Look Both Ways
Author: Jason Reynolds
For KS2/Year 6
Price 6.99 paperback
Book(s) at 6.99 paperback
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Look Both Ways Ten blocks and ten stories, loosely connected, form the structure for Reynolds' latest book. Each chapter concerns the walk home from Latimer Middle School of a group of friends, and the author's skill lies in capturing and showing both the public persona of each child (all black) and their hidden and invariably complicated inner lives. A lively, colloquial style is used to capture the 'sass'and empathy of their speech in a convincing manner.. One tale tells of the free school lunch eating 'Low Cuts' gang, full of banter, who pilfer small change from their fellow students and, we discover, are connected because they all have a parent with cancer and on this occasion their ill gotten gains are used to buy ice cream for Bit's mother, nauseous from chemotherapy. Another chapter involves Cynthia, the class clown, who we learn, is trying to connect with her comedian grandfather who has dementia and her stressed single mother by telling them jokes. Although there are no conventional happy endings, children are shown dealing with death, sickness, incarceration, and homophobia in a variety of imaginative and resourceful ways. A book that will resonate with some and ensure all readers think again before taking their classmates only at face value.