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A white red-haired girl and a girl of colour hold up a Progress Pride flag as if they're on a march. Both wear many badges.

by Sarah Hagger-Holt


“Lisa and Nicky faced the same things as me- prejudice, support, community- it just looked different, that’s all. We’re part of the same story. There are still governments making laws against us, still newspapers writing lies about us, and still books about us being banned” (Jesse).


The winner of the Little Rebels Award 2022 is back with a story which bursts with the joy of protest. Two parallel stories collide: Lisa and Nicky, in the 1980s, falling in love against the backdrop of the prohibitive, homophobic, legislation, Section 28; friends Jesse, who identifies as non-binary, and Simran, who identifies as pansexual, pushing back against current day prejudices. The narratives weave together and speak to each other in a dance of solidarity, community and hope for the future.


As always, Sarah excels at middle grade fiction, wrapping up social justice issues in an accessible and moving narrative framed by families, friendships, the communities you find yourself in and the new families you create. In an important tribute to the LGBTQ+ movement of the 1980s/90s, Sarah perfectly captures the more subtle nuances of how Section 28 created an oppressive climate for LGBTQ+ lives and brings in key moments of fantastic “queer activism” such as the moment the Lesbian Avengers abseiled in to the House of Lords. The young, contemporary protagonists’ embrace of this past and legacy is moving and sometimes, comically subversive- such as their rewriting of Thatcher’s hateful rhetoric on “the inalienable right to be gay”. Above all, this novel calls for an understanding of past prejudice to be joined with a celebration of how communities fought back with marches, with direct action and with delightful irony and wit. As Jesse says, “It’s the fights that make us”. Comes with historical backnotes, discussion points and a 1980s playlist.

Age 9-13, Paperback 340pp


  Themes: LGBTQ+


SKU: 3316
£7.99 Regular Price
£7.19Sale Price
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