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About the book
  • Published: 3 January 2017
  • ISBN: 9781849390484
  • Imprint: Andersen
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $19.99

Out of Shadows

Brand new edition of the multi-award-winning novel. A searing account of race, bullying and conspiracy in 1980s Zimbabwe

'If I stood you in front of a man, pressed a gun into your palm and told you to squeeze the trigger, would you do it?'
'No, sir, no way!'
'What if I then told you we'd gone back in time and his name was Adolf Hitler? Would you do it then?'

Zimbabwe, 1980s.
The fighting has stopped, independence has been won and Robert Mugabe has come to power offering the end of the Old Way and promising hope for black Africans.
For Robert Jacklin, it’s all new: new continent, new country, new school. And very quickly he learns that for some of his white classmates, the sound of guns is still loud, and their battles rage on.
Boys like Ivan. Clever, cunning Ivan. He wants things back to how they were, and he’s taking his fight to the very top.

Winner of the Costa, the UKLA and the Branford Boase Awards

  • Pub date: 3 January 2017
  • ISBN: 9781849390484
  • Imprint: Andersen
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Jason Wallace

Jason Wallace is related to Tolkien and a descendant of one of the first International English cricketers, and also of the world-renowned Victorian circus owner "Lord" George Sanger. He was born in Cheltenham in 1969 but moved to London after his parents split up. Aged 12 his life was turned upside down when his mother remarried and the family emigrated to Zimbabwe. It was this experience in a tough boarding school during the aftermath of the war for independence that forms the foundation of his incredible first novel, Out of Shadows. And he did actually meet Robert Mugabe when he visited his school.

Jason is currently a web designer, living in South West London with his partner and son.

Also by Jason Wallace

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Praise for Out of Shadows

“A stunning debut novel without a false note. Accomplished and powerful, it changes the way you think.”

Costa Book Award

“(Jason Wallace's) bleak, ferocious debut is a powerful, devastating read for older teens.”

Patrick Ness, Guardian

“(Out of Shadows is) a provocative story, powerfully written. Some may find the themes difficult, the climax shocking, but Wallace has produced a first novel where all the heat and intensity of an African nation in flux burns on every page. He's a definitely a writer to watch in the future.”

Keith Gray, The Scotsman

“Classic crossover fiction...(Wallace's) unblinking portrait of true evil raises it above the norm... It's something that schools should study and readers read. Bravo! ”

Amanda Craig, The Times

“In its portrayal of race relations in a wounded country as well as of the ugly power dynamics of a community of adolescent boys, this novel excels, bringing readers up to the grim, uncertain present with mastery.”

Kirkus, Starred Review

“An extraordinary coming-of-age novel . . . a startlingly original debut . . . Charting the change from childhood to adulthood against growing political discord gives the novel a sense of urgency, and the book's intensity, drama and pace leaves a lasting impact.”

Jake Hope, Bookseller's choice, The Bookseller

“A memorable, moving and disturbing coming-of-age story.”

Julia Eccleshare, Lovereading, Best Children's Books of 2010

“Excellent. (Out of Shadows is) a lacerating addition to the boarding-school-as-living-hell genre. The author gives every indication of knowing exactly what he is writing about.”

Nick Tucker, Independent on Sunday

“A powerful story. It's strong stuff, but never gratuitously so. Great for serious teens.”

Time Out

“This hard-hitting story could well become a children's classic.”

Daily Express

“An original, at times violent, thought provoking and ultimately shocking story for older readers.”

Good Book Guide

“Sometimes a book takes you somewhere and keeps you there. Honest, brave and devastating - Out of Shadows is more than just memorable. It's impossible to look away.”

Markus Zusak - The author of The Book Thief

“Beautifully written.”

Ruth Swindon, Independent on Sunday - Hit List

“A powerful story.”


“Elegiac and edgy . . . your mind will remain full of this book long after you've closed it.”

Armadillo Magazine

“Jason Wallace is a writer to follow - there will hopefully be many books to look out for in the future. This is a book to be read, to bury a past that has no place in the new Zimbabwe that remains to be built.”

The Zimbabwean

“One of the best debut novels I've ever read . . . At times chilling and dark, yet strangely hopeful, one of those books that I know I'll revisit in the future . . . I can't recommend it highly enough.”

Jenny Davies, wondrousreads.com

“This is one of those rare, outstanding books that when you come to the end you know with certainty you will return to it again. It is also a book that is so hard-hitting and thought provoking you feel compelled to tell everyone you know to read it!”

Browns Books for Students

“A thrilling teenage tale of belonging. The charismatic Ivan is a marvellously drawn character; subtle, clever, tough, cruel, devious... Jason Wallace (is a) fine debut author.”

Ham & High Series

“This is a fantastic book! You can tell Jason Wallace knows what he's writing about.”

Ann Giles, Bookwitch

“A powerful emotionally charged book.”

Nayuleska, Nayu's Reading Corner

“It is a long time since I've read a perfect novel such as this; the type of book that captures you from the opening passages and takes you on a journey that haunts you for days afterwards.”

Emm, Blogcritics.org

“One of the best debuts I have ever read. Fantastically written, powerful and important and at times horribly shocking, yet strangely hopeful. With scene that left me in stunned silence.”

Daniel Johns, University Bookseller, Plymouth, Western Morning News

“A book to make you think and highly recommended.”

Poppy Freeman-Cuerden (Teenage Judge, Booktrust Teenage Prize 2010), Books for Keeps

“Jason Wallace paints a shocking picture of betrayed friendships, cruel bullying, and racism in a post-colonial society that leaves readers speechless.”

The White Ravens 2011

“A moving, thought-provoking book for children 12+.”

Western Morning News

“Reads very fast and punchy and eggs you on to read more until you finish it.”

Benjamin Gardner (aged 13), Books for Keeps

“This mind-blowing novel can open the naïve mind of a teenager.”

Teen Titles- John Moore, Dollar Academy

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