PET by Awaeke Emezi

Recommended by Joanna Cappucci

Form and genre: Prose

Length: 203 pages

Summary: There are no more monsters nor evil in the city of Lucille. Jam and Redemption believe this, but one day a creature from a painting comes alive. It says it’s there to kill a monster: a child molester and Redemption’s uncle. Good prevails, but the citizens of Lucille have been shaken to the core: nothing is the same.

Age recommendation and challenging content: Child abuse/violence at the end of the book. Recommended for older KS3 and KS4.

Notable reasons for recommending this book: Literary and cultural value: Black utopia, multiplicity of languages such as English, Igbo, Patois and sign language.

Acceptance: Jam is a trans girl, however this is never the central focus of the book. It is just a normal fact about her. It shows that a world where teams people can feel safe and protected is normal and possible. Jam uses sign language most of the time as she prefers that to speaking, and the people around her learned it to allow her to communicate as she prefers.

Themes such as love, friendships, family are nurtured in a realistic and pure way.

Other useful information: Child abuse appears late in the book, as well as the violent descriptive episode. the subject of abuse is touched upon in a very delicate way.