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Crossing the Line

Tia Fisher

Bonnier Books UK (13+) 9781471413049 (Paperback)

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Fourteen-year-old Erik is grieving for his father when his mum meets a new partner, becomes pregnant and is abandoned.  Erik feels the burden of poverty and the weight of grief which lead him to make decisions that affect his future and which lead him down a path from which he cannot easily escape.   Measured and plausible, we follow Erik’s decision to their conclusion and witness first-hand how the situation becomes so tangled.  Erik’s situations quickly spiral out of control in ways that are frighteningly believable.   

Brilliantly drawn characters are depicted in emotive and believable ways. The use of verse keeps the pace lively, adds vibrant meaning and ensures engagement throughout. A skilful exploration into drug crime and county lines using beautiful spare text with rhythm and rhyme to make for an affecting story.  The book experiments with text, sounds and formatting, adding layers of meaning to the story and making it innovative and engaging. It takes the reader on a real journey. A well-plotted storyline underpinned by a single episode at school. There’s a cyclical nature to how the story begins and ends.  

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Tia Fisher

Crossing the Line is Tia Fisher’s debut novel. In her spare time, she works in a children’s library and has also completed an MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University. She has published poems in The Rialto and been longlisted for the Mslexia Children’s Novel Award. Crossing the Line has been nominated for the Carnegie Medal 2024, longlisted for the UK Literacy Association Book Awards 2023 and the Warwickshire Teen Book Awards 2023 and shortlisted for Southern Schools Book Award 2023 and the Bristol Teen Book Awards 2023. Tia lives in South London with her husband and two teenage children (who wish she’d stop mining them for source material).

Shadowers' reviews and artwork

I thought that the book had really good story telling and a brilliant plot. There was lots of inference in the book, so it may be harder for younger readers to read. Also the book had very grown up themes that involve drugs and murder. The placement of the words was also quite confusing as they slanted on the page (though this did add a personality to each word). In all, it was a very good book and I would read it again.

Alice

Lionheart24

Crossing The Line is about a teenage boy called Erik who is struggling to cope with the recent death of his father, the birth of two new baby sisters and the financial struggles his family are facing. So he turns to drug dealing to find money for his family, but ends up putting his life- and the lives of everyone he loves- in great danger. I liked how the structure of the book was similar to poetry because it made the book unique and eye-catching. Some words were also shaped differently which was very interesting. I also liked how Erik’s complicated thoughts and feelings were written in a way a child or teenager could understand, which is important so that people in similar situations can see themselves reflected in Erik and his story. I think all teenagers should read this book, especially those who need the support, but also those who are worried about a friend or someone they know, so they can do the right thing to help them. Even parents should read this so they can make sure their child is feeling safe and mentally healthy. This book has made me want to read more of this genre and about this topic, because I feel it is important to know how to approach situations like this whether I will need it in my personal life or not, because there is always someone in a more difficult situation to me and I want to be able to help them.

Annapurna

Woking High Flyers

This book presents a compelling and educational narrative that imparts valuable life lessons in a format accessible to both children and adults. I highly recommend this book to individuals of all age groups, as I personally found it to be an enjoyable and enriching read.

TJ

Aldridge School Readers

Crossing the Line was a very emotional book about a lot of real things that some people may go through and it helps others understand the situations that some people are in. Overall, it was a great book and I definitely enjoyed reading it.

Holly

Paulet Readers

I did enjoy the book very much, it was a very compelling read, although some aspects of the language put me off, There were s few swear words. It took me on a journey of how when you do the wrong thing, there's often quite horrible consequences,. At one point Erik was attacked by someone with a knife because he was in the wrong territory of the drug dealing world. At the start Erik was very careless and silly, but he was in a rather difficult position at the time. He didn't tell anyone, and he was untrusting of others. As the story progressed he got caught in a web of lies making his situation even worse. He didn’t want to admit he was doing wrong or scare his mother. Towards the end of the story, he manages to stand up to his oppressors, when he receives a death threat for his twin sisters and this frightens him. Erik then makes a wise decision to contact a support group for children involved with drugs. At the end you're not clear on whether he's safe or not, you are left to come to that conclusion yourself. I think this book is good for creating empathy for children caught up in these situations and it may give courage to someone who is going through this. I would reread this book because it is a very engaging story and I like crime based novels.

Rosellen

Rebel Readers

'Crossing the Line' by Tia Fisher is a beautiful bildungsroman book that follows the story and of young Erik. The story is a verse novel which I personally found made the book harder to read due to the poetic structures. None the less, the plot is most enjoyable and guides the reader through an emotional roller-coaster. I would recommend this book to verse novel enjoyers.

caitlin

Brooke Weston Book Busters

I thought this book was very good and easy to read. The only parts that were difficult to read was when the text went into shapes. I felt like the book showed the dangers of becoming part of a gang. The book was showing how if you talk to the wrong people you could easily be dragged into something you never thought you would do.

