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Summary

Both harrowing and life-affirming, the final novel from Carnegie Medal-winning author Mal Peet is the sweeping coming-of-age adventure of a mixed race boy transported to North America.

Born from a street liaison between a poor young woman and an African soldier in the 1900s, Beck is soon orphaned and sent to the Catholic Brothers in Canada. Shipped to work on a farm, his escape takes him across the continent in a search for belonging.

Enduring abuse and many hardships, Beck has times of comfort and encouragement, eventually finding Grace, the woman with whom he can finally forge his life and shape his destiny as a young man.

A picaresque novel set during the Depression as experienced by a young black man, it depicts great pain but has an uplifting and inspiring conclusion, and has all the characteristic beauty and strength of Peet's prose.

©2016 Mal Peet and Meg Rosoff (P)2017 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

Critic reviews

"With Rosoff working from an unfinished manuscript left behind when Peet died in 2015, the finished book is seamless...a sweepingly epic physical and emotional journey." ( Kirkus Reviews)
"The gut-wrenching story of a boy searching for warmth in a cold and often hostile world. [...] Beck is a fantastic character - clever, resourceful, and with an indomitable instinct for survival. You want to follow him right up to his hard-won happy ending." ( The Guardian)

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