To Sir With Love by E R Braithwaite (Vintage Books)
I took quite a gamble leaving this book for my last. I'd read it before many years ago and it is a novel that left a big impression, and even a good twenty years on I could still recall lines from the book. Would a reread tarnish my memories, should I just stick to my 'book shadow' thoughts?
In this case I am really pleased that rereading the book was a pleasure, it was still the incredible book that I remembered. I had forgotten many details but as I read through the book it was a little bit like meeting up with an old friend after many years. I definitely had remembered the big themes.
Although the book is now over 60 years old I was struck by how little has actually changed in the world in so many ways. It is also interesting to think that this book is a contemporary to the setting for the Call the Midwife books, in so many ways the books complement each other and create a window back to the London East End of the 1950s
What Braithwaite has to say about education, racism, gang culture and London is still horribly accurate and in many ways A Dutiful Boy, which is also a World Book Night book this year, is the same story just about more recent times.
I am glad that I left this until last, and I am glad that my challenge did give me the opportunity to reread the book and fall in love with it all over again.