The World and I - Books on Different Cultures and Identity

Books on Different Cultures

LWCThe Lines We Cross by Randa Abdel-Fattah (Afghanistan)

Michael is drawn to his new classmate Mina, but they are on opposite sides of an issue that is tearing their town apart.

His parents are part of an anti-immigration group, while her family have fled their besieged home in Afghanistan. As tensions rise, lines are drawn and both must decide what they want their world to look like, no matter the cost.


SHANWhere the Streets had a Name by Randa Abdel Fattah (Isreal/Palestine)

Thirteen year old Hayaat is on a mission.  She believes a handful of soil from her grandmother's ancestral home in Jerusalem will save her beloved Sitti Zeynab's life.  The only problem is the impenetrable wall that divides the West Bank, as well as the checkpoints, the curfews and Hayaat's best friend Samy, who is always a troublemaker.

But luck is on their side. Hayaat and Samy have a curfew free day to travel to Jerusalem.  However, while their journey is only aew kilometres long, it may take a lifetime to complete.


Does my Head look Big in this? by Randa Abdel-Fattah (Islam)

The slide opened and I heard a gentle, kind voice: What is your confession, my child?  I was stuffed.  The priest would declare me a heretic; my parents would call me a traitor.... The Priest asked me again: What is your confession, my child? I am Muslim. I whispered.

Welcome to my world. I am Amal Abdel-Hakim, a 17 year old Australian-Palestinian-Muslim still trying to come to grips with my various identity hyphens. It is hard enough being cool as a teenager but my friends support me, although they have a few troubles of their own. Simone, blonde, gorgeous and overweight, has got serious image issues, and Leila's really intelligent but her parents are more interested in her getting a marriage certificate than her high school certificate! . . . . And I thought I had problems.

IPiAIpods in Accra by Sophia Acheampong (Ghana)

Makeeda's plans for the summer holidays are falling apart! Her parents suddenly announce that the family are going on a trip to visit their relatives in Ghana and then she splits up with her boyfriend Nelson. Can things get any worse?

But in Ghana things are different, and Makeeda, the sophisticated London girl, makes some surprising discoveries about herself, her family and her friends. And, while she is struggling to reconcile her two cultures, could it be that she has found true love where she least expected it?

SHGSecrets of a Henna Girl by Sufiya Ahmed (Islam/Pakistan)

Life as Zeba knows it could be over for good . . .

Zeba Khan is like any other sixteen year old girl, enjoying herself, waiting for exam results and dreaming of the day she will meet her one true love.

Except her parents have other plans.

In Pakistan for the summer, Zeba's world is shattered. Her future is threatened by an unthinkable - and forced - duty to protect her father's honour. But does she hold the secrets that will help her escape?

IRIbarajo Road by Harry Allen (Africa)

When Charlie goes on a disastrous rich kids' bender, he and his friends are given one last chance to redeem themselves. In desperation, Charlie opts to work at a refuge for orphans, the sick and the homeless who pass through its gates. But this is Africa, where poverty and corruption run deep and the trafficking is human - and Charlie is in it right up to his neck.

This gripping debut novel follows a privileged teenagers in to the heart of African life, a journey that changes him forever.


LSLittle Soldier by Bernard Ashley (Africa)

When Kaninda survives a brutal attack on his village in East Africa he joins the rebel army, where he is trained to carry weapons and use them. But aid workers take him to London, to a new family and a comprehensive school. Clan and tribal conflicts are everywhere, and on the streets it is estate versus estate, urban tribe against urban tribe.

All Kaninda wants it to get back to his own war and take revenge on his enemies. But together with Laura Rose, the daughter of his new family, he is drawn into a dangerous local conflict that is spiraling out of control.

MRWhen the Mountains Roared by Jess Butterworth (Australia)

I thought we would live here forever, but then, I thought Mum would be here forever too. When Ruby's dad uproots her from Australia to set up a hotel in the mountains of India, Ruby is devastated.  Not only are they living in a run-down building in the middle of the wilderness surrounded by scorpions, bears and leopards, but Ruby is sure that India will never truly feel like home - not without her mum there.

Ever since her mum died, Ruby has been afraid of cars, of the dark, of going to sleep and never waking up, but then the last remaining leopards of the mountain are threatened and everything changes. Ruby vows to do all she can to protect them, if she can only overcome her fears.

