Inner City: Stories from the thick of it. Edited by Tony Bradman

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A and C Black. ISBN 978 1408113769.
Highly recommended for upper primary and early secondary students.
Tony Bradman, who grew up in London says, 'living in the inner city can be hard, but it can be interesting and lively and a lot of fun, too, and the people who live on unloved estates or in old tower blocks, in run-down houses and flats, are just as human as those who are lucky enough to in more comfortable circumstances'. p.8. This collection, mainly set in London is varied and shows a fascinating insight into a world unknown to most Australian students. Young people feature prominently but their fears and anxieties are all part of living and growing up. Particularly moving is A Thousand Acres of Sky, where moving to the city because their mother has died from cancer creates many miserable but ultimately satisfying situations for Luca. What We Love centres around  Suna and her family relocating to the city. Friendship features strongly in this short story. In It's All Right I have a List That Helps to Make Everything Clear and It's Real Easy to Follow is a very clever piece of writing. Robbie is bullied by Danno and his cohort but when alone and bullied himself Danno behaves differently. In Truant, Jackson regularly wags school until Tiff turns up at school and Jacko learns that going to school is fun. Each story takes a short time to read and if a teacher read to the class the discussions following the story would be most interesting and valuable for teachers and students.
Sue Nosworthy