When I Was the Greatest
From the Carnegie and UKLA winning author, a coming-of-age novel about friendship and loyalty across neighbourhood lines – illustrated by award-winner, Akhran Girmay.
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From Carnegie winning author, a coming-of-age novel about friendship and loyalty across neighbourhood lines – illustrated by award-winner, Akhran Girmay.
A lot of the stuff that gives my neighbourhood a bad name, I don’t really mess with. The guns and drugs and all that, not really my thing.
Nah, not his thing. Ali’s got enough going on, between school and boxing and helping out at home. His best friend Noodles, though. Now there’s a dude looking for trouble – and, somehow, it’s always Ali around to pick up the pieces. But, hey, a guy’s gotta look out for his boys, right? Besides, it’s all small potatoes; it’s not like anyone’s getting hurt.
And then there’s Needles. Needles is Noodles’s brother. He’s got a syndrome, and gets these ticks and blurts out the wildest, craziest things. It’s cool, though: everyone on their street knows he doesn’t mean anything by it.
Yeah, it’s cool . . . until Ali and Noodles and Needles find themselves somewhere they never expected to be . . . somewhere they never should’ve been – where the people aren’t so friendly, and even less forgiving.
‘A funny and rewarding read.’ Publisher’s Weekly, Starred Review
‘Fiction with heart . . . unexpectedly gorgeous.’ Booklist
‘Moving and thought-provoking . . . defies readers’ expectations.’ Kirkus
Oozes with authenticity . . . characters are well developed; their sweetness, sassiness, and even stupidity are endearing and relatable . . . Reynolds is an author to watch.
Upends tired stereotypes . . . while leaving in enough sass and grit to keep the story believable. A funny and rewarding read.
Urban fiction with heart, an unexpectedly gorgeous meditation on the meaning of family, the power of friendship, and the value of loyalty.
A moving and thought-provoking study of the connectivity among a family and friends that plays upon and defies readers' expectations. An author worth watching.
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