I’ll Be Home for Christmas is an exciting YA anthology featuring no less than 14 top UK writers. Each author has the title as a springboard, the result is an intriguing mix of thought-provoking stories. Crucially, £1 from every copy sold goes to Crisis UK.
Benjamin Zephaniah opens the book in his true style, verse which gets straight to the heart of the matter. Poignant and thought provoking, ‘Home and Away’ is told from the view point of a man who suddenly falls on hard times, and finds himself begging on the street.
Holly Bourne’s ‘The Afterschool Club’ will stay with you long after you’ve read those two paragraphs. In Tracy Darnton’s ‘The Letter’ we see the true impact a blast from the past can have, when Amber’s social worker gives her a letter she wasn’t expecting -delicately written, and wonderfully observed. Tom Becker’s ‘Claws’ is delightfully creepy, you definitely don’t want to go home to this fictional town for Christmas! Melvin Burgess intriguing futuristic tale of mind altering Nanomeems, delves into the idea of being able to alter the public’s’ perception of the truth, via the water system! Totally gripping.
A fitting finale to I’ll Be Home for Christmas is Lisa Williamson’s ‘Routes and Wings’. Inspired by true tales from members of Crisis, through the character of Lauren she pens a moving tale about the hidden homeless – those who spend nights on buses to keep warm, kip on the sofas of friends to avoid the streets… and therefore aren’t recognised in official statistics, crucial when it comes to policy and government decision making.
I’ll Be Home for Christmas highlights how life can change in a instant, how circumstances beyond your control can force you in a position you never imagined you’d be in from Lauren trying to scrape a living, to Mark dealing with his dad’s ultimate betrayal – what is round the corner. Some of these tales also highlight how not everyone has family and friends they can rely on.
I’ll Be Home for Christmas is a wonderfully eclectic anthology – highly recommended. Remember, £1 from every copy sold goes to Crisis UK.