by David Nwokedi
This book is about a mixed-race teenager named Fitzgerald who is struggling to come to terms with the death of his father. Fitzgerald is part-Nigerian and part-English. When his father is run over by a lorry, Fitzgerald is left with his white mother in Wistful, a town on the south coast. He has a strange assortment of friends, acquaintances and neighbours and the only other black person that he knows is his Jamaican teacher, Mrs. Braithwaite.
His father’s death gets Fitzgerald thinking about his own roots – something that haunted his father – so he embarks on a journey to Africa to scatter his father’s ashes accompanied by Hyacinth, a strange sweetie-sucking old lady, who has befriended him and his mother.
This book is funny, sad and thought-provoking. I particularly liked the section when Fitzgerald goes to Africa. David Nwokedi brings Nigeria alive with his descriptions of the sights, smells and sounds of Lagos.
Even though I have friends who are of mixed race I had never really considered what it must be like for them or if they think at all about the roots of their non-white parent. I would recommend this book to them and to any young person who is interested in family and identity.
Beth (age 16)