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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 Daniel Pennac
Age Range: 9-11
Kamo is a sensitive, funny crazy boy who goes to spend the summer holidays with
his friend’s family in the Alps. Kamo has an intuitive instinct that something bad will
happen to him if he rides a bike. Even the classic bike that belonged to his friend’s
grandfather, with its chrome mudguards and bullet marks dating back to the
Second World War, cannot persuade him. Kamo’s bad feeling turns out to be right.
A terrible accident in the backstreets of Paris leaves him in a coma. As he lies in
his hospital bed, he appears to his two friends, the narrator and Big Louis, to be
someone else – someone fierce and strong.
A parallel story of survival is acted out in Kamo’s dream and his friends become deeply involved in helping him to survive. Kamo’s Escape forms part of a hugely popular series about a young Parisian boy by Daniel Pennac. Intrigue about the past and an exploration of the strength of close friendship and love characterise this exquisitely crafted novel with its gentle humour captured perfectly in the translation by Sarah Adams.
(Outside In: Children’s Books in Translation, Milet, 2005)