Poignant, funny, and utterly unputdownable, Joe All Alone paints a picture of child poverty, neglect and abuse that is somehow life-affirming and heart-warming - even while it will break your heart. The brightly coloured cast of characters, from Otis the Jamaican bus-driver to Asha the girl with a big imagination and heart to match, contrast with the grim, grey reality of life for a thirteen year old kid trying to survive on a tough inner city estate. But it is Joe himself - brave, clever, resilient but also vulnerable and broken - who readers will fall in love with. There is a beautiful simplicity and lyricism to this book which make it incredibly moving and I absolutely loved it! Perfect for fans of Phil Earle or 'Fifteen Days Without a Head'.
A real boy's voice, nailed hard to a tale rich with wrong decisions, hopeless plans and stabs at redemption. I loved it.
Frightening and funny, bleak and tender, serious and surprising, Joe All Alone is a gem of a book that catches the heart and lifts the spirits (just like a flock of parakeets in Peckham!).
A gripping, heart-warming contemporary story about a young teenager forced to make difficult decisions in order to survive.
This book highlights the best and worst of humanity while tackling these highs and lows from the beautiful, naive, vulnerable perspective of a child. A fascinating and heart-warming read for teen readers Joe All Alone will leave you longing to protect Joe and give him a big hug and you may learn to appreciate a few things about yourself and your parents that you hadn't noticed before.
Warning - not only will you need tissues when you read this book but you'll also need to hug someone repeatedly and be hugged yourself. And you're going to want to talk about it and possibly miss meals. Don't say I didn't warn you!