Mal Peet with Meg Rosoff
Walker Books (16+) Advisory notice about content
Alternating between brutality and passion, Beck is an utterly compelling historical bildungsroman that tells a story of survival, hardship romance and a fight against inequality. Betrayed by those that should have nurtured him, Beck begins a life of servitude. Finding eventual escape, he journeys for freedom and a place where he can belong, encountering trials and prejudice along the way.
Gripping from start to finish, the writing in Beck is flawless, successfully balancing graphic cruelty with a gradual softening of tone as both the lead character and the story develop and grow. Beck himself, is witty, colloquial and utterly believable and heads up a cast of richly drawn, well rounded characters. This is a story that stays with readers reminding them that in spite of discrimination and hardship, there can be love, goodness and hope in the world.
Mal Peet's first novel, Keeper, won the Branford Boase Award and the Bronze Nestle Children's Book Prize; Tamar won the Carnegie Medal; and Exposure was the winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. A writer and illustrator, Mal produced many books for children throughout his lifetime, most of them in collaboration with his wife, Elspeth Graham. He also wrote a critically acclaimed adult novel, The Murdstone Trilogy.
Meg Rosoff is the award-winning author of How I Live Now, which won the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize and the Branford Boase Award. Her second novel, Just in Case, won the Carnegie Medal and her other books include Picture Me Gone and Jonathan Unleashed, her first novel for adults. She lives in London. Follow Meg on Twitter @megrosoff.