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Jake's tower ISBN: 9780330398039
Laird, Elizabeth
Published by Macmillan, 2002
Jake is regularly abused by his stepfather Steve. He dreams of having his own place, a tower with a moat, where he is heavily protected and no one can get to him. After a particularly serious beating, Jake's mum, Marie, leaves, taking Jake, and they go to his grandmother's house - his real father's mother whom he has never met. Mrs Judd has never believed Jake to be her son's child, but now, seeing the family resemblance, she becomes a tiger in Jake's defense. Marie is pregnant with Steve's baby, and the relationship between her and Mrs Judd is a wary one. When Jake must admit at school that his bruises were caused by his stepfather, the social services become involved, and Steve is put under a restraining order. Jake finally gets to meet his real dad, who is just as warm and caring as you hope he will be. The characters are marvelously drawn, very believable, and the scenes with Steve are grim. While Jake has his happy ending, he is never going to feel utterly safe. He looks forward to protecting his new baby sister in the end. Outstanding.
Age: 11+