RRWRunning on the Roof of the World by Jess Butterworth (Tibet)

There are two words that are banned in Tibet. Two words that can get you locked in prison without a second thought. I watch the soldiers tramping away and call the words after them. 'Dalai Lama.'

Tash has to follow many rules to survive in Tibet, a country occupied by Chinese soldiers. But when a man sets himself on fire in protest and soldiers seize Tash's parents, she and her best friend Sam must break the rules. They are determined to escape Tibet - and seek the help of the Dalai Lama himself in India.

And so, with a backpack of Tash's father's mysterious papers and two trusty yaks by their side, their extraordinary journey across the mountains begins.

WBWarrior Boy by Virginia Clay (Kenya)

London schoolboy Ben is visiting his father's homeland of Kenya. Ben thinks he will not fit in with his estranged Maasai cousins but when he arrives, he finds there is a lot more at stake than his pride

In a thrilling adventure of tribal culture and elephant conservation, Ben embarks on a journey of self-understanding and friendship.



BBBend it like Beckham by Narinder Dhami (Sikh)

If you are 18, love football and can bend a ball like Beckham, the world must be your oyster, right? Wrong. If you are Jess, 18, Indian and a girl, forget it.

Jess just wants to play football but her wedding obsessed parents have other ideas, so she hides it from them. But when Jess and her friend Jules join a ladies team and get spotted by a talent scout, it all kicks off.

BWThe Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis (Afghanistan)

Parvana's father is arrested and taken away by Taliban soldiers. Under Taliban law, women and girls are not allowed to leave the house on their own.

Parvana, her mother and sisters are prisoners in their own home. With no man to go out to buy food, they face starvation. So Parvana must pretend to be a boy to save her family. It is a dangerous plan, but their only chance. In fear, she goes out and witnesses the horror of landmines, the brutality of the Taliban, and the desperation of a country trying to survive. But even in despair lies hope.

BtBBeyond the Barricades by Deborah Ellis (Bolivia)

Diego has managed to get away from thugs who were forcing him to make cocaine paste in the jungle, but he does not know where he is or how he will find his parents.  When he is taken in by the Ricardo family, he is eager to help them harvest their cocoa crop. Doing so reminds him of home because, like his family, the Ricardos need the harvest for survival. But the army does not want any cocoa getting into the hands of criminals who will turn it into cocaine for the western market and so destroys every leaf it can find. Every family in the area now faces devastation.

In protest, the people organise a blockade of Bolivia's main road. Diego is swept along by the excitement of it all. But the good humour soon sours and when Diego is given the chance to escape home, it is almost impossible to resist. But should he stay and fight, or leave silently and perhaps, finally, find his family?

WoSThe Wheel of Surya by Jamila Gavin (India)

India, August 1947: Fleeing from their burnt-out village as civil war rages in the Punjab, Marvinder and Jaspal are separated from their mother, Jhoti. Marvinder has already saved her brother's life once, but now they both face a daily fight for survival.

Together they escape across India and nearly halfway around the world to England, to find a father they hardly know in a new, hostile culture.


PoMProud of Me by Sarah Hagger-Holt (Judaism)

All I want is for my family to be proud of me - Becky and Josh are almost-twins, with two mums and the same anonymous donor dad. Josh can't wait until he's eighteen, the legal age when he can finally contact his donor, and he will do anything to find out more­­, even if it involves lying. Becky cannot stop thinking about her new friend, Carli. Could her feelings for Carli be a sign of something more? Becky and Josh both want their parents to be proud of them but right now, they are struggling to even accept themselves.

ChanChandra by Frances Hendry (Hinduism)

Chandra is looking forward to her arranged marriage - her new husband is open-minded and modern-thinking. But when he dies shortly after their wedding Chandra realises that she is now the property of her husband's family who blame her for their son's death. She escapes into the desert and eventually finds her way home - but her husband's family are hot on her heels.


SASWhen Stars are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson (Somalia)

Omar and his brother Hassan, two Somali boys, have spent a long time in the Dadaab refugee camp. Separated from their mother, they are looked after by a friendly stranger. Life in the camp is not always easy. The hunger is constant but there is football to look forward to, and now there is a chance Omar will get to go to school.

