A figure emerged from the hatch and up into the yacht’s cockpit. Head to one side, his face very close to that of the skipper, he whispered, in a heavy French accent, “Be careful. Be alert. They may be expecting something.” He stepped ashore and disappeared into the murky, freezing, black night.
is the story of three young teenagers who unwittingly escape from the crime gang smuggling them into the UK. They walk from where they first meet, on a wind-swept stormy beach on the South Coast, north through towns of the beautiful but understated South Downs National Park, and towards their final goal of a new life in London. As their journey unfolds and they deal with the challenges of a severe snowstorm, and the joys of innocent friendships, they learn more about England and why each of them has made the nearly impossible trek to be here.
Unknown to the children, they are also the quarry for the UK Board Agency and the County Police Force, who are searching relentlessly for them in a bid to save them from their probable fate. Also tracing their footsteps is the smuggling gang, who realise that the children hold the keys to their own child trafficking operation being uncovered.
is an ode to the abandoned childhoods of so many children who are subjected to trafficking. By setting their journey within the context of a 1950’s childhood adventure, an appeal is made for humanity and recognition of the international complexity of their plight and our own origins.
The book has been influenced by My Side of the Mountain
by Jean Craighead George, Refugee Boy
by Benjamin Zephaniah and the 2009 film Welcome
, directed by Philippe Lioret. It will appeal to young adult fans of adventure stories.