Troubador Looked After Boy

Released: 28/01/2021

ISBN: 9781800461123

eISBN: 9781800468023

Format: Paperback/eBook

Review this Book

Author Website

Looked After Boy

by

For readers 13+ Looked after Boy tackles difficult, but topical, issues. It is a gritty, but moving, tale of a marginalised group; that of children in the care system at risk of involvement in County Lines gangs.  

In this coming of age story, fourteen-year old Joe Mac struggles to find his own voice in a hostile world that constantly disempowers him. After years of neglect, Joe, his brothers and sisters are taken into care and separated. Despite betrayals and failures of the system supposedly protecting him, Joe vows to get all his family back together but nothing is straightforward in Joe’s life and he must face more betrayal, danger and ultimately his own demons before he can look to a new future.

Joe’s unique voice and sparkly personality speaks out from every page and, despite the topics tackled, young readers will empathise with Joe as his story deals with familiar issues of fear, separation and loss. The story doesn’t shirk away from the telling of Joe’s experiences, but it does offer hope too.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


This book is brilliant, but absolutely tragic. The author has worked as a teacher and is a foster carer, suggesting that while this is a work of fiction, it is surely influenced by her experiences and this just makes it more harrowing. I work in education and so have had training on county lines but reading this story makes it far more real, because we see everything from Joe's point of view.

The story follows a family and the abuse that the children and mother experience at the hands of the father. I don't want to say much more because I think this book was even more powerful for encountering events as Joe experienced them, but I will say that I hope Pete's character is based on someone real. Every child, particularly those in foster care, deserve someone like him in their corner.

Will you recommend that your students read or purchase this title? Yes

Member Profile: https://www.netgalley.com/publisher/member/539848

Thank you,

The NetGalley Team

[email protected]

This book is brilliant, but absolutely tragic. The author has worked as a teacher and is a foster carer, suggesting that while this is a work of fiction, it is surely influenced by her experiences and this just makes it more harrowing. I work in education and so have had training on county lines but reading this story makes it far more real, because we see everything from Joe's point of view.

The story follows a family and the abuse that the children and mother experience at the hands of the father. I don't want to say much more because I think this book was even more powerful for encountering events as Joe experienced them, but I will say that I hope Pete's character is based on someone real. Every child, particularly those in foster care, deserve someone like him in their corner.

by NetGalley review


Joe and his brothers and sisters suffer at the hands of an emotionally and physically abusive father with no end in sight. The system fails him and his siblings and they are all place in care, separated from each other. Things go from bad to worse as we see what can happen to young people when placed in care and lost in the system, failed by those who should be looking out for them most. A harrowing story of a boy's attempts to cope with life in care. A must read for young people and educators alike.

by NetGalley review


This was an emotional, heartbreaking read at times. Joe is a wonderful character who faces heartbreak at every turn. All he wants is to get his family back together but he meets obstacles at every turn. We really get to see Joe's character, his caring nature, his determination to succeed. Lynda Brennan really understands the history of the care system too and how it has failed so many innocent children allowing many to fall through the cracks, suffer neglect and become forever entwined in a life of care for them and their offspring. Although upsetting, I really championed Joe and won't forget him in a hurry.

by NetGalley review


Lynda M Brennan

Lynda grew up in Leigh, Lancashire and moved to London at the age of 18 to study drama and education. She was part of Broadside Workers Mobile Theatre in the 80' and directed Young People's Theatre at Jacksons Lane Community Centre. She taught Drama in schools, in Pupil Referral Units and community centres.

In Looked after Boy, Lynda tells the story of a much neglected group of young people, those in the care system. She describes the intense connection Joe, the protagonist, feels for Tottenham. Lynda is the Artistic Director of Tottenham Theatre, a community theatre that serves the diverse communities of Tottenham. Lynda has devised and directed numerous plays based on lived experience . Most recently, she has worked with young refugees stuck in Calais.

Lynda set up Acting OUT, a therapeutic project which uses drama to help traumatised young people. She is a freelance trainer in Social and Emotional Learning and has developed training courses for foster carers. Lynda and her husband were foster carers. Looked After Boy is her first novel and although it grew out of her experience as foster carer and teacher the novel itself is entirely a work of fiction.


Lynda in Tottenham Theatre
  • Buy as a printed
    book
  • £8.99


  • 3 customer reviews
  • Buy as an ebook
  • £3.99
  • Find this ebook at your favourite retailer
Also by Lynda M Brennan / Related Books