With a heart-wrenching fairytale ending, this incredible true story is brought to life by Victoria's stunning illustrations. This book perfectly depicts life in a refugee camp for 8-12 year olds.

ZHZara Hossein is Here by Sabina Khan (Muslim)

Seventeen year old Pakistani immigrant, Zara Hossain, has been leading a fairly typical life in Texas since her family moved there for her father's work. While dealing with the Islamophobia that she faces at school, Zara has to lay low, trying not to stir up any trouble and jeopardize their family's dependent visa status while they await their green card approval. But one day her tormentor, star football player Tyler Benson, takes things too far, leaving a threatening note in her locker, and gets suspended.

As an act of revenge against her for speaking out, Tyler and his friends vandalize Zara's house with racist graffiti, leading to a violent crime that puts Zara's entire future at risk. Now she must pay the ultimate price and choose between fighting to stay in the only place she has ever called home, or losing the life she loves and everyone in it.

FBWThe Fastest Boy in the World by Elizabeth Laird (Ethiopia)

Eleven year old Solomon loves to run! The great athletes of the Ethiopian national team are his heroes and he dreams that one day he will be a gold medal-winning athlete like them, in spite of his ragged shorts and bare feet. When his grandfather announces that he's going to take Solomon on a trip to the capital? It is unfathomable. Solomon's joy is increased when he realizes that the Ethiopian running team will be doing a victory parade through the city that day. Maybe he'll get a glimpse of Haile Gebrselassie or Derartu Tulu?!

As Solomon follows his grandfather through the big, overwhelming streets, he learns something he cannot believe. The strict old man is a war hero. When his grandfather collapses, Solomon knows that getting help from his village is up to him. It is a twenty mile run from the city to home, and grandfather's life hangs in the balance. Can the small bare-footed runner with the big heart do it?

ONMLOranges in No Mans Land by Elizabeth Laird (Lebanon)

Since her father left Lebanon to find work and her mother tragically died in a shell attack, ten year old Ayesha has been living in the bomb ravaged city of Beirut with her granny and her two younger brothers.

The city has been torn in half by civil war and a desolate, dangerous no man's land divides the two sides. Only militiamen and tanks dare enter this deadly zone, but when Granny falls desperately ill, Ayesha sets off on a terrifying journey to reach a doctor living in enemy territory.

LPGA Little Piece of Ground by Elizabeth Laird (Isreal/Palestine)

Twelve year old Karim Aboudi and his family are trapped in their Ramallah home by a strict curfew. Israeli tanks control the city in response to a Palestinian suicide bombing. Karim longs to play football with his mates, being stuck inside with his teenage brother and fearful parents is driving him crazy.

When the curfew ends, he and his friend discover an unused patch of ground that is the perfect site for a football pitch. Nearby, an old car hidden intact under bulldozed buildings makes a brilliant den. But in this city there is constant danger, even for schoolboys. When Israeli soldiers find Karim outside during the next curfew, it seems impossible that he will survive.

LRLost Riders by Elizabeth Laird (Pakistan)

Taken to work in a strange country, Rashid and his little brother Shari cling to each other. Then they are separated and forced to become jockeys in the lucrative camel-racing business. Rashid is starved and worked to exhaustion by harsh supervisors - but he has a talent for racing and quickly becomes his stable's star jockey. Soon he begins to forget what life was like when he had a proper home.

He almost begins to forget about Shari . . .

WtNWelcome to Nowhere by Elizabeth Laird (Syria)

Twelve year old Omar and his brothers and sisters were born and raised in the beautiful and bustling city of Bosra, Syria.  Omar does not care about politics, all he wants is to grow up to become a successful businessman who will take the world by storm. But when his clever older brother, Musa, gets mixed up with some young political activists, everything changes.

Before long, bombs are falling, people are dying and Omar and his family have no choice but to flee their home with only what they can carry. Yet no matter how far they run, the shadow of war follows them, until they have no other choice than to attempt the dangerous journey to escape their homeland altogether. But where do you go when you cannot go home?

AApache by Tanya Landman (Native American)

Siki is an orphan of the Black Mountain Apache. Her mother was killed by Mexicans three years ago and her father lost in an ambush the winter before that.

When Siki witnesses the brutal murder of her little brother Tazhi, she vows to become an Apache warrior and avenge his death. This powerful but sensitively written novel will stay with you long after you have turned the final page.


