Kevin Brooke’s book launch at The Hive, Friday 26 September, saw a full house listening avidly to extracts from this story about a boy.

Jimmy is fifteen. His parents have been killed in a motorway accident. When he’s forced to move over a hundred miles to live with his nan, Jimmy struggles to cope with the upheaval in his life. His one real friend, Dean, has even bigger problems than Jimmy, and together they can’t seem to stay out of trouble. Then they are arrested for shoplifting. While all this is going on, a girl called Dayla arrives on the scene to complicate things further. When Mark, his family support worker, involves Jimmy in a bereavement club with a difference, he is given the chance to find some stability at last. The question is—will he take the opportunity?

Kevin Brooke’s recent successes include both highly commended and runner-up in two separate national short story competitions.

We asked Kevin to tell us something about his new young adult (YA) novel.

‘There’s no more exciting yet terrifying time in your life than early to mid-teens,’ he said. ‘Seen through the eyes of the main character, Jimmy Latham, this story shows how teenagers can, with the right support, survive just about anything. Set just after Jimmy’s fifteenth birthday and a year after the death of his parents in a car accident his life is in disarray. But then…he’s given the chance to focus on something positive.’

‘Would you tell us more about the main character and the story?’ we asked.

‘Does he get himself into trouble along the way? Oh yes. Does he get involved with things that he shouldn’t? Of course he does. Does he fall in love? Try and show me a teenager who doesn’t. Does he finally, with the help of those around him, sort himself out? Well, you’ll just have to read the book and find out the answer!’

Although aimed at teenagers, Black Pear Press is convinced ‘Jimmy Cricket’ will be successful as a crossover book; a spokesperson said, ‘It’s a rare opportunity to support a local author who knows his target audience so well. When we read Jimmy Cricket we couldn’t put it down; it has great ‘PTQ’ (page turning qualities).

‘I think adults will enjoy the story as well,’ Kevin added. ‘It may even give the parents the opportunity to find out what their sons and daughters are really getting up to…’

Jimmy Cricket front cover

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Also available from Amazon

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