Not a bad little yarn, this - I've just finished reading it with a 14 year old lad with a pretty low reading age and (to put it politely) more than a passing interest in the book's subject matter (ie., the urban grief that lots of teenagers find themselves in...). He seemed to enjoy it, anyway - although at slightly over 60 pages, it didn't keep him engaged for very *long*, and the story's ending (in which Sam, our hero, has a fairly abrupt turnaround in his feelings towards carrying a knife and accepts his position lower down the teenage hierarchy) seems a bit unlikely.
However, if you're struggling to find books for less able teenage readers (12-15 would be the group I'd use this with), that aren't patronising or irrelevant to their lives, this is a good 'un. Recommended.
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Read to see which teens would be interested in this at school. Sam is a teen who like many others on the estate is scared of Cecil and his gang. His friend gets himself a knife for protection so when he starts helping an older person for citizenship and finds a commando knife hidden away at the bottom of a cupboard he takes it ... for protection only. But then he shows it to a girl and trouble starts. He pulls it on another kid who threatens him and instead of leaving it there he begins to brag about how these cool teens are no longer scared of him. They make him pay by humiliating him. He then plans his revenge and this revenge includes knifing Cecil. He didn't reckon on the old guy telling him the story of his life in the Commando's and how life can be overshadowed by one act.