James W-B

Ermysted’s

I really liked this book. I found it interesting, and once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. I really liked the fact that there was lots of drama, and it was very tense at times. overall, this was a good book, and I would rate it 8/10.

Dylan

TBGS Readers

Erik has been having a hard time because his dad died. His mum met a man called Johnny. Johnny left them because she had twin sisters. Erik has been making bad decisions

Michelle

VISTA Academy

This book is amazing. the detail is great and it is written in a style so passionate. This is a interesting, want to read on book that has the exactly perfect plot line and is very suitable for people my age. it is very fun to read and I cannot wait to finish it!

Hanna

BSG

Reading crossing line was a great privilege as it was such a filled book . Every chapter left me wanting to read more and the authors creative writing added a new interesting twist to literature. Not only was it creative it also showed the reader the true hard facts about what does happen in life and how they can affect you. As you go through this book you begin to learn more about the character, his feelings, his friend and his family. Although , the one little thing that could be improved was that fact that through many off the songs Erik’s friend would play songs that many children would not know or listen to nowadays and this might have a slight effect on the reader . Overall this is a great read and would really recommend.

Georgie

Waddesdon Shadowers

Crossing the line is a book about a boy called Erik who has quite a difficult life. Erik goes to Holland Road Secondary. His dad dies early on in the book and his mom’s boyfriend dumps her leaving her to look after Erik and his new born half-sisters, Esme and Alice. In the book, Erik, in order to make some money so his mom can afford babysitting, results into delivering drugs for a person called K1 after boys older than him, Ben and Travis, tell him to do so. I did not like this book a lot and didn’t really enjoy it. This is because I first didn’t like how the book was written as it was a verse book. For example, some words were arranged in a circle making it hard to read and can strain your eyes from time to time. However, I have mostly read normal structured novels and this is part of one of the few verse novels I have read so maybe I am just used to reading normal novels. As I’m shadowing this for writing, I don’t think this book is a worthy candidate. The book keeps going ahead of time in a short span and it was hard to keep up with the pace of the book. Also, I didn’t appreciate the abrupt ending and I did not understand it at all due to its fast pace. On the other hand, I liked the fact how the author starts the book with a question for you adding the personal touch to this book and it makes the reader feel important to the author. Therefore, I will give this book 2 stars particularly because the book was rushed and I didn’t like the format of how the book was written. I would recommend this book to anyone aged 13+ as this book contains sensitive topics.

Manas

MTS Northwood

I really enjoyed this book. It was a great insight into the dark daily life of children going through this and how I can help. I was gripped from the first page and I could barely put it down for the entire book. It is very different than books I usually read but it was still amazing.

Pip

Herts and Essex

As I was aware this is based off of a true story, while starting I questioned if the writer would be capable of showing a true point of view and while the start is slow from then on I felt fully immersed believing it had been written by the boy- incredible props to Tia Fischer! There are many different points for people of any background to relate to, whether it be poor, a close ones death, anger, bullied; they are all written with the emotion of having experienced them ,making it all the more relatable and recognisable. The writing style of free verse is congenial to young audiences looking for a short yet stimulating story. Coming from a bad off background, it felt so relieving knowing that situations similar to mine could be reflected in ways not just for pity but to understand and reflect. Overall, this is a book I can confidently recommend to those wishing for a realistic look into a true background and riveting writing. I rate it a high 8/10.

Sarah

Fiction Addiction

It's a sad book, but also a beautiful one! It shows real life struggles and things people have to go through daily. Its descriptive and good with words; the things that happen in the book may hit home for some people, or make others sad. That's how good it is. Its powerful and thrilling, sad and beautiful. I would recommend. 10/10!

Meredith

Kingdown 24

I really enjoyed this book, specifically the portrayal of Erik and Ravi's friendship throughout. Ravi's continuous loyalty added a touch of hopefulness to the plot, especially towards the end. I enjoyed the structure massively, it definitely peaked my interest as this isn't something I usually see in the books I read and I thought the layout was incredibly clever. The characters were well written and easy to picture in every day life. The ending was surprising, although I enjoyed it and it flowed nicely with the story. Would definitely recommend.

Abi

Kingdown 24

I really enjoyed the plot of this book. It is about a boy grieving for his father who gets caught up in county lines drug dealing. The layout of it frustrated me though because it feels like the author is just trying to make a smaller book bigger by making the lines smaller and some words vertical or translucent. Overall though I enjoyed the book but it is held back by the layout

joe

Kingdown 24

I really liked this book and I think that it was interesting because if Erik hadn't left the school with Ben and Travis then none of what happens would have taken place. I also like the structure of the poems and how they were laid out as it made it more interesting to read. My favorite structure of a poem was the poem that was shaped as a gun. I think it touched on some very important issues and I really enjoyed reading it.