BHThe Butterfly Heart by Paula Leydon (Zambia)

Bul Boo and Madillo are worried about their friend Winifred, who has lost her gentle smile and no longer puts up her hand in class. Then the twins discover her secret, she is to be married off to her uncle's friend, who drinks heavily and is old enough to be her grandfather.

While Winifred has become resigned to her fate, her friends are determined to put a stop to the marriage. But what can they do? They ask the advice of Ifwafwa, the snake man, who promises to think about the problem. Ifwafwa is wise and has a gift with snakes, but he does not like to hurry and Bul-Boo becomes impatient. Will they be too late to save their friend?

MoNThe Middle of Nowhere by Geraldine McCaughrean (Australia/Aborigine)

When Mary Pinny dies from a snakebite, she leaves her young daughter, Comity, and husband Herbert in the Middle of Nowhere. As Stationmaster of the Kinkindele Repeater Station, Herbert Pinny takes great pride in his job; receiving morse messages and passing them down the Wire. But Comity dreams of a different life and sends letters to her grandmother and her snooty aunt full of colourful tales of her imaginary life. That is, until the new station assistant, Quartz Hogg, arrives and brings Comity and her father sharply back down to earth.

POPlanet Omar by Zania Mian (Islam)

My parents decided it would be a good idea to move house and move me to a new school at the same time. As if I did not have a hard enough time staying out of trouble at home, now I have also got to try and make new friends. What is worse, the class bully seems to think I am the perfect target.

At least Eid's around the corner which means a feast (YAY) and presents (DOUBLE YAY). Well, as long as I can stay in Mum and Dad's good books long enough.

BLThe Butterfly Lion by Michael Morpurgo (Africa)

All my life I’ll think of you, I promise I will. I won’t ever forget you.

Bertie rescues an orphaned white lion cub from the African veld. They are inseparable until Bertie is sent to boarding school far away in England and the lion is sold to a circus. Bertie swears that one day they will see one another again, but it is the butterfly lion which ensures that their friendship will never be forgotten.


KCFKing of the Cloud Forests by Michael Morpurgo (China)

Escaping from China as the Japanese invade, Ashley and Uncle Sung embark on a perilous journey across the Himalayas. Then Ashley finds himself alone in the hostile mountains, battling for his life. He is just about to give up all hope, when he has a mysterious and terrifying encounter.


KAFThe Kites are Flying by Michael Morpurgo (Middle East)

Travelling to the West Bank to witness first hand what life is like for Palestinians and Jews living in the shadow of a dividing wall, journalist Max strikes up a friendship with an enigmatic Palestinian boy, Said. Together the two sit under an ancient olive tree while Said makes another of his kites. When Said takes Max home, the reporter learns of the terrible events in the family’s past and begins to understand why Said does not speak. Told from both Max’s and Said’s points of view, Morpurgo has created a beautiful tale of tragedy and hope with an ending that rings with joy.

JTJBJourney to Jo'Burg by Beverley Naidoo (South Africa)

Frightened that their baby sister Dineo will die from starvation, not an incurable disease, Naledi and her brother Tiro run away from their grandmother to Johannesburg, to find their mother who works there as a maid.

Their journey illustrates the grim realities of apartheid; the pass laws, racism and the breakdown of family life.


RTRooftoppers by Katherine Rundell (France)

Everyone tells Sophie that she was orphaned in a shipwreck - found floating in a cello case on the English Channel on her first birthday. But Sophie is convinced her mother also survived.

When the Welfare Agency threatens to separate her from her guardian and send her to an orphanage, Sophie takes matters into her own hands, starting with the only clue she has, the address of a cello-maker in Paris. On the run from the authorities, Sophie finds Matteo and his network of rooftoppers, urchins who walk tightropes and live in the sky. In a race across the rooftops of Paris, will they be able to find her mother before it is too late?

WWThe Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell (Russia)

Feodora and her mother live in the snowbound woods of Russia, in a house full of food and fireplaces. Ten minutes away, in a ruined chapel, lives a pack of wolves. Feodora's mother is a wolf wilder, and Feo is a wolf wilder in training. A wolf wilder is the opposite of an animal tamer: it is a person who teaches tamed animals to fend for themselves and to fight and to run and to be wary of humans.

