For readers 13+ Looked after Boy tackles difficult, but topical, issues. It is a gritty, but moving, tale of a marginalised group; that of children in the care system at risk of involvement in County Lines gangs.
In this coming of age story, fourteen-year old Joe Mac struggles to find his own voice in a hostile world that constantly disempowers him. After years of neglect, Joe, his brothers and sisters are taken into care and separated. Despite betrayals and failures of the system supposedly protecting him, Joe vows to get all his family back together but nothing is straightforward in Joe’s life and he must face more betrayal, danger and ultimately his own demons before he can look to a new future.
Joe’s unique voice and sparkly personality speaks out from every page and, despite the topics tackled, young readers will empathise with Joe as his story deals with familiar issues of fear, separation and loss. The story doesn’t shirk away from the telling of Joe’s experiences, but it does offer hope too.