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Kerry Drewery has always had a passion for writing. She was a finalist in a BBC script-writing competition in 2009 and is currently hugely involved with Bookstart. Kerry lives in Lincolnshire with her husband and children.
The story of A Brighter Fear was created through Kerry’s own fascination with the Iraq war. Kerry’s sensitive approach creates a beautiful, contemporary fairytale that will stay with teen readers for a lifetime.
Longlisted for the UKLA Book Awards 2021 | This novel moves from poetry to prose, and back again, as it explores a girl’s relationship with her Grandfather. Mizuki can see something is deeply troubling to her Grandfather Ichiro, but she can’t find its source, except it is somehow connected with an old book and Ichiro’s need to create origami paper cranes from it. Mizuki’s worries are expressed in verse before we jump back into prose - to the at times brutal description of the day the bomb fell on Hiroshima and Ichiro’s role in that day and beyond. The descriptions of the effects of the bomb are based on effective research and from survivor’s tales and told in such a way that the reader is entirely there in the moment and the long days after as Hiro rebuilds a life for himself. As we return to Japan in 2018 the novel reverts to poetry to the very modern tale of how Mizuki uses the internet to try to get to the bottom of the problem facing her elderly grandfather. The illustrations in the book help create the many impressions and emotions aroused by the story – they are based on Japanese brush and ink techniques and add a further layer to this already impressive book. This is a harrowing tale but the ultimate redemption in the story leaves one with a sense of hope. Highly recommended.
Shortlisted for the 2013 Leeds Book Award - June 2012 Debut of the Month. Debut novelist Kerry Drewery skilfully and sensitively brings the devastating effect of the war on ordinary citizens vividly to life in this tragic, touching and romantic story set in Iraq. Knowing that the bombing of Baghdad is about to begin, Lina’s father makes plans to protect her and to provide for her when things get better. But even he cannot protect Lina and, when everything goes wrong, Lina has to make decisions on her own. Her only hope comes from the soldiers whose very existence she should most hate. Can she really be falling for one of them? Who should Lina rely on and how will she discover what happened to her brave and talented mother? A review by Katy Poulter A Brighter Fear is not the sort of book that I would usually read as it looked girly and uninteresting but it wasn't like the cover at all. It was almost like Romeo and Juliet, two people who love each other but can never be seen together. It wasn't my kind of book but it wasn't too bad. It took a while to get into it but I got into the flow and I felt sorry for Lina and I argued with her aunt in my head about her decision to stop her going to university. I would have liked to see more of Steve and him not to suddenly be expelled from the story when Lina needed him most. I really got to know what it is like in the middle of the war from this book, not just the facts like from a non-fiction book but the way it feels and the dilemmas it brings, problems you would never have had to face if you weren't in the middle of a war. For me, not enough happened for it to be a prize winning book hence the 3 out of 5. I would neither highly recommend nor dismiss this book to someone that asked, as the plot didn't have enough in it for me. Katy Poulter is a member of the Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel but she has reviewed this novel in the first instance for the Leeds Book Award as it is one of the 2013 shortlisted titles. The organisers have kindly agreed to let us also make use of Katy's review.