Reverse-Gentrification of the Literary World

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Home Girl

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When Naomi, a fourteen-year-old white girl, is placed with a black foster care family, her life takes some dramatic twists and turns.

$14.95 $11.21

What people are saying…

“With a tough exterior and brash attitude, Naomi is an authentic character in an unfortunate yet accurate picture of modern-day foster care in the UK . . . The ending is neither predictable nor sugarcoated, leaving readers rooting for this determined heroine.”
School Library Journal

Included in Booklist’s Fall 2019 Youth Preview

Included in Publishers Weekly’s Fall 2019 Children’s Sneak Previews

“Wheatle returns to the world of his award-winning Crongton books with what Atom is calling his most powerful and personal novel yet. Naomi Brisset is a teenage girl growing up too fast in the UK care system. Her journey through a series of foster homes exposes the unsettling, often heartwrenching truth of this life. Yet despite the grit, Wheatle’s writing is as rich and warm as ever, bringing courage and hope to an unforgettable heroine’s story.”
Bookseller (UK), Editors’ Choice

“Teenager Naomi, old before her time and as vulnerable as she is fierce, is growing up in the care system. Foster homes and pupil referral units revealing the unsettling, often bewildering reality of this existence. Wheatle’s empathy, authentic characters, and rich dialogue illuminate the dark.”
Observer Magazine (UK)

“Another powerful and poignant novel deftly created by one of the most prolific master novelists on either side of the pond. Home Girl is a page-turner, with not a dull moment. Loved it from the rooter to the tooter.”
—Eric Jerome Dickey, New York Times best-selling author of Before We Were Wicked

“Alex Wheatle’s latest novel offers no unrealistic fairy tale happy ending. But the award-winning writer, who draws on his own experiences of a childhood in care, does offer some hope for Naomi, a sometimes difficult but very likeable heroine.”
Irish News, Children’s Book of the Week

Praise for Alex Wheatle:

Winner of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize 2016
Nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal 2017
Short-listed for the YA Book Prize 2018

“Alex Wheatle is the real deal; he writes with heart and authenticity, books that make you laugh and worry and cry and hold your breath. It’s a pity there’s only one of him.”
—Kit de Waal, author of My Name Is Leon


Description

Interest level: 9-12 | Grade level: High School | Lexile Level: HL600L | Guided Reading Level: Z+

Part of our Black Sheep imprint for young readers.

This isn’t my home. Haven’t had a proper home since . . . This is just somewhere I’ll be resting my bones for a week and maybe a bit. This time next year you’ll forget who I am. I haven’t got a diddly where I’ll be by then. But I’m used to it.

New from the best-selling black British author Alex Wheatle, Home Girl is the story of Naomi, a teenage girl growing up fast in the foster care system. It is a wholly modern story which sheds a much-needed light on what can be an unsettling life—and the consequences that follow when children are treated like pawns on a family chessboard.

Home Girl is fast-paced and funny, tender, tragic, and full of courage—just like Naomi. This is Alex Wheatle’s most moving and personal novel to date.

Alex Wheatle participated in the 2019 Hay Festival as part of BBC Culture’s “Textual Healing” panel, “Can Fiction Heal?” Listen to Wheatle talk about his personal re-discovery of reading and literature while serving a sentence for participating in 1981’s Brixton riots.


Extras


Book Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Published: 9/3/19
  • IBSN: 9781617757532
  • e-IBSN: 9781617757716
  • Hardcover
  • IBSN: 9781617757952

Author

ALEX WHEATLE is the author of several best-selling books including the modern classic Brixton Rock, and the multi–award winning Crongton series. He was awarded an MBE for his services to literature in 2008, has been twice nominated for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, and has won numerous other awards, including the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. He lives in South London. Home Girl is his latest novel.

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