Life: An Exploded Diagram
This is a brilliant coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of the Cold War and events leading up to the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Clem Ackroyd lives with his parents and grandmother in a claustrophobic home, too small to accommodate their larger-than-life characters, in the bleak Norlfolk countryside. Clem's life changes irrevocably when he meets Frankie, the daughter of a wealthy farmer, and experiences first love, in all its pain and glory.
The story is told in flashback by Clem when he is living and working in New York City as a designer, and moves from the past of his parents and grandmother to his own teenage years. Not only the threat of explosions, but actual ones as well, feature throughout in this latest novel from one of the finest writers working today.
Mal Peet's first novel, Keeper, won the Branford Boase Award and the Bronze Nestle Children's Book Award; Tamar won the Carnegie Medal; and Exposure was the 2009 winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize. A writer and illustrator, Mal has produced many books for children, most of them in collaboration with his wife, Elspeth Graham.