When the murderous hostility of the Russian Army threatens her very existence, Feo is left with no option but to go on the run. What follows is a story of revolution and adventure, about standing up for the things you love and fighting back. And, of course, wolves.

GSThe Girl Savage by Katherine Rundell (Zimbabwe)

Wilhelmina Silver's world is golden. Living half wild on an African farm with her horse, her monkey and her best friend, every day is beautiful.

But when her home is sold and Will is sent away to boarding school in England, the world becomes impossibly difficult. For lions and hyenas are nothing compared to packs of schoolgirls.

Where can a girl run to in London? And will she have the courage to survive?

WCWindrush Child by Benjamin Zephaniah (Jamaica)

Leonard is shocked when he arrives with his mother in the port of Southampton. His father is a stranger to him, it is cold and even the Jamaican food does not taste the same as it did back home in Maroon Town. But his parents have brought him here to try to make a better life, so Leonard does his best not to complain, to make new friends, to do well at school, even when people hurt him with their words and with their fists. 

How can a boy so far from home learn to enjoy his new life when so many things count against him?

Books on Identity

BBeing by Kevin Brooks

Sixteen year old Robert lies anaesthetised.  A routine operation has just gone wrong. - 'What the hell is that?' 'That, Mr Ryan, is the inside of this boy.' 'Christ . . . It looks like some kind of plastic.'

As Robert slowly wakes, he can hear, he can feel, but he cannot scream. The operation is not over. But life, as Robert knows it, is.
Robert goes on the run, terrified and desperate for answers. But what if the answers are too terrifying to face?

MoMMore of Me by Kathryn Evans

Teva's life seems normal: school, friends, boyfriend. But at home she hides an impossible secret. Eleven other Tevas. Because once a year, Teva separates into two, leaving a younger version of herself stuck at the same age, in the same house... watching the new Teva live the life that she has been living. But as her seventeenth birthday rolls around, Teva is determined not to let it happen again. She is going to fight for her future. Even if that means fighting herself.

BSBeauty Sleep by Kathryn Evans

Who am I? What am I? When am I?

Laura cannot remember who she is. But the rest of the world knows. Because Laura is famous - a dying girl who was frozen until she could be cured. A real-life Sleeping Beauty.

But what happens when you wake up one day and the world has moved on forty years? Could you build a new life - while solving the mystery of what happened to the old one?

ISInfinate Sky by C. J. Flood

A truly beautiful book about the summer that changed one girl's life, as her mum leaves home, travellers set up camp in the family's field, her older brother goes off the rails, and she falls in love for the very first time. Opening with a funeral, Iris is mourning the boy in the casket - but who is it? Sam, her tearaway brother, or Trick, her tentative boyfriend? Over one long hot summer, we find out just how their three lives were turned upside-down.


IIdentity by Sandra Glover

Three girls, Cate, Jessica and Louise, have different personalities and are from opposite ends of Britain, yet have more in common than they can possibly imagine.

As the secrets start to emerge and the puzzle unravels, the girls each have to face the devastating truth in their own unique ways.


NEHHNothing Ever Happens Here by Sarah Hagger-Holt

This is Littlehaven. Nothing ever happens here. Until the spotlight hits my family.

Izzy's family is under the spotlight when her dad comes out as Danielle, a trans woman. Izzy is terrified her family will be torn apart. Will she lose her dad? Will her parents break up? And what will people at school say? Izzy's always been shy, but now all eyes are on her. Can she face her fears, find her voice and stand up for what's right?

ATBTo all the Boys I've Loved before by Jenny Han

Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. One for every boy she's ever loved. When she writes, she can pour out her heart and soul and say all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only.

Until the day her secret letters are mailed and suddenly Lara Jean's love life goes from imaginary to out of control!


NaNI am Not a Number by Lisa Heathfield

The Traditionals have been voted to lead the country, winning people over with talks of healing a broken society, of stronger families and safer streets. They promised a happier future for everyone. They didn't promise this.
When Ruby is swept up with protesters from the opposition, her life is changed forever. Locked in a prison camp far from home and with her belongings taken from her, she's now known by the number 276. With horror escalating in the camp, Ruby knows that she has to get her family out - and let the world know what's happening.

TOThe Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

Teenagers in a small Oklahoma town have split into two gangs, divided by money, tastes and attitude. The Socs' idea of having a good time is beating up Greasers like Ponyboy Curtis.

