He is coming to kill me. Now would be a good time to run. I cannot run. I am too afraid to run.
Paul Varderman could be at any normal school - bullies, girls and annoying teachers are just a part of life. Unfortunately 'normal' doesn't apply when it comes to the school's most evil bully, Roth, a twisted and threatening thug with an agenda quite unlike anyone else. When Paul ends up delivering a message from Roth to the leader of a gang at a nearby school, it fuels a rivalry with immediate consequences. Paul attempts to distance himself from the feud, but when Roth hands him a knife it both empowers him and scares him at the same time . . .
This thought-provoking and original novel highlights the terrible consequences of peer pressure and violence, and casts a spotlight on the worrying rise in knife crime among teenagers.
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Every writer hates to hear the words 'stunning new talent' applied to someone else, but in the case of Anthony McGowan nothing else will do -
Combining brief flashes of ironic humour with the unstoppable momentum of unfolding tragedy, this sadly timely book offers a cogent reminder of the far-reaching consequences of knife violence - Guardian
This fast-paced topical novel stands out . . . McGowan does not let us down lightly and ends the book with a twist that will leave even teenage boys gasping - Daily Telegraph
What makes you sit up is that its author, Anthony McGowan is one of the most talented new writers around - The Times
The narrative skilfully captures the casual violence and shifting loyalties of teen life, while constantly throwing off your expectations about what happens next. Anthony McGowan is a major talent -
This is a masterfully written and dark story of contemporary teen life, which deserves to be widely read and discussed - Carousel
Anthony McGowan was born in Manchester in 1965. Educated at a Catholic comprehensive, he won't say that his character's schooldays are exactly based on his own but he certainly writes from experience. Before turning to writing full-time, Anthony gained a PhD in Philosophy, worked as a nightclub bouncer, an Open University tutor, a journalist and a civil servant. He is married with two children.
In 2006 he won the Teenage Booktrust Prize for Henry Tumour, which was also shortlisted for the Sheffield Children's Book Award, Lancashire Children's Book of the Year Award, Redbridge Teenage Book Award and the Catalyst Award.