Kid’s Book Review: If My Words Had Wings

Kid’s Book Review: If My Words Had Wings

About the Book and Author

When fifteen-year-old Tyrell Forrester gets caught up in a high-profile armed robbery, he’s sentenced to eighteen months in a young offenders’ prison. Now he’s getting out, and he’s determined to turn his life around.

Despite his release, systemic discrimination makes it difficult for Ty to truly be free. Inspired by a visiting poet while inside, Ty discovers a whole new world through spoken word and is finally finding his voice. But will society ever see him as anything other than a criminal?

Danielle Jawando is an author and screenwriter. Her debut YA novel, And the Stars Were Burning Brightly, won best senior novel in the Great Reads Award, and was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, the YA Book Prize, the Jhalak Children’s & YA Prize, the Branford Boase Award, and was longlisted for the CILIP Carnegie Medal, the UKLA Book Awards and the Amazing Book Awards.  Her second novel, When Our Worlds Collided, won the 2023 Jhalak Children’s and YA Prize and the 2023 YA Book Prize.

Book Review

I encourage readers of all ages to read this book

This book was an exceptional read that brought me to tears numerous times. It’s beautifully written and brutally realistic.

The narrative centres around ‘Tyrell Forrester’, a young black boy who falls in with the wrong crowd and ends up in a juvenile detention centre. In prison ‘Ty’ befriends ‘Dadir’, who was wrongfully arrested, purely for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The story traces Tyrell’s life after his release, portraying the hardships faced by former convicts. Tyrell’s love for poetry surfaces during a workshop in prison. After his release he uses this newfound talent to make a difference.

I encourage readers of all ages to read this book. Although it may be categorized as fiction, it accurately portrays the harsh reality that many people from ethnic minorities face, and the unfairness of the legal system.

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Reviewer Profile

  • Name: Zahrah
  • Age: 13 years
  • Likes: Vintage letter writing, soap-making and Cafe Nero!
  • Dislikes: Liquorice and eggs
  • Favourite book: A Good Girl's Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
  • Favourite Movies : The Hunger Games
  • Favourite song: Until I Found You by Em Beihold and Stephen Sanchez