Thursday, 28 April 2011

Inside by J A Jarman

I have just caught up with this great novel for older teenagers about a young offender, seventeen year-old Lee, who struggles with the brutal demands of life inside a young offenders institution. Julia Jarman has clearly done a huge amount of research, and her book provides a realistic and grim portrayal of the conflicting pressures that young people face in YOIs, from the system and from fellow inmates. Lee has to deal not only with a frightening environment and terrifying companions, but also with the emotional fallout of his crimes. He has to make tough decisions, decisions that expose him to danger, and put his mother at risk. Will his time inside make him a better person or a better criminal?

Inside was deservedly shortlisted for the Young Minds Book Award 2010. This is the trailer for it. And this is Jarman’s webpage about her books for teenagers.