Author – Nicky Singer
Age – 13+
It is a world of spreading deserts and unbearable heat. Millions are pouring out of Equator Central, to the North – cooler and more liveable.
But there are even more rules than before. More borders and soldiers with guns. You must have your papers and if you are 15 or older, you are deemed an adult, with consequences so much worse for breaking any rules.
Mhairi Anne Bain is 14. She was born in Scotland but has been with her parents in the Sudan. Her mother is a scientist. The last time Mhairi saw her was at a checkpoint, where she told Mhairi that she must stay alive.
Mhairi is alive, making her way back to Scotland to her grandmother. Mhairi has memories hidden behind high walls in her head. Memories shut deep inside a ‘castle’.
When she comes across a small boy, she tells herself he will slow her down. She is not to think about him, or even consider taking him with her.
Her journey has been a long one. She thinks often of her father and the way he showed her how the world is beautiful. The stars above, the cool, refreshing water of a stream, and any small acts of kindness she encounters, remind her of his words.
But the world’s overpopulation rules of compulsory death at 74, bulging refugee camps, riots, and things she has learnt and done to honour her mother’s last words to her, have taken their toll. This is a game of survival and she has learnt how to play the hard way.
(Future, Survival, Hunger, Steal, Cunning, Detention, Flee, Escape, Run, Walk, Rules)