Hidden Paperback – 30 Mar 2011
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Halahmy's debut novel for young adults is written with clarity and immediacy....with a tear-inducing ending in which a community is taught to stand up for tolerance, this is a book to counter bigotry. --Nicolette Jones, The Times
Miriam Halahmy never puts a foot wrong in this gripping story focusing on an agonisingly difficult contemporary problem. Tautly written throughout, her fine novel deserves the widest audience.. --Nick Tucker, reviewer and broadcaster.
About the Author
Miriam Halahmy has been a Londoner all her life but her parents lived on Hayling Island for twenty-five years and she's been visiting the Island regularly since the 1970's. She has published novels, short stories and poetry for adults and young people. Her stories and poems have been included in anthologies, read on the radio and performed on stage. Hidden is her first novel for young adults. Miriam has been married into an Iraqi family for over thirty years and their stories provided some of the inspiration for this book. She has worked with refugees and asylum seekers for many years in schools as well as leading workshops for English PEN and the Medical Foundation for the Victims of Torture. She has written and education resource on child asylum seekers. Miriam is and active participant in promoting peace and dialogue across divided communities. She believes in standing up to any injustice, however small..
Top customer reviews
Alix and her friend Samir find an illegal immigrant drowning off the coast of Hayling Island, where they live. They have to decide what to do with him, knowing that if they take him to the police he will most likely be deported back to Iraq, where he has been tortured by rebels.
The best thing about the book is Alix's narration - I really believed that she was a fourteen year old girl and liked her dry humour. I also liked how she was unthinkingly prejudiced about Samir - when she first goes to his house she wonders if anyone will be making bombs - but not in a malicious way. I thought this was a realistic portrayal of the different levels of racism in society, and it made for quite uncomfortable reading as it makes you recognise your own prejudices.
Would definitely recommend this book - it challenges the way you think and confronts attitudes about asylum seekers, but most importantly it is a good story with believable, and some very likeable, characters. Looking forward to the next two in the cycle!
Reading this book, I found myself completely immersed in the thought processes, fears and prejudices of Alix, the teenage girl who is the central character of the book. Essentially, it is Alix who leads us seamlessly and believably through this story, dealing with such difficult and controversial subjects as prejudice and inter-ethnic relationships. In the process you cannot help but sympathize with this fundamentally likeable character whose story you just want to read on and on. Alix conjures up the real teenagers we meet in our daily lives, without idealism or bias - she's just normal. She has prejudices, she makes mistakes but throughout has a strength and edge which makes you want to know more of her and her friends, and be part of her life.
The ending to the book is so warm and positive after the major trials of at least one of the characters, and the almost everyday trials of the others, that you are left with a feeling of optimism for her generation which must give us all hope for the future of human relationships.
Can't wait for the next books in the series!
Looking forward to Miriam's next book in the trilogy. Would absolutely recommend!
I think this is a great book to make teenagers sit up and think about who their classmates really are. Particularly in multi-cultural inner city areas. And it manages to be a really exciting story at the same time. (Please sort the spacing out for the e-book version though as without breaks it makes it a hard read.)
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