Stevie and Hafiz both have problems: Hafiz is an asylum seeker who has had to leave his family behind. Stevie’s mum suffers from depression and cannot be a proper mother to Stevie. They become friends and support each other.
There are signs of hope all along the way. As well as finding refuge in each other Stevie’s music and Hafiz’s football give them a purpose. Hafiz eventually learns that his parents are on the way from Syria and Stevie’s mum’s mood lightens a little towards the end. We don’t know of course whether Hafiz’s parent s will make it and whether Stevie’s mum’s improvement is permanent.
Hafiz and Stevie seem authentic. They each tell their story in fit person narrative in alternating chapters. The chapters are pleasingly short.
The novel tackles some interesting themes and could lead to useful classroom discussions.
The book has 342 pages. The text is blocked and in an adult font.