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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
by Alki Zei
Age Range: 12+
Thirteen-year-old Tina’s life in Germany had been happy so it came as a tremendous shock when her parents announced that they were splitting up. Tina suffers from bronchitis and as her health deteriorates it is decided that she should go and live in Greece with her paternal Grandmother for a year.
Tina begins to rebel, she shaves off her hair, plays truant from school and refuses to listen to her grandmother – Farmor as she calls her – or her three friends that she’s nicknamed ‘The Demetrias’ with their tales of the Second World War. Tina just doesn’t care about anything anymore because she has found the answer in an amazing little blue pill provided by Wick, an older boy also from Germany, who has befriended her. Sometimes she’s on a real high and life feels wonderful but other times she’s crashing back down again and there’s no return.
Tina’s Web successfully explores the problems of drugs, the difficulties surrounding divorce, cultural differences and the clash of generations. The reader travels with Tina every step of the way as she narrates her self-destructive journey. It is a universal theme and far from moralising about drugs, the author handles the story with understated tones, compassion and humour. Alki Zei is one of Greece’s most popular children’s writer and a former dissident. Tina’s Web has won the IBBY Prize for Best Book for Teenagers in Greece and the Bookworms Teen Readers Prize in France.