I could see the problem facing the heroine in Revolution long before Beth herself started worrying. What I didn’t see was how Sherry Ashworth was going to end her novel, and I can’t very well tell you about that here. I would have liked things to develop in a slightly different way, if I’d had any say in the matter.
It’s good to have a vaguely political story along with the more normal love angle and teenage angst. Is it just me, or did we have more of that in the olden days? Actually, put like that, maybe we didn’t, and it really is just me.
Beth and her best friends Gem and Ollie discover that their school is to be demolished before their Y11 is up, and they set about trying to stop it happening. There is a new boy, Nate, who has a lot of ideas on what to do, and seems to be a pro at organising revolutions.
While making banners and marching, Beth falls in love with Nate. It’s easy to see he’s not quite as wonderful as she first thinks, but what is his secret?
On top of the school closure, Beth has her incompatible parents to worry about, and there’s first love and the issue of losing your virginity, and best friend problems and hooligans. Most of it rings true, although perhaps most girls of sixteen don’t face all of the problems all at the same time. Revolution should work well to support girls who may be sharing one or more of Beth’s concerns.
Sherry is a pro, teaching creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan, and knows what she’s talking about. I met her at the Manchester Children’s Book Festival in July, and someone sensibly suggested she might want to give me a copy of her book, and I’m glad she did. I like it when books rain from above, although the photo on the cover of Revolution is so not how I see Nate and Beth.