The Current: Identity

Our pick of the best reads in the Identity genre.

With the Fire on High

Elizabeth Acevedo

Emoni is a teenage single mother but she is no stereotype. She is strong and motivated, combining bringing up her daughter with work and studying. But it can’t be denied that her life is complicated and with graduation looming she faces some difficult choices about her future. The kitchen is her refuge where she can always escape into cooking mouthwatering dishes suffused with her mixed Black and Puerto Rican heritage. A vivid story with believable characters from a prizewinning author.

9781471409004, Hot Key: 2019

The M Word

Brian Conaghan

Maggie’s best friend Moya is dead, but that doesn’t stop Maggie talking to her. Having to deal with a depressed and jobless mother and the overwhelming grief she feels at her friend’s death means that Maggie needs to talk to someone, and who else will understand? Told in Maggie’s blunt and distinctive voice, this is an unsparing and gritty but ultimately uplifting story about families coping with the fallout from mental illness.

9781408871577, Bloomsbury: 2019

Alex in Wonderland

Simon James Green

After accidentally getting himself a summer job in the Wonderlands arcade in the seaside town of Newsands, warm-hearted but terminally awkward Alex soon finds himself making new friends and there is even prospect of a summer romance. But somebody seems to have it in for Wonderlands and is posting threatening notes. Do they really mean to close it down for good? Alex and his friends try to find out. A funny and relatable page-turner.

9781407194240, Scholastic: 2019

No Big Deal

Bethany Rutter

Emily is a happy and intelligent young woman who is fun to be around. She is also fat, something that is not a problem for her but seems to be a huge problem for some of her family and friends who are constantly trying to get her to lose weight. Although Emily is made of strong stuff, she has a battle on her hands to be accepted as she is. An engaging novel from an advocate for plus-size rights.

9781509870059, Macmillan: 2019

Colour of Shadows

Phyllida Shrimpton

Saffron’s cosseted existence is turned on its head when she discovers that her entire family life has been built on a lie. But after she storms out in a huff and finds herself homeless and penniless on the streets, she uncovers a shadow world that she knew nothing about, where people are driven to homelessness for many reasons and where rough sleepers have to make near-impossible choices every day in order to survive.

9781471407611, Hot Key: 2019

Updated: 14 May 2020