Teen fiction by Cathy MacPhail

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GRASS

It would have been hard to have missed what was written on the wall. Painted in giant whitewashed letters: ‘SHARKEY IS A GRASS’.

I hadn’t a clue who Sharkey was, but I knew one thing. ‘Sharkey’s a dead man,’ I said.

Leo knows the value of never grassing and that you never grass on your friends. Everybody, too, knows the gang leaders in town. And you don’t grass on them. Not unless you don’t value your life – like Sharkey. And then Leo is unlucky enough to witness the murder of one gang leader by another, a man called Armour. Leo is petrified as he realises what he is witnessing and even more petrified when he realises that Armour has seen him. Sure that he is drawing his own last breath, Leo silently says goodbye to his family and everybody he knows. But all Armour does is wink at Leo, very slowly, and leave the scene of the crime. Leo draws a long breath of relief. He has got away with it. But he hasn’t – not really. Leo will live to regret that wink and realise that Armour has an insidious hold on him and his family, which will test his family relationships, and his very sense of what is right and wrong. It will take bravery, luck and sheer daring to extricate himself from Armour’s deadly web.

A riveting and hard-hitting novel from Cathy MacPhail.

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ROXY'S BABY

Profoundly affecting account of the mistreatment of pregnant teenagers and their babies

Roxy was shaking with fear. She drew in a deep breath. She would not let her fear take over. She couldn’t. She had too much to lose. She had to be strong, to be brave. For once in her life she had to think of someone other than herself.

Roxy is wild, uncontrollable. She hates her parents - and her goody-two-shoes sister. Her only solace is her equally wild friends, Pat, Tracey and Jacqueline. Then there is the night of the party, where she lets that boy kiss her, and more . . . Roxy is pregnant. Wilfully, she won’t tell her family. She decides to run away to London.

In London, Roxy is found by Mr and Mrs Dyce. They are understanding, sympathetic, and promise her a way out of her troubles. They take her to a comfortable place, along with other girls in the same position to look after her and her baby. Roxy cannot believe her luck. That is until she begins to work out the dark truth behind the Dyces’ kindness . . .

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BAD COMPANY

With her Dad just out of prison and a manipulative new friend, Lissa’s life is far from easy

Lissa’s world has just turned upside down. Her father has been in jail and is coming home for Christmas. She can’t bear the way her mother and sister are so happy and making welcome plans. After all, he was the one who let them all down and spoilt her life, wasn’t he? Before he went to jail, they had a nice house, she had trendy clothes and pretty much anything that she wanted but now she is taunted by her classmates. But life gets better when new girl Diane arrives at school. Diane doesn’t make fun of her dad but Lissa doesn’t realise that Diane is manipulative. And she doesn't realise either how much her dad loves her. It is only when a combination of events come together that she has to face facts about who and what are important to her.

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DARK WATERS

After rescuing a young refugee from drowning, Col’s family loyalties are tested to the limit

Col McCann is used to being in trouble. It is always the McCann family, in particular Mungo, Col’s brother, who the police think of first. But Col has recently acquired a new fan – Dominic. Col saves Dominic from drowning in the local loch and discovers what it is like to be a local hero.


But Col sees something in the loch, something that leads him to a devastating truth about his brother . . . and brings his loyalty to his family and his need to do what is right into direct conflict.

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WORSE THAN BOYS

A strongly charged tale about girl gangs

Hannah Driscoll is part of a gang called the Lip Gloss Girls. The gang spends most of their spare time together – or baiting the rival gang the Hell Cats. The two gangs constantly square up to each other and vie for which gang can fight the best – whether it be at school, in the park or on the train. Hannah feels safe and comfortable within the gang – until she is accused of betraying the Lip Gloss Girls. All of a sudden Hannah feelsl what it is like to be cast out and surrounded by enemies . . .

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Gritty and gripping, these stories cement Cathy as the queen of teen thrillers

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FIGHTING BACK

Characteristically topical, this novel tackles the dangers of being in debt

Kerry and her mum have recently moved into new council accommodation in a tower block. Kerry’s dad has recently left them, and Kerry and her mum are forging a new life together. But Kerry’s mum is not the calmest or the most patient of people, particularly when it comes to getting on with the new neighbours. And when Kerry’s mum refuses to be intimidated by Ma Lafferty, the local moneylender, Kerry finds out that Ma Lafferty’s daughter more than takes after her mother. . .

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Queen of Teen

MOSI'S WAR

Patrick is happy living with his mum. She lets him do what he wants, pretty much, and it's only when his granny comes to stay that he has to get down to his homework and go to bed early. Then Patrick meets Mosi, a quiet, polite boy who, along with his parents, is waiting for his asylum application to be processed. He discovers Mosi is terrified of someone. But who is it? Patrick and Mosi strike up an unlikely friendship. In trying to help each other, they will face situations that are both terrifying and dangerous. And Patrick will find out that there is much, much more to Mosi than at first appears . . .

A taut, brilliantly written novel that has both pace and topicality that will give much opportunity for discussion and debate.

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Mosi's War by Cathy Macphail

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