New Boy by Tracey Chevalier
Published by Hogarth
Expected publication 11 May 2017
I got an ARC of the book from the publisher via NetGalley.
WHAT’S IT’S ABOUT
From the New York Times bestselling author of Girl with a Pearl Earring comes the fifth instalment in the Hogarth Shakespeare series, a modern retelling of Othello set in a suburban schoolyard.
Arriving at his fifth school in as many years, a diplomat’s son, Osei Kokote, knows he needs an ally if he is to survive his first day so he’s lucky to hit it off with Dee, the most popular girl in school. But one student can’t stand to witness this budding relationship: Ian decides to destroy the friendship between the black boy and the golden girl. By the end of the day, the school and its key players – teachers and pupils alike – will never be the same again.
The tragedy of Othello is transposed to a 1970’s suburban Washington schoolyard, where kids fall in and out of love with each other before lunchtime, and practice a casual racism picked up from their parents and teachers. Peeking over the shoulders of four 11 year olds Osei, Dee, Ian, and his reluctant girlfriend Mimi, Tracy Chevalier’s powerful drama of friends torn apart by jealousy, bullying and betrayal will leave you reeling.
She noticed him before anyone else.
WHAT I THOUGHT
This is my first time reading the author. I thought New Boy was great. Chevalier paints a fantastic picture of a modern day playground with all the trials and tribulations and madness and drama. So much happened in this short little novella, enough drama and tragedy you would find in a door-stop of a novel. I thought the characters were great and very realistic, representing typical teenagers in modern schools today. Ian is the perfect bully – I’m sure most people will have come across kids just like him. I also loved Dee, she was so likable and my heart went out to her. New Boy got a bit darker than I was expecting towards the end and was riveting as things started to really go to pieces. The casual racism towards Osei shocked me even though I’m sure worse things are said and done on playgrounds. I thought New Boy was great and now must read more of the author.