Beck

By Mal Peet, Meg Rosoff

The final novel from Carnegie Medal-winning author Mal Peet is a sweeping coming-of-age adventure, with all the characteristic beauty and strenth of his prose.

Both harrowing and life-affirming, the final novel from Carnegie Medal-winning author Mal Peet is the sweeping coming-of-age adventure of a mixed race boy transported to North America. Born from a street liaison between a poor young woman and an African soldier in the 1900s, Beck is soon orphaned and sent to the Catholic Brothers in Canada. Shipped to work on a farm, his escape takes him across the continent in a search for belonging. Enduring abuse and many hardships, Beck has times of comfort and encouragement, eventually finding Grace, the woman with whom he can finally forge his life and shape his destiny as a young man. A picaresque novel set during the Depression as experienced by a young black man, it depicts great pain but has an uplifting and inspiring conclusion.

Categories: Fiction

For readers aged: 14+

  • Publication details:
  • Format: Hardback
  • ISBN: 9781406331127
  • Published: 18 Aug 2016
  • Price: £12.99
  •  
  • Size: 216 x 135 mm
  • Pages: 272

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Customer reviews

Reviews

'The gut-wrenching story of a boy searching for warmth in a cold and often hostile world. [...] Beck is a fantastic character - clever, resourceful, and with an indomitable instinct for survival. You want to follow him right up to his hard-won happy ending.' The Guardian

'This extraordinary novel is powerful, shocking, uplifting, funny and beautifully written. Every page of this book is bursting with life, observation, feeling and conviction. It is a collaboration between two remarkable writers, fusing the best of both.' The Sunday Times Book of The Week

'The author's language is so rich throughout and Beck's journey told with such apparent effortlessness, this swan song deserves readers and a prize of its own.' The Times Weekend

'A master storyteller' The Bookseller

'Peet is fabulously talented' The Literary Review

'For some time now Mal Peet has been the most elegant prose stylist in the world of young-adult fiction [...] one of our best novelists, full stop.'

'Peet died more than a year ago, so a final novel from him is something very special indeed. […] an episodic coming-of-age drama that is powerful and harrowing but ultimately uplifting.' The Bookseller

'His final book, almost finished at the time of his death, and completed by Rosoff at his request. It's a powerful, harrowing and ultimately uplifting coming-of-age drama following the adventures of a mixed-race boy transported to North America.' The Bookseller

'A compelling coming-of-age story, with an equally beautiful and brutal backstory' Eastern Daily Press

'Beck is a beautiful story, with a sad but beautiful background.' Bookwitch

'It’s a raw, challenging, coming-of-age story where the instinct to survive almost trumps the power of love. Peet’s wit seeps through the darkness and though Rosoff ’s almost invisible hand is skilful, it reminds us of what a wonderful writer we have lost.' Daily Mail

'How much of this is Peet and how much Rosoff is left an open question. What really matters is that this novel definitely comes off, with its softening of tone towards the end balanced by the graphic cruelty that has gone before. Beck himself is a difficult, taciturn character, who has long 'misered the cold coins of disappointment close to his heart.' Understandably suspicious whenever things seem to be working out for him he is still able to accept his good fortune by the end, and a few if any of his readers would wish it otherwise.' Books for Keeps

'Engrossing, overwhelming and at times shocking, Beck is an epic novel in just over 250npages. It's impossible to tell where Peet's work ended and Rosoff's began. It's a remarkable swansong for Peet and an outstanding piece of storytelling from Rosoff.' The Scotsman

'How much of this is Peet and how much Rosoff is left an open question. What really matters is that this novel definitely comes off, with its softening of tone towards the end balanced by the graphic cruelty that has gone before.' Books for Keeps

'Peet, who won the Carnegie Medal for his 2005 novel Tamar, died last year; his friend Meg Rosoff, who finished the book, has done him proud.' The Times

'This powerful coming-of-age adventure set in the 1920s, is harrowing, but ultimately uplifting.' Carousel

'[...] and extraordinary novel - shocking, moving and beautifully written - that is hard to categorise. [...] Despite its darkness, it has unexpected humour and is ultimately uplifting.' The Sunday Times, Children's book of the year

'It is a harrowing, but ultimately uplifting, coming-of-age story, as we follow orphaned mixed-race Beck's traumatic journey from his native Liverpool to Canada.' The Mail on Sunday, Best of Bookish teens

'Vivid, plangent and textured, Beck is a testament to a great talent, which Rosoff has helped to bring into thr world both tenderly and passionately.' Literary Review

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Hardback
£12.99

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