by Bernard Hare - £9.99 Hodder & Stoughton (2006)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780340837351 | ISBN 10: 0340837357
This is an eye-opening, jaw-dropping account of Britain's dispossessed youth and inner city wastelands by an insider, as funny and inspiring as it is heartbreaking.
You're twelve years old. Your mother's a junkie and your father might as well be dead. You can't read or write, and you don't go to school. An average day means sitting round a bonfire with your mates smoking drugs, or stealing cars. Welcome to Urban's world.
Bernard Hare was on society's margins, living on one of Leeds' roughest estates and with a liking for drink and drugs. So he knew what life in the underclass was like in '90s Britain.
But even he was shocked when he met Urban, an illiterate, glue-sniffing twelve-year-old. And through Urban he got to know the Shed Crew - an anarchic gang of kids between the ages of ten and fourteen; joy-riding, thieving runaways, who were no strangers to drugs or sex. Nearly all had been in care, but few adults really cared. Bernard decided to do what he could. He didn't know what he was letting himself in for.
(Price & availability last checked: June 2018)