The trouble with Donovan Croft ISBN: 9780192718884
Published by O.U.P.
The Chapman family - mum, dad and Keith - have decided to take in a foster child, but when Donovan Croft arrives on the scene, they are more than a little taken aback. The fact that Donovan is black worries them not at all, but Donovan is also an elective mute. His mother has gone back to the West Indies, and his father can't cope with work and Donovan too. Donovan's response to his life's falling apart is to stay silent. Incensed neighbours, a difficult (and racist) teacher, and Keith's friends, who make it plain that Donovan is not welcome, increase the tension. Relief comes when Donovan's father turns up to go to a football match with the Chapmans (football is central in this novel). Coming out of the game, Donovan saves Keith from being hit by a car by shouting. The growing friendship between the two boys is subtle, and the story, while having an old-fashioned air, is powerful and satisfying.