Chris and Imran grow up together and are best friends. Then local race riots spur Chris’ family to move and their friendship drifts apart. Chris decides to join the army and Imran is swept into a terrorist cell. Is there a future for them and can they ever rediscover that strong friendship which meant so much to them?
See Alan Gibbons YouTube video about the book here.
This story outlines the way moderate people – from all walks of life – can become radicals and how events in the UK have shaped the views that many people hold today. The events that are at the heart of Chris and Imran’s story are the Bradford riots that took place on the 7th of July 2001 – events many people may have forgotten but which were a turning point in many people’s lives, leading to radicalisation or embitterment.
This is good book to use as a starting point for discussions with teenagers about the causes of radicalism and racism and how society can try to avoid these pitfalls. I learnt a lot about racial issues and the book did make me think, although I found Imran’s story and his family’s experiences more compelling and interesting than Chris’.