Emily

Kingdown 24

I like the book but I felt like it jumped from side to the other when he got involved in stuff he shouldn't've .

Jess

Kingdown 24

Another great book written in verse! The way how the sentences were laid out like in the bit with the gun and the word were made to shape like a gun made it nice to look at. I really like how Ravi, Erik the main characters best friend, never gives up on Erik even after he gets pulled into gangs, drugs and smoking. Really good book. Definitely recommend. 4.5/5 stars.

Ethan

High Storrs Carnegie Shadowing Group

It is crazy how many kids get roped into doing county lines, and get injured and even KILLED along the way. Doing the wrong thing for the right reason, still makes it wrong. I am still a bit confused at the ending, does he call services and tell them about the drug dealings? Or does he leave it took nervous to do anything. I cannot believe they traced him down and poisoned the dog. The threat seems scary because his sister's would be hurt next.

Mahiba

The Reading Queens

I really enjoyed Crossing the Line. It is a novel written in verse, using the themes of complicated family ties, bottled up feelings and criminal influences really well within it. I liked how the words were set out to picture the ideas that were being conveyed, as well as them being described. I also think the book helps people to understand that it is really hard to get out of a situation like that once you are in it, and that seemingly harmless events can lead up to danger.

Mabel

High Storrs Carnegie Shadowing Group

This was a really great book with a good reference of linking back the question of feeling safe at the beginning and at the end. I loved the setup of the verses and that the story is based on real life situations. Although,reading it was a bit hard since some text was swirled around in circles and I had to turn the whole book around.

Emma

Fiction Addiction

This book was very well written, and, at first, the use of verses put me off, but a few pages in, and I no longer noticed. The layout of the verses is really cool, with the words forming shapes. I really got stuck into this book and really didn't want to put it down.

Juliette

GreatB00ks

I really enjoyed reading this book as previously I had quite a closed view on verse novels but I was blown away by the complex and sometimes brutally simple language to portray the emotions of a young boy struggling to support his family and to stay alive at some points it nearly brought me to tears I would say that it is a must read. :)

benjy

Fortismere

This literary work stands out as an exceptional and profoundly relatable piece, offering invaluable guidance to young individuals who may be grappling with the recent loss of a loved one. It serves as a beacon of hope even in the dark, showcasing ways to navigate away from the shadows of adversity, whether it be the challenges feeling drugs and impactful situations or the trials of poverty and loss. Through its succinct yet impactful narrative, the book not only sheds light on these struggles but also conveys crucial lessons on resilience and empathy. The book's short yet interactive structure enhances its accessibility, providing an engaging reading experience that surpasses many others. Personally, I found its approach both refreshing and enlightening, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to fellow young readers seeking advice and understanding many peoples backgrounds. In my evaluation, this book receives a commendable rating of 7 out of 10.

Angela

Fiction Addiction

I really enjoyed this book and I loved the way that it used different font, sizes, shapes and spaces within the pages to portray the story. I think that it's a very well written and entertaining story to read. I would definitely recommend this book to a range of ages and think that it would be an enjoyable read for many people. I loved this book and think that it is a brilliant story.

Ellie

GreatB00ks

I really enjoyed this book and the way the text was presented. It was quick read but really enjoyable. Would definitely recommend.

oliver

Gartree Carnegies

The book was extremely good. The use of formating emphasised the words on the page very well. The story was excelent and the author gave all of the characters a lot of realism and relevance. It was also very exciting and a gripping, quick read. Overall, an amazing book.

Ben

Fortismere

This was a very good book, the use of verse was a very interesting choice for a book about gangs. It was written in a very realistic way that actually shows how people get drawn into gangs. It was very exciting and explains some of the misconceptions about gangs, like how some people think that you can just leave and say 'no', or that gangs are full of really mean people.

Huxley

Fortismere

Written in poetry form on a topic a lot of schools and families deal with unfortunately. Erik’s family is falling apart and he gets mixed up running drugs and county lines. The lies he tells, the situations he finds himself get more and more twisted and dangerous. Really stunning read.

Ruth

Oxted Carnegie Group

Such a moving book, beautifully written in verse with a main character who completely draws you in. Emotional, funny, and dark at times, I couldn’t put it down. Definitely aimed towards the slightly older pupils in our school.

