We LOVED Adam Baron’s bestselling children’s debut, Boy Underwater, and – you won’t believe this – thought his sequel was even more incredible! Another moving and hilarious story of friendship and family secrets, You Won’t Believe This, shows that people are people no matter where they’re from.
Over to the awesome author himself to tell us more about the inspiration for his latest book...
I love writing about Cymbeline Igloo (he makes me laugh). I really enjoyed creating his world in Boy Underwater. I didn’t plan on writing another book about him but just as I was coming to the end, something strange happened: another story opened up in front of me. This story was about Cymbeline too but also about his new friend, the very clever Veronique Chang. I just launched in without really asking myself why the idea had come to me. It was only once I’d started to develop the story that I realised what it was that had hooked me: her family.
Veronique is half French and half Chinese. Her grandmother (Nanai) is a refugee from Vietnam where, in the 1980s, the ethnic Chinese people were being persecuted. This was in the news when I was growing up and it really struck me because two of my grandparents were refugees too. As children they had escape violence in Lithuania and Romania. If they hadn’t, I wouldn’t be here. Every night, on the news, I looked for stories about the Vietnam ‘Boat People’, as they were called, hoping that they would be rescued. While many were, and went to live in places like Canada, the USA and the UK, a lot of them drowned at sea.
When I met my wife, many years later, one of the things that drew me to her was that she, too, had grandparents who were refugees. Hers had managed to escape from Austria in 1938, thereby avoiding the Holocaust, which would surely have claimed their lives. Nowadays, there are refugees who are trying to escape violence all over the world and some people say that we should keep them out of western countries, leaving them perhaps to drown, or forcing them back to very dangerous environments in the countries they have fled. I don’t agree with this and, in You Won’t Believe This, Cymbeline shows us what a wonderful contribution to our country refugees and their descendants make. As Cymbeline says, we live in a country made up of all sorts of people, ‘all just trying to get along’.
So, in You Won’t Believe This, you’ll find some serious issues to read about though, with Cymbeline telling the story, you’ll have plenty to laugh about along the way.
I hope you enjoy it!