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Malcolm Duffy is a Geordie born and bred. His debut novel, Me
Mam. Me Dad. Me. was inspired by his work as Creative Director of
Comic Relief, meeting women who’d suffered domestic abuse. He is the screenwriter of MICAL, a film about dyslexia inspired by the true story of Pat and Mike Jones, to be realeased by Silverprince Pictures in 2020.
Photo credit: James W. Fortune
Malcolm Duffy’s acclaimed, award winning debut, Me Mam. Me Dad. Me, showed us a writer with a totally authentic voice and the ability to portray the direst of circumstances with honesty, humour and heart. Here, young adult readers will be confronted with the terrifying reality of how easily young people can slip under the radar and lose the safety net of a home to go to. Our hero Tyler is a recognisably grumpy 15-year-old uprooted against his will and relocated in Yorkshire. Still to make any friends and with only his dog for company, he stumbles upon a lanky, fellow outsider called Spyder, at the local pool. She wants him to teach her to swim. Given a purpose at last he has no idea what a tangled web of lies he will end up creating as he gradually realises her homeless predicament and wants to help. Unflinching in its examination of a society which would very much prefer not to ‘see’ the problem- just like Tyler’s parents when they discover what he has been concealing. Tyler makes genuine moral mistakes, but we must admire his tenacity and determination to help at whatever cost to himself. Spyder is utterly convincing too- not wanting pity and justifiably scared of dubious ‘charity ’help, she deserves everyone’s respect. This is a book which sadly is all too pertinent to the lives of young people today and in the foreseeable political future. A crusading novel that more than lives up to the promise of that powerful debut. Highly recommended.
Nominated for the 2019 Carnegie Medal | Humorous and heartbreaking debut novel with the fresh, funny, honest voice of a 14-year-old Geordie lad recounting the trials and tribulations of family life and finding first love. Danny's mam has a new boyfriend. Initially, all is good - Callum seems nice enough, and Danny can't deny he's got a cool set up; big house, fast car, massive TV, and Mam seems to really like him. But cracks begin to show, and they're not the sort that can be easily repaired. As Danny witnesses Mam suffer and Callum spiral out of control he goes in search of his dad. The Dad he's never met. Set in Newcastle and Edinburgh, this supremely readable coming-of-age drama tackles domestic violence head on, but finds humour and hope in the most unlikely of- places.