“Adam!” Leila grabbed the canvas schoolbag on his shoulder. His violin case swung around, narrowly missing the horse’s front shin, and collided into her flute case. For a moment, Adam saw his own fright mirrored in the shining eye of the horse. The policeman’s eyes were hidden behind dark glasses.
Adam and his sister Leila are Nons—second-class citizens, living under the Permitted ruling class. Though their life in the Stone City is filled with family, stories, and music, they must carefully follow the rules, have all paperwork on hand, and never, ever do anything to anger a Permitted.
So when Adam’s friend Zak plays a bold prank on a group of Permitted boys, and Adam is implicated in Zak’s “crime,” Adam knows their lives will never be the same again.
Beverley Naidoo writes: “Is Justice sleeping or is it a dream? If Justice is sleeping, who will wake Justice up?” How do you answer such questions which contain such huge shadows? My young questioners came from refugee families. Although long ago, I’ve never forgotten them. In the end, I decided I needed to write a novel to explore how it might feel to wonder whether Justice is only a dream or sleeping... and, if it’s sleeping, “who will wake Justice up?”