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Jessica , Herts & Essex High School


'Beck' is a book set in America, soon after slavery was abolished. It follows a boy called Beck, who is an orphan, and who is also half African. His mother was extremely poor, and so had to resort to other ways of making money, including letting men take advantage of her for money. Beck was born when this happened with her and an African American soldier.
Beck started off in an orphanage in Liverpool, but the boys there were shipped off to Canada, to a home there that was run by priests. There the book follows Beck's adventures through Canada and into America, with dark and horrible events at almost every turn in his life. Here there will be no spoilers, but in the book he find comfort and happiness, only to have it ripped away from him again and again.
I thought that 'Beck' was a really captivating book to read, as there were unexpected twists and turns at every corner, and it shows his struggles to fit in in America, being an orphaned, half African child from England.
I thought the character of Beck was really interesting to follow as the book progressed. This is because he is a nice boy, but has experienced too many horrors in his life to be innocent anymore. I found it interesting to watch how he adapted to his new way of life, but never quite gets used to it. He is constantly experiencing loss, pain and fear, and finds himself reluctant to love or care anymore for the fear that he will then just be disappointed again. However, it is a joy to read how he overcomes this.
The other characters in the book are also very interesting to follow. I personally liked Irma and Bone, two of the people that Beck meets on his journey. This is because they are genuinely interesting people, and so caring towards Beck that they become almost like the parents he never had.
I would definitely recommend this book, but before you read it be aware that there are a few shocking scenes, and the book is not for younger readers. However, it is amazing and if you can, definitely read it!

Posted on: 21st March 2017 at 01:41 pm

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