story When I was Joe is a fast-paced story with lots of twist and turns. It is a good book but the ending was a little confusing for me. It was a good book and I would recommend it to a friend, but if you get lost in books easily, I would not recommend this particular book for you.
Best book ever I recomend this to everyone who loves a thriller, heart stopper, mystery and with if coarse the love story! Though I wouldnt say the lov is the main part throughout the story!!!!!!