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Friday, 30 March 2012

A Waste of Good Paper by Sean Taylor

A Waste of Good Paper

The story of Jason, a boy at Heronford School for children with emotional and behavioural difficulties. The journal tells of the comic and sometimes uncomfortable day to day events at the school, with Jason, his teachers and classmates. And it explores his family life with his mother, who has recently given up taking heroin, and her violent, drug-taking ex-boyfriend, who returns unexpectedly. And then there is the storyteller who works at the school. He tells the boys the Russian folktale of a young man with a faithful horse, who overcomes a manipulative king. Jason is searingly, touchingly honest about his life and relationships, and through his journal he begins to reach an understanding of himself. This is a brilliant debut teenage novel, to be compared with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.

This book is Jason's diary, where he is able to write down his real feelings and thoughts and also his secrets, which he does not feel he should share with anyone. Jason was given the book by a teacher at his school, a book where he could write something in it everyday. Jason did not like this idea, he thought it a waste of paper! However, Jason soon finds this book to be his place to record his thoughts and worries. 

There are parts of this book that I found eye opening and thought provoking. Jason is a child with behavioural issues who also has issues at home. His mum is trying to keep a roof over their bed, a recovering heroin addict, who is trying to keep on the straight and narrow but the reappearance of an old boyfriend who is a heroin dealer makes things difficult. Jason is afraid of the ex boyfriend, who in the past has asked Jason to run a few 'errands' for him and scares Jason into doing as he wants - however one time he says no, stands up to him and takes control.

Jason's teacher gives him a notebook which he wants Jason to write in as a journal. He wants Jason to write anything he wants in the book and Jason slowly begins to use the book to write about his day and his experiences. The book is this journal - and the publishers have very cleverly made the pages look like a notebook, with ruled lines and a font very similar to handwriting.

At times this book can be hard hitting and hard to read but it is also a book which should be read by both children and adults alike, to find out how difficult it can be for a child in Jason's situation to adapt to life and also cope in day to day life.

I would say that it is suitable for older children 12+ due to its content but the book is one which should be read to allow children to understand how some children find it difficult in situations.

I received this book through the Amazon Vine Programme.

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