By Author / Illustrator
Friends and family
Flying Eye Books
Paperback / softback
Living on an East London council estate has its worries - and life for 15 year old Molly hasn't always been easy. But she has a dream, a dream to be a boxer just like her older brother Denny. When he agrees to train her, she couldn't be more excited. But one night everything changes. There's an assault outside Molly's local boxing club, Denny's nowhere to be found and the police are after him. Molly must prove her brother's innocence and delve into the underbelly of East London, and her family history where new and old secrets are revealed...
Molly’s life on an East London council estate has never exactly been easy. Like others in her neighbourhood, she is beset by family troubles and low income. The local gym where her adored older brother, Denny, is making a name for himself as a boxer is her release and escape and the place where she dreams of her own future in the sport. Overshadowed by Denny and lacking confidence, Molly loses her first fight. But worse is to come when a violent assault outside the gym seems to incriminate Denny, and Denny promptly disappears. Unsure of the shady Gym owner, and sidelined by her devastated parents and various friends who refuse to talk, Molly realises that it is up to her to prove her brother's innocence.
There is a strongly authentic feel to The Bones of Me. The boxing world is its own tight-knit community - a place of high stakes and fierce loyalties. Molly is both determined and vulnerable, reluctantly conceding that she needs to open up and let others in.
Using alternating verse and prose gives the book a momentum that will keep readers turning the page and the sparring and fight scenes feel dynamic and realistic. This book manages to cover a lot of serious themes - mental illness, poverty, class and crime among them - but there is always a hopeful thread, a rallying call to follow your dreams and never give up. A gritty, inspiring read.
216 pages / Ages 12+ / Reviewed by Clare Wilkins, school librarian
Suggested Reading Age 14+