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The Haven

The Haven

About the Book

Author: Simon Lelic

Age Range: 11-14 Years 14-16 Years

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Price: £7.99

Review

You don’t need to be familiar with Dickens’ Oliver Twist to enjoy the first YA offering from crime and thriller writer Simon Lelic, but readers who are will get an extra level of enjoyment as each new character is introduced: Ollie, Nancy, Dodge and, of course, ‘Mad Maddy’ Sykes, who cares for no one and will stop at nothing to get what she wants.

There are other parallels, too, including The Haven itself – a secret city underneath London’s dangerous streets where kids seek sanctuary and govern themselves; although ‘Aunt Fay’ – the sole adult behind it – is a far more benign figure than Fagin.

Like Dickens, Lelic doesn’t try and sugar-coat the dark and vicious elements of the story he is telling; there’s not a happy ending for everyone, but resilience and honesty are rewarded, and there are plenty of thrilling twists and turns as the plot unfolds. It’s great fun – and at least one sequel is promised.

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