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Boy 87 – the debut novel by Ele Fountain

Child refugee’s perilous journey published next year.

Boy 87

Boy 87 is Ele Fountain’s powerful and brave debut novel about a child refugee, to be published on Thursday 5th April 2018 by Pushkin Children’s Books for readers 10 years+.

Sarah Odedina (Pushkin Children’s Books Editor-at-Large) says: “Boy 87 is beautifully written, it has a huge heart and it is an important book. A story that will give young readers a deeper understanding of the world by showing them that the people that they see on the news are people just like them. A story about friendship and trust, that is full of hope and kindness – it is a fantastically assured debut by Ele Fountain.”

Seen through the eyes’ of fourteen-year-old Shif, Boy 87 is the moving story of one child refugee’s challenging adventure in search of a better life. Shif has a happy family life, enjoys playing chess with his best friend Bini and both have bright futures at school. Then their world implodes and a terrifying and unforgettable new life begins. To escape the enforced army conscription, their mothers quickly plan how their children will travel alone across the desert to the Mediterranean and onwards to England to a new life with relatives, leaving behind all they know. But a “giffa” troop arrests them, wrenching them from their families and takes them to a remote desert prison. So begins the boys’ unforgettable and dangerous journey.

Boy 87 was inspired by Ele’s three years living in Ethiopia: “Moving to Ethiopia with a small baby and toddler might not seem like the most sensible decision – a thought which occurred to me as I waved goodbye to my final Ocado van for three years. Our family move coincided with one of the largest refugee crises in modern history. On the news countries including Ethiopia were mentioned, as another boatful of people sank off the Mediterranean. But what of the stories that led these people to be on those boats in the first place? As an Editor, I’d spoken to many authors about their inspiration, never thinking I would have any of my own, but then an idea arrived and I couldn’t shake it, and that’s when I began to understand the need to write. There was a story which I very much wanted to share, and it was Boy 87.”

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Award-winning author Sarah Crossan (Apple, Rain and One) says: “Boy 87 is an original and beautifully written page-turner of a novel about love, survival and the strength that can be found in a hopeful human spirit.”

See for more details on the Pushkin Children’s Books range.


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