Recommended age: 12+

Being Billy

by Phil Earle

Billy lives in a care home. He is considered trouble because no one can touch him. He does what he wants, and he is full of anger. But Billy's younger brother and sister live in the home with him. They have known nothing else, and Billy will do anything to protect them.

When Billy's mum starts to put her life back together, she asks to have her two young children returned to her. Billy has to cope not only with the fact that his mum doesn't want him, but that she wants to take away the only two people who mean anything to him.

This is a heart-breaking story made so much more powerful in the knowledge that the author was a former care worker and is writing from experience. We probe beneath the surface of Billy's behaviour, and gradually come to understand how he is motivated by the hurt and disappointment that has coloured his life. It is a very moving book as Billy lives through one knockback after another, but there is also tremendous hope here - for the healing, restorative power of relationships and for people who see a glimmer of good and stick with it for the long haul. An inspirational book for young teenagers, and beyond.

 

Review date:
Being Billy by Phil Earle