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May 2017 Book of the Month | Winner of the Costa Book Awards, Children's Book category, 2016
Charlie’s life should be pretty miserable: he lives in Little Town, where everyone spies on everyone else, and the population is caught between their oppressive rulers and violent criminals who run the black market. A bombing campaign and invasion by their neighbours in the Old Country makes things even worse. Somehow though Charlie remains positive. He makes friends with Pav, a refugee from the Old Country, and together they turn an old shed into a homely refuge until circumstances leave Charlie owing favours to the terrifying Big Man, and facing an awful choice. Decent, determined and brighter than he makes out, Charlie finds a solution. Charlie’s voice and outlook keep the tone light despite the darkness of setting and subject matter.
Hugely entertaining and highly original. Sally Gardner’s Maggot Moon and Meg Rosoff’s How I Live Now are more examples of brilliant, thought-provoking dystopian fiction, while After Tomorrow by Gillian Cross offers similar insight into the refugee experience.
The Costa Judges said “Reflecting the disorder that conflict brings, Bombs shines a light in the darkest corners, finding humour in the most extraordinary circumstances.”
Set in a bleak world and reminiscent of Orwell’s 1984, The Bombs That Brought Us Together is nonetheless a funny, tender, surprising and uplifting novel.
Fourteen-year-old Charlie Law has lived in Little Town, on the border with Old Country, all his life. He knows the rules: no going out after dark; no drinking; no litter; no fighting. You don't want to get on the wrong side of the people who run Little Town. When he meets Pavel Duda, a refugee from Old Country, the rules start to get broken. Then the bombs come, and the soldiers from Old Country, and Little Town changes for ever. Sometimes, to keep the people you love safe, you have to do bad things. As Little Town's rules crumble, Charlie is sucked into a dangerous game. There's a gun, and a bad man, and his closest friend, and his dearest enemy. Charlie Law wants to keep everyone happy, even if it kills him. And maybe it will...
Perfect for readers of Patrick Ness, John Boyne and Malorie Blackman
Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading4kids expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. Click here to read the full reviews.
A dark, powerful tale of survival, morality and loyalty Scotsman
A clever, entertaining and engaging piece of writing ... very carefully composed and gradually seducing its readers with its sense of fun, detail and, as appropriate, seriousness. Robert Dunbar Irish Times
The Bombs That Brought Us Together has all the warmth and humour of Mr Dog whilst also dealing with some pretty heavyweight issues, including immigration and cultural identity ... Phenomenal Sarah Crossan
I loved When Mr Dog Bites and have been wondering what he would do next. And it's utterly different. But equally remarkable Bookbag
In this novel Brian Conaghan shows us that he is absolute master at creating believable, funny, brave and vulnerable young male characters School Librarian
This accomplished new novel establishes him as a major talent. It's incredibly powerful and thought-provoking on big issues such as nationalism, war and refugees, and poses some challenging moral questions. It's also brilliantly funny with characters that you will really root for. Editor's Choice, Bookseller
|Publication date:||5th January 2017|
|Publisher:||Bloomsbury Publishing PLC|
|Year Groups:||Key Stage 3, Key Stage 4|
|Topics:||Family / Home Stories, Gritty Reads|
Brian Conaghan was born and raised in the Scottish town of Coatbridge but now lives in Dublin. He has a Master of Letters in Creative Writing from the University of Glasgow. For many years Brian worked as a teacher and taught in Scotland, Italy and Ireland. His novels include The Boy Who Made it Rain, When Mr Dog Bites, which was shortlisted for the 2015 Carnegie Medal, and The Bombs That Brought Us Together, published in 2016, winning the 2016 Costa Children's Book Award.More About Brian Conaghan