UKYA

Celebrating Young Adult fiction by UK authors


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Dirty Work by Julia Bell

Hope Tasker, an upper-class girl from Britain, is sick of her petty friends and distracted parents. She just wants to be free, to have fun, to live a little. So when she meets a mysterious foreigner named Natasha, something tells her that this could be her way out of her mundane life.

Except Natasha is really Oksana, an impoverished girl from Russia, who was tricked into being sold into sexual slavery as a way to support her family. Oksana, far from being Hope’s way out, is instead a trap that lures Hope into an international prostitution ring. The two girls soon realize that if they are ever going to escape, they must learn to find enough common ground to work together—and to trust each other.

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Miriam Halahmy’s Top 10 UKYA books

Miriam Halahmy, author of Hidden and Illegal, chooses her favourite UKYA books.

Dirty Work by Julia Bell : Child sex trafficking and a wake-up call for one young English girl who didn’t realise what a good life she already had. A slice of life we would rather turn away from.

Saving Rafael by Leslie Wilson : A mother and daughter hide a Jewish boy in Nazi Berlin. What you would have done in their situation? Love against the odds.

Being Billy by Phil Earle : What would it be like to be rejected by your mother and end up in care for 8 years? A realistic portrayal of the experience of being in care for many young people.

Killing Honour by Bali Rai : Tells the horrific story of the practice of killing young women for honour in some communities and how dangerous it can be for the whistle blower.

Double Cross by Malorie Blackman : Gritty and realistic portrayal of how kids end up in gangs and of postcode gang warfare. Fourth book in Noughts and Crosses series.

Exodus by Julie Bertagna : Dystopian novel set in a flooded world after climate change. Great depiction of a teenage girl taking the lead.

After the Snow by S.D. Crockett : Another dystopian or is it? You decide. Survival techniques in a freezing world, way more realistic than the Hunger Games.

The Brothers Story by Katherine Sturtevant : Atmospheric coming-of-age story set in 1683 in London during the famous ice fair.

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff : If Holden Caulfield had been a girl he would have Daisy’s voice in this funny and powerful story of teenage love ( and sex) in war torn, near future England.

The Long Weekend by Savita Kalhan : Two boys get in a car with a strange man. Read on if you dare. Powerful, dark, unpredictable.