by Ally Kennen

A nail-biting, stomach-knotting, hard-hitting novel that grips from the first page. Stephen is 17 years old and he has a terrible secret. Hidden near the reservoir, is a terrifying creature that only he knows about. He feeds it fresh meat but he’s running out of money to keep it supplied with food; and he’s sure that soon it will break out of its cage …He has no-one to turn to for help. He’s in care - but not for much longer. Everyone has a poor opinion of him – his foster-carers, his social worker, the police – who’s going to believe him? The tension really builds in this novel. It’s almost unbearable to turn the page. In addition, this is a bleak portrayal, threaded through with some wry, witty, dark humour, of how we treat some of our young people. Uplifting, though, as Stephen ultimately breaks through his situation and makes a new life. The subject matter and style could really turn reluctant but able readers into real readers. A terrific book. (Upper KS3)

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