Ponyboy knows what to expect and knows he can count on his brothers and friends - until the night someone takes things too far, and life is changed forever.

WiTA Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

When Charles and Meg Murry go searching through a 'wrinkle in time' for their lost father, they find themselves on an evil planet where all life is enslaved by a huge pulsating brain known as 'It'.

Meg, Charles and their friend Calvin embark on a cosmic journey helped by the funny and mysterious trio of guardian angels, Mrs Whatsit, Mrs Who and Mrs Which. Together they must find the weapon that will defeat It.

MCA Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Conor has the same dream every night, ever since his mother first fell ill, ever since she started the treatments that do not quite seem to be working.

But tonight is different. Tonight, when he wakes, there is a visitor at his window. It is ancient, elemental, a force of nature and it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth. 


WWonder by R. J. Palacio

My name is August. I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.'

Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie has been home schooled by his parents. Now, for the first time, he is going to a real school and he is dreading it. All he wants is to be accepted. He feels ordinary inside, he likes ice-cream and playing on his Xbox. But ordinary kids do not make other ordinary kids run away screaming and are not stared at wherever they go.

Can he convince his new classmates that he is just like them, underneath it all?

RRevived by Cat Patrick

The world fades to nothing, and before I have the chance to think another thought... I am dead. My name is Daisy West and my whole life is a lie. I am part of a programme to test a drug called Revive - a drug that brings people back from the dead. I have died five times. I have been Revived five times. With each revival comes a new name, a new town, a new life. But this time, I won't let myself die. This time, I have found a love that I can't let go of. This time, I am going to make my life my own.

WUWhat's up by Bali Rai

Jit's in trouble at school. He's always late - and often skips it altogether. The teachers are on to him, and so are his mates. What's he playing at?

But Jit's got serious problems at home. He's dealing with his mum, who hasn't cooked or washed for him since she got back with Micky, her boyfriend. Micky leaches off his mum and bullies Jit. As soon as his friends find out what's going on, they make it clear that he's not alone. But he needs to come clean with the school - before he gets excluded, then the gang are going to deal with mad Micky, once and for all.

BKThe Black Kids by Christina Reed

Ashley Bennett and her friends are living the charmed life. It’s the end of high school, and they’re spending more time at the beach than in the classroom. But everything changes one afternoon in April, when four police officers are acquitted after beating a Black man named Rodney King half to death. Suddenly, Ashley’s not just one of the girls. She’s one of the Black kids.

As violent protests engulf LA and the city burns, Ashley tries to continue on as if life were normal. With her world splintering around her, Ashley, along with the rest of LA, is left to question who is the us? And who is the them?

DDivergent by Veronica Roth

She turns to the future in a world that’s falling apart.

For sixteen-year-old Tris, the world changes in a heartbeat when she is forced to make a terrible choice. Turning her back on her family, Tris ventures out, alone, determined to find out where she truly belongs. Shocked by the brutality of her new life, Tris can trust no one and yet she is drawn to a boy who seems to both threaten and protect her.

The hardest choices may yet lie ahead.

HUGThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs.

The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer.

Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.

BetweenBetween by Jessica Warman

Elizabeth Valchar, pretty, popular and perfect, wakes up the morning after her eighteenth birthday party on her family's yacht, where she's been celebrating with her six closest friends. A persistent thumping noise has roused her and when she goes to investigate, what she finds will change everything she thought she knew about her life, her friends, and everything in between.

As Liz begins to unravel the circumstances surrounding her birthday night, she will find that no one around her, least of all Liz herself, was perfect or innocent. 

UUglies by Scott Westerfield

Tally lives in a world where your sixteenth birthday brings aesthetic perfection: an operation which erases all your flaws, transforming you from an 'Ugly' into a 'Pretty'. She is on the eve of this important event, and cannot wait for her life to change.

But then she meets Shay, who is also fifteen but with a very different outlook on life. Shay isn't sure she wants to be Pretty and plans to escape to a community in the forest where Uglies go to escape the turning. However, when she is taken in for questioning on her birthday, the authorities offer Tally the worst choice she could ever imagine: find her friend Shay and turn her in, or never turn Pretty at all. The choice Tally makes will change her world forever.


Nicky Raddon - May 2023