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I wish I’d written…


Alex Wheatle chooses a tale of adventure and daring.


In all the set texts I read during my education, I can only remember engaging and relating to one black character: Jim, the escaped slave in Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn. I so wanted to kick Huckleberry Finn off that raft navigating the Mississippi and use it to save more slaves! I suppose I first wished I could write something like that book; a tale of adventure and daring.


Later Moss Side Massive by Karline Smith was a book that inspired me − I thought I could write that kind of story but from my own perspective. Of more recent titles I would have loved to have written Scavengers by Darren Simpson − what a first novel!


Alex Wheatle’s latest book, The Humiliations of Welton Blake, is published by Barrington Stoke, 978-1781129494, £7.99 pbk. Cane Warriors, published by Andersen Press, came out at the end of 2020.


Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn is published by Penguin Classics, 978-0143107323, £7.99 pbk.


Moss Side Massive by Karline Smith is published by Black Sapphire Press, 978-1684540143, £9.99 pbk, and Scavengers by Darren Simpson is published by Usborne, 978-1474956024, £6.99 pbk.


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“The most important periodical in children’s books.” PHILIP PULLMAN


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