Crossing the Line

Tia Fisher

This is a powerful story about gangs, drugs and the consequences of being poor. 

Life changes cruelly for Erik when he moves to secondary school and his father dies from Covid-19. Bullied for having ginger hair and angry with life, Erik becomes disruptive in school which leads to him mixing with the wrong boys and the descent into the mired world of drugs and gangs. As he becomes unable to find a way out, it is only running and his friend Ravi that help him find a way out.

This story pulls no punches. It is gritty, heart-stopping in places and makes for uncomfortable reading at times. The verse format intensifies the emotional pull with space and word shapes used to reinforce and highlight. 

It is a book which will appeal to teens who know about gang culture and is a window into that lifestyle for those who don’t. We think it should be in every school library.

Published by Hot Key Books (Bonnier)

School resources

Reviewed by Rachel Bolton