Bearmouth by Liz Hyder

Winner of the 2020 Waterstones Children’s Book PrizeWinner of the 2020 Branford Boase Award2019 Times (UK) Children’s Book of the Year Life in Bearmouth is one of tough hard work and isolation, where daylight hours is memory. Newt has lived inside the mine since the age of four, and accepts the whole thing from the cruel working situations to the brutality of the overseers―till the mysterious Devlin arrives and Newt starts offevolved to ask “Why?” Against a background of creeping violence and rising tensions, this question drives a sequence of events that confronts the pitiless Bearmouth device and threatens to spoil their entire world. With an utterly different voice and propulsive storytelling, this darkly atmospheric mystery announces the arrival of a singular new skills in young adult literature.


Newt lives in Bearmouth, a labyrinth of mines ruled through toil and tradition, populated with the aid of hardened boys and men (Newt has been told they're a eunuch). But the arrival of a brand new boy named Devlin forces Newt to question the whole lot approximately Bearmouth, freedom or even Newt’s personal identity.

Newt narrates this story with striking frankness and originality, elaborating on the way of life of Bearmouth and providing personal evaluations on the mine, the miners and their place amongst them. Newt’s first-rate friend, Thomas, is beginning to educate Newt to study and write, which the textual content itself reflects—Bearmouth is written nearly phonetically. “Learnin letters is hard. My eyes strayne at the quit o lessun wi the bryteness o the candul lyte,” Newt explains within the commencing pages. Readers shouldn’t hesitate to read Newt’s words aloud as they begin Bearmouth, as doing so brings us in the direction of the manner Newt is working to uncover reading, writing and new ideas.

Bearmouth drapes a mysterious and fantastical veil over well-trodden young grownup themes. Gender, identity, rebellion or even revolution are shrouded in literal darkness in Bearmouth’s caverns, and readers will share in the characters’ confusion as the tale twists and winds like the mine’s passages. Rest assured, there’s mild at the stop of its tunnels.

Newt’s discovery of the truth approximately Bearmouth and about who they absolutely are makes for a clean tackle coming-of-age tropes. In this stunning debut novel, Liz Hyder spins a satisfying net of tension, action and revelation, rooted in a clearly unique narrative voice.


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