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Out of Shadows by Jason Wallace
  

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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."

Winner of the Branford Boase Award 2011.

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!!’

Synopsis

Out of Shadows by Jason Wallace

Zimbabwe, 1980s. The fighting is over and a new era is dawning. For Robert, it's all new. New country, new school, new life. For Ivan, the sound of the guns is still loud. The war may be over but he's ready to fight on. As Robert is drawn slowly into Ivan's destructive web, he begins to question things he'd always held true and, as Ivan's grip tightens, he finds himself caught up in something far more dangerous than he could have imagined.


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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 Powerful...relentless...gripping * The Times * A provocative story, powerfully written...all the heat and intensity of an African nation in flux burns on every page * Scotsman * This bleak, ferocious debut is a powerful, devastating read -- Patrick Ness * Guardian * Terrific debut novel * Independent on Sunday *


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

18th October 2012

Author

Jason Wallace

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Author's Website

www.jwallace.co.uk/

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Publisher

Vintage

Format

Paperback
288 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
NewGen - YA Fiction
All Shortlists and Winners
Debuts of the Month
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General fiction (Children's / Teenage)

ISBN

9780099575269

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