This week I’m reading: Face by Benjamin Zephaniah

Published in 1999, Face was the debut novel from Benjamin Zephaniah.

Squarely aimed at a young adult / teen audience, here’s the blurb on the back:

“Yu bad guy.”


“Yeah man, ya wicked. De cool ruler.”


“Cool and easy does it.”

Martin was on top of the world. His credibility was sealed and Natalie was proud of him.
If there’s one thing that Martin is sure about, it’s that life is pretty good to him. But life – as Martin is about to find out – has a habit of throwing the unexpected at you.

“At this point Martin knew something terrible had happened to his face. His heart pounded in his chest. He shifted his eyes to the left and saw his father standing over him.


‘Are you ok, son?’”

Martin’s life is about to change forever…

Image taken from: benjaminzephaniah.com

Martin suffers facial injuries after surviving a car accident; we follow his progress as he recovers from surgery and comes to terms with his new face. Zephaniah described the theme of the book as “facial discrimination”.

This is hard-hitting but heart-warming stuff, and teenagers should be able to relate to the characters.

More by Zephaniah: Windrush Child

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