SMART

TEEN – SLA21471613

Author – Kim Slater

Age – 12+

Kieran is determined to find out who killed a homeless man called Colin after he is found in the river. Kieran fancies himself as a bit of a sleuth wanting to be an investigative reporter and then a criminology expert like he sees on CSI on TV.
Kieran has other talents too. He is a prize winning artist, and with his photographic memory he can draw anything he sees and remembers. His favourite artist is LS Lowry.
But life is not all good – he and his mum live with an abusive man (Tony), and his abusive son (Ryan). Mum works long hours and is ‘controlled’ by Tony. Kieran spends less and less time at home, preferring to talk to a homeless woman called Jean at the embankment, and stay out of Tony and Ryan’s way.
Kieran is the narrator of the story and tells things as he sees them, but behind his words are so much more. We learn he is autistic, and even though he is mocked by others, called Downs, retard and any number of other names, he is not put off his quest.
As he is looking for clues about the murder, he is dropping clues throughout the novel for the reader, for an insight into his life.

This seems such a simple story by the way it is told, but Kieran is loyal, determined and SMART – but his life is heartbreaking.

(Autistic, Family, Friendship, Mystery, Murder, Determination, Abuse, Bullying)

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