Every day until Christmas Eve, a member of Suffolk Libraries staff will reveal a book, CD or DVD they will be giving as a Christmas present, and why. Today, library and information advisor Debra Rowe recommends I’ll Be Home For Christmas, by various authors.
You can’t fail to think of Christmas when you see this book, with its red-tipped pages and snowy cover. But while the new short stories and poetry in this collection are on the theme of home, they don’t all conjure up a cosy picture of comfort and joy. This is gritty and thought-provoking stuff and showcases some terrific writing aimed at young adults.
I love Bluebird by Julie Mayhew. It is beautifully written and I was hooked from the opening lines: “Let’s start at the start. It’s winter. Moony night in a small town. Trainer-scuff black…”
Another great read is Routes and Wings by Lisa Williamson, about a young girl snatching scraps of work thrown her way in a sandwich shop, forced to be secretive about her life away from her workplace, so that no-one knows she’s homeless and spends her nights bussing round London. It’s insightful and very moving - and carries a message of hope, much like the only poem in the collection, Home and Away by Benjamin Zephaniah.
I’m certainly going to buy this for an adult who appreciates good writing for young people, not least because £1 from every sale goes to Crisis, the homelessness charity.