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Kestrel for a Knave – Barry Hines

‘A Kestrel for a Knave’ is set in 1960s Yorkshire. This book manages to pack a lot of emotion and atmosphere into just 150 pages. It tells the heartbreaking story of Billy Casper, who struggles against poverty, bullying and family breakdown. His only respite from this hardship, is training a young kestrel chick. It doesn’t sound like an exciting idea for a plot, but it is the strength of emotion we feel for Billy that makes this book so good.

Some people may struggle with the Yorkshire accent, but having married a Yorkshire man, I thought it was realistic, and added to the atmosphere of the book.

Highly recommended.

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