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Out of Shadows by Jason Wallace
  

Out of Shadows

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Winner of the Branford Boase Award 2011.

Winner of the Costa Children's Book Award 2010.

Costa Book Awards 2010 Judges' comment:
"A stunning debut novel without a false note. Accomplished and powerful, it changes the way you think."

Shortlisted for the Teenage Book Prize 2010.

Nominated for the Carnegie Medal 2011.

A memorable, moving and disturbing coming-of-age story about how different individuals react to the political changes around them and, especially, to the changing power structure between blacks and whites under the new rule of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe in 1980s. Robert Jacklin, newly arrived from England, is encouraged by his father to see the new regime as the start of a hopeful future for racial tolerance, but his friendship with the seemingly all powerful Ivan casts doubts over that possibility. Ivan will stop at nothing to prevent the overthrow of white supremacy. Against a background of increasingly terrifying violence, a generation of schoolboys grow up in a country where the hope for change is quickly extinguished.

This is definitely a novel for 14+ and not younger.

A message from the author on hearing Out of Shadows had been shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book of the Year Award 2010:
As both reader and writer I’m always striving for certain key ingredients in a book, and so I felt a tremendous tingle of excitement on the day I believed I’d found a strong storyline and memorable characters that could be set against a backdrop that means so much to me. That Out of Shadows should be enjoyed by others and recognised with such a prestigious shortlist nomination is a deeply moving and humbling reward, and has rendered this author (hopefully temporarily) wordless.

From Charlie Sheppard, Editor at Andersen Press, which has two titles - Out of Shadows and Annexed - shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book of the Year Award 2010:

‘There’s so much serendipity and luck in publishing and I think this story just proves that. These books were the first two I bought for Andersen Press. I couldn’t quite believe they’d landed on my desk in my first few weeks in the new job. Both of them changed the way I think, and for me that’s one of the most important things a children’s book can do. But both of them had been rejected by other publishers before they reached me. Wrong desk, wrong time. To have been able to work on these two incredible books has been an honour and a highlight of my career, and to have both of them recognised like this feels like a fairytale ending. I just hope Klaus [Publisher Klaus Flugge is Charlie's boss at Andersen Press] realises that these wonderful novels are one-offs and I won’t have 2 books on the shortlist every year!!’

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Synopsis

Out of Shadows by Jason Wallace

'If I stood you in front of a man, pressed a gun into your palm and told you to squeeze the trigger, would you do it?' 'No, sir, no way!' 'What if I then told you we'd gone back in time and his name was Adolf Hitler? Would you do it then?' Zimbabwe, 1980s The war is over, independence has been won and Robert Mugabe has come to power offering hope, land and freedom to black Africans. It is the end of the Old Way and the start of a promising new era. For Robert Jacklin, it's all new: new continent, new country, new school. And very quickly he learns that for some of his classmates, the sound of guns is still loud, and their battles rage on ...white boys who want their old country back, not this new black African government. Boys like Ivan. Clever, cunning Ivan. For him, there is still one last battle to fight, and he's taking it right to the very top.


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Reviews

‘Honest, brave and devastating – Out of Shadows is more than just memorable. It’s impossible to look away.’ Markus Zusak, author of The Book Thief

‘An extraordinary coming-of-age novel . . . a startlingly original debut . . . Charting the change from childhood to adulthood against growing political discord gives the novel a sense of urgency, and the book's intensity, drama and pace leaves a lasting impact.’ - The Bookseller

‘One of the best debut novels I've ever read . . . At times chilling and dark, yet strangely hopeful, one of those books that I know I'll revisit in the future . . . I can't recommend it highly enough.’ - Wondrous Reads

‘Excellent. (Out of Shadows is) the latest lacerating addition to the boarding-school-as-living-hell genre...read on if you have the courage. The author attended a similar establishment at the age of 12, and gives every indication of knowing exactly what he is writing about.’ Nick Tucker, Independent

‘Beautifully written.’ - Independent on Sunday – Hit List, Ruth Swindon

‘Jason Wallace is a writer to follow – there will hopefully be many books to look out for in the future. In spite of my reservations this is a book to be read, to bury a past that has no place in the new Zimbabwe that remains to be built.’ - The Zimbabwean

‘(Out of Shadows is) a provocative story, powerfully written. Some may find the themes difficult, the climax shocking, but Wallace has produced a first novel where all the heat and intensity of an African nation in flux burns on every page. He's a definitely a writer to watch in the future.’ - Keith Gray, The Scotsman

‘A thrilling teenage tale of belonging. The charismatic Ivan is a marvellously drawn character; subtle, clever, tough, cruel, devious... Jason Wallace (is a) fine debut author.’ - Ham & High Series

About the Author

Jason Wallace

Jason Wallace was born in Cheltenham in 1969 but moved to London after his parents split up. Aged 12 his life was turned upside down when his mother remarried and the family emigrated to Zimbabwe. It was this experience in a tough boarding school during the aftermath of the war for independence that forms the foundation of his incredible frst novel, Out of Shadows, which won the Costa Children’s Book Award, UKLA Award and the Branford Boase Award. This raw and powerful coming-of-age novel set in a boarding school in Zimbabwe in the 1980s just after Mugabe came to power was described by the Costa Award judges as ‘a stunning debut novel without a false note. Accomplished and powerful, it changes the way you think.’

Jason is related to Tolkien and a descendent of one of the first International English cricketers, and also of the world-renowned Victorian circus owner “Lord” George Sanger. He was born in Cheltenham in 1969 but moved to London after his parents split up. Aged 12 his life was turned upside down when his mother remarried and the family emigrated to Zimbabwe. It was this experience in a tough boarding school during the aftermath of the war for independence that forms the foundation of his incredible first novel. And he did actually meet Robert Mugabe when he visited his school. Jason is currently a web designer, living in South West London with his partner and son.

Read the author's Q&A here.

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Book Info

Publication date

28th January 2010

Author

Jason Wallace

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Author's Website

www.jwallace.co.uk/

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Publisher

Andersen Press Ltd

Format

Paperback
288 pages

Categories

NewGen - YA Fiction
All Shortlists and Winners
Debuts of the Month
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

General fiction (Children's / Teenage)

ISBN

9781849390484

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