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Divided City by Theresa Breslin

Divided City

by Theresa Breslin

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A worthy subject, and the story is fairly well-written, though I expected the role of the asylum-seeker to be more significant. This book tells the story of two teenage boys - one Catholic, one Protestant - who become friends when they play on the same football team, even though they support opposing teams themselves. The author has given a good insight into how sectarianism and its accompanying bias is often passed down through generations - unfortunately it remains a significant problem in Glasgow.

My major problem with this book was the language attributed to the two teenage boys. The author couldn't seem to decide whether they should use phonetic slang or proper English, and the resulting mixture of both did not help the credibility of the characters. One had a parent with a PhD and the other had a lawyer and a dentist for parents - not sure that either child would speak in Scottish slang, or that they would use words like lavatory.

The thread about Kyoul, the asylum seeker that both boys try to help, could have been developed more I think. He was little more than a plot device. And while the overall sentiment of the book is admirable (one city, many cultures or whatever), it does seem a bit trite at the end. My own feeling is that the characters just didn't ring true, though many other parts of the book did.

It's an important first however, and I hope that the topic continues to be explored - but it needs to be in a way that is credible to teenagers. ( )
  deargreenplace | Sep 5, 2006 |
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A young man lies bleeding in the street. It could be any street, in any city. But it's not. It's Glasgow. And it's May - the marching season. The Orange Walks have begun. Graham doesn't want to be involved. He just wants to play football with his new mate, Joe. But when he witnesses a shocking moment of violence, suddenly he and Joe are involved - with Catholics and Protestants, a young Muslim asylum-seeker and his girlfriend, and all the old rivalries - and fears...This is a gripping tale about two boys, who must find their own answers - and their own way forward - in a world divided by differences.… (more)

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