Author – Mandy Hager
Age – 14+
Ash McCarthy and his Uni mates are planning on getting drunk. They’ve been watching a growing power struggle between the world’s super powers and New Zealand is getting swept up in it. His Dad has told him to go home if it escalates and Ash is worried about completing his studies.
But that worry is nothing compared to when two police officers knock at his door to tell him a bomb has gone off in his Dad’s Trade Union Offices. Stunned, Ash flies home to his Down syndrome brother (Mikey), and their lives are tipped upside down as they escape their city under siege and face an uncertain future without their father. Their flight binds them to two strangers, Travis and Jiao and in a search for truth, they find nothing but lies and all their lives are on the line.
The Nature of Ash sweeps the reader along with the choices and decisions Ash must make to protect his brother and friends amongst political intrigue, corrupt officials and a hidden family past. Ash is a wonderfully real character dealing with much more than a teen should. The prejudice aimed at both his brother and his new friend was raw and real, but the bond between Ash & Mikey was heart-warming.
(Down Syndrome, Brothers, Siblings, Friendship, Conflict, Betrayal, Family)