THE TIGHTROPE WALKERS by David Almond is the coming-of-age story of a boy torn between two very different friendships in the mid-20th century. While Holly represents artist freedom, Vincent reflects the wild, violent side of life.
Based on the memories of the author growing up in northern England, this work of realistic fiction is told through very short chapters making it a quick read. The well-developed characters, use of local dialects, and authentic settings add to the appeal. Although technically a work of historical fiction, the story transcends time.
From beauty and creativity to violence and death, Almond’s exploration of both the dark and light side of everyday life make this book special. The novel’s many metaphors and other literary elements make it an excellent book for young adult discussions. However because of the mature themes this book is not designed for children.
Published by Candlewick Press in March 2015.