Sunday, 10 April 2011
Big and Clever by Dan Tunstall
Big and Clever is the story of a boy who is drawn into a new world of excitement and trouble by a friend at school. The boy - Tom - is at a new school and knows no-one. He feels like he doesn't fit in. Then he gets the chance to have a new identity. As a football hooligan. It is a chance he takes. This is a story about identity, fighting and drinking, but most of all, about choosing between the safe and steady comforts of life AND the excitement and danger of figthing at the football. What I love about this book is it is accurate. I used to know a lot of lads like the ones in this book and Dan Tunstall gets it spot on. That is so necessary in a book like this - and for the readers it is aimed at. The story starts with Tom as a nice son, a loving boyfriend and doing well at school. It ends in extreme - and not at all attractive - violence, at which point Tom has to choose one or other path. I have not been gripped by a books since reading iBoy by Kevin Brooks last year. In fact, the books have a lot in common. It is an outstanding book. On a par with Keeper by Mal Peet as one of the great football novels for kids. Big and Clever is published by inde press, Five Leaves of Nottingham.