I'll Be Home For Christmas by Benjamin Zephaniah and Others
|I'll Be Home For Christmas by Benjamin Zephaniah and Others|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 384||Date: September 2016|
|External links: Author's website|
Publisher Little Tiger and homelessness charity Crisis have got together and produced I'll Be Home For Christmas - an anthology of short stories from some of the most popular writers on the UK YA scene. The stories are connected by the theme of home. What does home mean to you? Is it your house, the physical place where you live? Is it your family? Your friends? Home can mean different things to different people, can't it? The book opens with a powerful poem by Bookbag favourite, Benjamin Zephaniah. The following stories are disparate - some telling tales of hardship and fear, some warming the cockles of your heart. But all of them are about home.
Here are just a few highlights:
Lisa Williamson's Routes and Wings is about a young girl, who is working a low paid job and always wants more shifts. Why? Because she is homeless, although her colleagues have no idea. This story is inspired by the experiences told to Williamson by Crisis members when she volunteered to run a creative writing workshop at one of their centres. It's a lovely story and I think it is truly emblematic of all that is best about this initiative.
Juno Dawson contributed Homo at Christmas, about a boy plucking up the courage to come out to his mother, who has made homophobic remarks in the past. Scary, right? Sometimes, going home isn't as easy as you think it might be. Then there is The Associates by Kevin Brooks. I loved this story of tender friendship between two homeless men.
Marcus Sedgwick takes the Earth itself as his idea of home. And he sounds a warning about environmental degradation and climate change. Our planet is home to all of us and we should take care of it. Melvin Burgess, who loves to make us feel uncomfortable, does just that with When Daddy Comes Home because home isn't always what we'd want it to be.
Ok. Here is the worthy bit. And it's properly, properly, properly worthy, you know? £1 from the sale of each copy of I'll Be Home For Christmas will go to the Crisis at Christmas appeal. And publisher Little Tiger promises to donate at least £10,000. Crisis at Christmas will offer warmth, food, comfort and companionship to at least 4,000 homeless people this Christmas. And Crisis will provide services to more than 10,000 homeless people throughout the year. And if we can't think of those less fortunate than ourselves at Christmas, then when? So if you can think of anyone who might enjoy these wonderful short stories and who might also get an extra bit of good feeling from the good the sales of this book will do, buy them a copy, ok?
If you enjoy short stories and contributing to good causes, you could also look at Here I Stand by Amnesty International. Its stories and poems explore the human rights we have today, how they were won, and the importance of protecting them.
You can read more book reviews or buy I'll Be Home For Christmas by Benjamin Zephaniah and Others at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy I'll Be Home For Christmas by Benjamin Zephaniah and Others at Amazon.com.
Like to comment on this review?
Just send us an email and we'll put the best up on the site.