The Tightrope Walkers

Tightrope WalkersThis moving and powerful coming-of-age novel set in the 1960s in downtrodden Tyneside in northern England tells the story of Dominic and Holly from ages five to seventeen. Dom comes from a long line of shipyard workers and is destined to work at the yard if he does not succeed in school. Lovely Holly, the eccentric artist next door, is the daughter of a draughtsman at the yard. Dom is creative, good with words, and has the potential to go to college and escape from a dangerous, dead-end job building ships, but he is tempted away from Holly and school by the wild and wreckless local bad-boy Vincent. As Holly and Dom grow, they walk a homemade tightrope, literally and figuratively, trying to find their balance. Together, they break the bonds that have held their previous generations hostage and find peace and love. Spare poetry, lush descriptions, and Geordie dialect enrich the text. The book was published in the UK as an adult title, but the strong characters, themes, and sense of place will appeal to teens. mjw
Title: The Tightrope Walkers
Author: David Almond
: Candlewick Press.  Somerville, Massachusetts
: 2015
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher
: Viking, published for adults
Original Copyright
: 2014
: 978-0-7636-7310-9
Hardcover pages
: 336
Age range
: 14 up
: Fiction
Book setting
: Newcastle, England
Author’s ethnicity
: English
Author’s residence
: England 
: 2013 Eleanor Farjeon Award, 2010 Hans Christian Andersen Award
: Coming-of-age, Dreams, England, Life choices, Love, Manhood, Shipbuilding, Tyneside, Young men, Violence

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