Child I

Child I

Steve Tasane,

Child I

Faber, 2018

ISBN 9780571337835

11-14 Shortlist 2019


On this shortlist:

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out of 5



Who Wrote It?

Steve Tasane was born in Leeds and grew up in Northallerton with his Mum, three brothers, a dog called Koko and a cat called Jasper.

As an adult, Steve moved to London and became a political activist, taking jobs that allowed him the time to organise protest marches – he worked as a petrol pump attendant, a cycle courier, a cleaner in a sweet factory and a carer, before he found a job organising poetry shows. From there, Steve began to organise poetry workshops in schools, and eventually found himself writing more and more for kids in schools. He now writes for young adults.

What's It About?

A group of undocumented children with letters for name are stuck living in a refugee camp, with stories to tell but no papers to prove them. As they try to forge a new family amongst themselves, they also long to keep memories of their old identities alive.

Will they be heard and believed? And what will happen to them if they aren't?

Fact File

Child I is Steve’s third book for young adults.

Steve was a busker in London’s Leicester Square.

He is a performance poet and has performed at Glastonbury.

Steve has been writer-in-residence for both the V&A Museum of Childhood and Battersea Dogs’ Home.

Child I was published by Faber & Faber on 3rd May 2018.

To find out more about Steve, check out his website or follow him on Twitter @SteveTasane

Your Reviews

Mrs Blashill from Southfield Grange Trust:

Child I is the story of a group of refugee children in a camp and takes place over a few days, it is very intense and crams a lot of details into the tale. The children have all lost their papers and without identification they cannot transit from the camp to the outside world.

The important message I took from this book is that Child I doesn’t ever loose his childhood amongst this terrible background.

The layout of the book is quite gimmicky, the story starts on the front cover, is this to show that everything is in short supply so every piece of paper must be used? Some of the chapters use the initials of the group of children to spell different words, which I really liked.

It is worth visiting Steve’s website, especially to listen to his poem about public libraries.

Mrs Blashill gave Child I 4 out of 5 and now plans to read Bone Talk by Candy Gourlay.

Samantha from Southfield Grange Campus:

This story is set in a refugee camp. The main characters are E, l and V. It is I’s birthday and he is turning 10. His real name is Tasane. He lives with 3 brothers and his mother.

This story was written in third person. I enjoyed the story because it was set in a refugee camp and it shows, no matter where you’re living you can still enjoy life. Unfortunately I didn’t have a favourite character as I liked them all.

I would say this book was OK for my age group.

Samantha gave Child I 4 out of 5 and now plans to read Below Zero by Dan Smith.

Jack from Corpus Christi Catholic College:

I liked this book as it is based on real life experiences. I also like how the first page was on the front of the book. I also liked how each child had a letter instead of a name. Overall i thought it was a good book.

Jack gave Child I 4 out of 5 and now plans to read The Extinction Trials by S M Wilson.

Miss Busby from Corpus Christi Catholic College:

The unusual cover of the book grabbed my attention as soon as I received the shortlist for the Leeds Book Awards.

This book gives a real insight into the life of children living in a refugee camp.

All of the children living in the camp are known only by a letter.

The main character, Child I, is a typical ten-year-old boy who has no parents and has no documents to show his real name or date of birth.

The book is moving and though-provoking.

It's quite a short book and I read it in one sitting.

Miss Busby gave Child I 4 out of 5 and now plans to read Below Zero by Dan Smith.