Beck
by Mal Peet and Meg Rosoff


Overview - From Carnegie Medal-winning author Mal Peet comes a sweeping coming-of-age adventure, both harrowing and life-affirming.

Born of a brief encounter between a Liverpool prostitute and an African soldier in 1907, Beck finds himself orphaned as a young boy and sent overseas to the Catholic Brothers in Canada.  Read more...


 
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More About Beck by Mal Peet; Meg Rosoff
 
 
 
Overview
From Carnegie Medal-winning author Mal Peet comes a sweeping coming-of-age adventure, both harrowing and life-affirming.

Born of a brief encounter between a Liverpool prostitute and an African soldier in 1907, Beck finds himself orphaned as a young boy and sent overseas to the Catholic Brothers in Canada. At age fifteen he is sent to work on a farm, from which he eventually escapes. Finally in charge of his own destiny, Beck starts westward, crossing the border into America and back, all while the Great Depression rages on. What will it take for Beck to understand the agonies of his childhood and realize that love is possible?

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780763678425
  • ISBN-10: 0763678422
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA)
  • Publish Date: April 2017
  • Page Count: 272
  • Reading Level: Ages 8-12
  • Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Young Adult Fiction > Historical - Canada
Books > Young Adult Fiction > Social Themes - Prejudice & Racism
Books > Young Adult Fiction > Social Themes - Sexual Abuse

 
BookPage Reviews

One foot in front of the other

Not since A Monster Calls, the novel Patrick Ness wrote based on a story idea from the late Siobhan Dowd, has a collaboration from two of my favorite authors felt so bittersweet. But Beck, Mal Peet’s posthumously published novel finished by his friend Meg Rosoff, comes close.

Rosoff is perhaps the perfect writer for the job; her sensitivity to language allows her to meld her narrative voice with Peet’s, and her prior work has shown her ease in writing introspective characters like the title character in Beck.

Born in 1908 in Liverpool to a prostitute mother and an unknown Ghanaian father, Beck becomes an orphan at a young age. What follows over his next two decades is violence, abuse, rejection and outright hatred—due in no small part to the color of his skin—interspersed with brief moments of acceptance and joy. Only when he meets an older woman—auspiciously named Grace—during a journey across Canada does Beck dare to hope for something resembling a future infused with love.

“Go on the way you’re facing until you can’t go no further” is the motto that keeps Beck walking in the face of adversity. Luckily for readers, Peet also kept writing in the face of illness and impending death, and his friend Rosoff carries on his legacy.

This article was originally published in the April 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews