Wonderful sessions at the International Community School in London, W2, for World Book Day. We discussed the issues behind my novel, HIDDEN, including racist stereotyping, immigration and human rights. The pupils came from all over the world including Israel, France, Pakistan, the U.S. and Indonesia.
Miriam's greatest strength was adapting to the varied needs of different groups of students meaning that everyone got something of value from meeting her.
Annalise Taylor, Acting Assistant Principal/Librarian
Wonderful reviews for Hidden and Illegal in the latest edition of IBBYlink produced for the 19th Annual Conference.
HIDDEN : Plenty here to engage teenage readers and to make them (and adults) think hard about the way we treat each other, whoever and whatever we are.
ILLEGAL : Halahmy writes an exciting adventure story but there's always more than that.
Miriam visited Wandsworth this July for our joint Carnegie medal
shadowing event organised by Burntwood School. Miriam gave a fantastic talk to the pupils - they absolutely loved
her and she is featured in our display.
Penny Briers, School Librarian
The death of baby Jemma has sent fifteen-year-old Lindy's family into a downward spiral : her brothers are in prison and her parents have given up. The other girls at school all have proper families, with good jobs and nice cars. Why did Lindy get landed with such a useless one?
Lindy thinks she's been thrown a lifeline when her cousin Colin gives her a job, but she's soon out of her depth - he's a drug dealer and forces her to sell cocaine. Terrified that she will go to prison and seeing no way out, Lindy starts self-harming. Then she finds a surprising ally in fellow misfit, Karl, who is mute. Together they embark upon a desperate plan to ensure her freedom.
Illegal is the story of a teenage girl, driven to take desperate measures when all other choices are taken away from her.
Excellent! Beautifully written and a really strong and gripping story.
Wendy Cooling MBE, co-founder of Bookstart
I was swept off my feet.
Angela Kilverstein, Children's Books Editor, J.C.
Miriam Halahmy has pulled off a difficult trick - a second novel as good as her first. I read it in one gulp, unable to stop. ...looking forward to Stuffed, the third book in the cycle.
Subtly handled...This is a gritty, no holds barrred, nail biting young adult story.
Miriam Halahmy has an exceptional ear for dialogue, her characters in Illegal are so vivid and compelling that they ensue a breathless read from start to end, and her insight into troubled youth has us routing for characters most of us would cross the street to avoid in real life.'
Very exciting and not just one for the girls. Good plot and characters. Setting is ace.
Illegal maintains a fast pace and high drama, with a chilling undertone leaving the reader guessing what is going to happen right to the very end....Halahmy paints characters and their issues so vividly that it gives them life and meaning far beyond the page.
The Haringey Independent
Well written, gritty contemporary tale. This is an author who can deal with tough, hard-hitting issues and keep things realistic.
The Bookbag, starred review
A great story, maybe even better than Hidden and both equally exciting and equally necessary. I'm looking forward to Miriam's next book.
Illegal is another fascinating story from Miriam Halahmy and although aimed at young people, this is a book which is really enjoyable for adults too.
Katie Martin, BBC Radio Solent
A fantastic read, totally compulsive, unputdownable. The ending will make you cheer.
This book is bursting with realism.
Illegal is at times a heart-wrenching read but it is a book I would highly recommend.
Emotional, powerful, addictive. Had me hooked from page one. Can't wait to read Hidden and Stuffed.
Book Addicted Girl
Miriam tackles some difficult subjects in a sympathetic and age appropriate way.
Tall Tales and Short Stories
Illegal gives a real and valuable insight ino the difficulties many children face, like Lindy, from dysfunctional or chaotic backgrounds or like Karl, who on the surface seems to have it all. 9 year old Sean breaks my heart. I hope that the social worker's intervention and Lindy's support turns his life around. Lindy's parents are, quite rightly, portrayed with compassion and you have shown that with the right support, many families can work through their problems. There have been many challenges in writing this book but they never hold the story back. Well done Miriam, it is definitely a book that everyone should read.
An Adoptive Parent
"Gripping story..written with clarity and immediacy." Nicolette Jones, The Sunday Times
Sunday Times Children's Book of the Week, April 2011.
Nominated : 2012 CILIP Carnegie Medal.
Shortlisted : 2012 Portsmouth Book Award
Shortlisted : 2012 Essex Book Award
Nominated : 2011 People's Prize
Longlisted : 2011 Southern Schools Book Award
Longlisted : 2011 Hampshire Book Award
HIDDEN on YouTube!!
Miriam Halahmy never puts a foot wrong in this gripping story focusing on an agonisingly difficult contemporary problem. Tautly written throughout, her fine novel deserves the widest audience.
Nick Tucker, reviewer and broadcaster.
The pace of the narrative carries the reader through the .... messages about justice and integrity.
Hidden is a terrific story. Miriam has managed that rare thing; a serious story told with a comic and emotional touch.
Hidden tackles one of the most contentious issues of our time. Everybody under your roof will find something great in this story.
Katie Martin, BBC Radio Solent
A contemporary novel dealing with contemporary issues...very accessible.
Books for Keeps. Starred review.
Miriam tackles such a hard subject ( racism) amazingly from the perspective of teenagers. GO GET IT NOW! Can't wait to read Illegal.
Steffi - Book Blogger - via Twitter.
'There's so much hidden in this little hut, and whatever I've dived into here is only going to get more complicated.'
HIDDEN is a brave debut novel tackling the complex issues of immigration and human-rights laws, through the eyes of teenage Alix.
A literary coming-of-age novel dealing with courage, prejudice, judgement, and the difficulty of sorting right from wrong. Challenging, charming, compelling.
Hidden left me feeling inspired and empowered to stand up for the things I believe in...Everyone should read this book...It's invigorating!
Beautifully written.... a novel about hope.
At a time when British youngsters are increasingly concerned about immigration, it seems very timely to publish a teen adventure about asylum seekers.
Bridget Galton, Ham and High
People grow and learn through this book. It raises all kinds of interesting questions but never loses sight of the fact that what we want to read first and foremost is an interesting story about people we can get to like.
Point this one out to your teachers - they'll thank you for it.
A brave choice of subject matter.
Tall Tales and Short Stories
The Hayling Island setting is well-evoked and the denouement is inspiring.
Angela Kiverstein, the J.C.
A great story about a very real and current problem.
Miriam Halahmy has addressed an increasingly common situation about which most teenagers know little and has cast an uncomfortable spotlight.
Alix is a marvellous heroine - an apparently ordinarygirl who turns out to have enormous reserves of courage and strength. A novel which will stretch the minds of readers of any age.
Brilliant! Un-put-downable! I liked the fact it was an Iraqi refugee as we rarely 'see' them. They are not as visible as other groups. Next installment please."