Category Reading

Canongate 2020, Paperback

A splendid fast-moving plot; bright, feisty and sensitive central characters and written in a style that allows Patience Agbabi to bring to her prose the voices and cadences of poetry for which she is so well known. I first became a fan of Agbabi through Transformatrix in 2000.  She is formidable as a poet, a voice for equality and integrity.

This is her first novel, and is recommended for : Young Adults: Good independent  readers of 11+  and adults who recall the joy of following a good story.

It is a fabulous read.  In essence, it is a tale of an adventure across TIME.  Here is a taster of the plot:

Leaplings, children born on the 29th February are very rare. Rarer still are the Leaplings who have The Gift ie the ability to leap through time. 

On her twelfth birthday, Elle and her best friend, Big Ben travel to the Time Squad Centre in 2048. Elle has received a mysterious warning from the future. Other Leaplings are disappearing in time – and not everyone can be trusted. 

No more spoilers!

The telling of the story is full of wit, playful language and wordplay: Have you ever thought of PREDICTIVE TEXT as the text from the future? What is more, many of the global debates of our own time are woven through into the future of this tale. I loved this aspect. 

Some endorsements from the Great and the Good of current writers are quoted below.

Philip Pullman: “Vivid, Funny, Exciting, Inventive.”

Bernardine Evaristo: “Fascinating, Original and smart…It has a magic all of its own.”

Patience Agbabi was born in London in 1965 to Nigerian parents, spent her teenage years living in North Wales and now lives in Kent with her husband and children. She has been writing poetry for over twenty years; "The Infinite" is her first novel. Like her heroine, Elle, she loves sprinting, numbers and pepper soup.

Morag Charlwood

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