Mrs McA

Killy Krew

I thought the book was very good and highlighted a great lesson about the dangers of drugs and selling them too, and about the dangers of gangs. I thought it emphasised very well the amount of people that use drugs as is shown by the use of the scenario of Jordan ikes' mother getting cocaine from Erik. Therefore, this is a largescale problem in society. The dangers of gangs were shown by how Mike got stabbed and how the package Erik had to look after for K1 was a gun. Overall, I think it was a good book that taught some important lessons.

TJ

Aldridge School Readers

Erik is a Year 9 boy who falls on hard times with his family. Trying to make some money to help his mum and his sisters, he makes some bad decisions and falls in with a gang, led by adult criminals. This story is a tough read at times, made even harder by the fact that it could be a true story about what’s happening to children in cities throughout the UK. This book is rated 13+ because of its violence and some bad language. There is also reference to drugs. I enjoyed this book and was gripped from the start. I think parents, teachers and other people in authority should read this. It’s an important book.

Ms Taylor

Bredon Readers

Crossing The Line is a meaningful novel that commonly explores county lines, written by Tia Fischer. After the death of Erik's father, his life starts to crumble and fall apart. Throughout the book, Erik starts joining gangs and making terrible decisions. Even so, the money he makes feels great. But soon, he learns that favours can come with a debt. Crossing one more line might save both him and his sisters.

Selin

Fiction Addiction

A wonderful read that really sheds an in-depth, personal perspective on a scarcely spoken about topic that deserves more discussion. With this dive into the experience of county lines, I find it easier to empathize with victims and what they are going through in comparison to the detached view I had of county lines from what I've learned in school before reading this. The well written emotions really helped with this—it was easy to feel what Erik was feeling, the tension, the suspense and the fear. Everything. I also really enjoyed seeing all the different shapes the text took and how it correlated to what that particular bit of the story was about. The domino motif was also super interesting to me, of bad decisions and choices stacking up and eventually toppling over. Overall, a brilliant, enlightening read that I would very much recommend.

Gabriele

Ernulf readers

Crossing the Line is a novel in the first person, which describes a boy called Erik going into the dark world of drug dealing to make some extra cash. It is very tragic and was a moving read, describing his feelings and school troubles. The format was interesting but I think it added to the first person view of this situation. Overall, I enjoyed this book!!! I recommend it to teens as there were some unexpected mature topics.

Rana

Fiction Addiction

Crossing the Line is a powerful and compelling story that explores peer pressure and other hot topics. Erik is bereaved after his father’s death and feels lost. His mum meets a new partner and unexpectedly has twins, sending their lives into crisis. Suddenly, Erik is thrown into a world of terror – drug dealing, trap houses, violence – when he accepts an offer by a local gang. At first, it seems easy, and he is earning a good sum of money for his family, but he comes to realise that this was more than he bargained for and, just like he says, he may be ‘crossing the line’ again… I quite enjoyed Crossing the Line! I think it demonstrated a really strong and important message that there is help out there: it separates itself from other books by the fact that is very different and unlike anything I have ever read before. I thought there were points in the novel that were more captivating than others, but I did feel hooked from the beginning as the author was alluding to something big and terrible happening; generally, I thought it was an interesting read. The single thing that I think stood out and surprised me the most, was how easily things can get out of control. The story, particularly the ending, made me feel quite emotional. My favourite character is Ravi because I think he is the perfect example of a loyal friend who is always there for you through thick and thin. One thing that I really didn’t like about this book was the structure. Although I thought the style was a creative and original concept, I just found it very annoying to read around and I felt it was unnecessary that it was written in verse because it had no relation to the actual story. It was particularly frustrating on page 55 when the writing curved around into a circle and at the beginning of the chapter, Boxes. Overall, I think Crossing the Line is a pretty good story that is powerful, unique and gripping. I would recommend this book to readers aged 13+, as it goes in depth about some sensitive topics.

Lucy

The Fitzharrys Shadows

The Yoto Carnegies, 'Crossing the line' by Tia Fisher I devoured this book, Crossing the Line . It was one of my favourite books; it was so gripping and I didn’t want to put it down. The way it is set out as poems is interesting but I found it made it easier to read in these little chunks. The story line is moving and at points I really felt for the characters, ( such as when Erik’s mum found out the truth about her son). I think the author was very talented in that sense . On page 344 the poem is very cool as it represent what it means . Another way of feeling connected to the book is on the final page as they address to the reader and they use the phrase “do you feel safe.” Which Is one of the many thought provoking phrases in the book. And finally I think the title is there to be interpreted because the boy is crossing county lines but he is also crossing the line of truth. I would really recommend this book.

Ava

The John Mason Shadowers

This book is incredible. It is so realistic and takes the reader on an emotional rollercoaster as you follow the story of Erik, the young boy who is sadly swept up into county lines. Teenagers will really understand so many aspects of this book and it definitely spreads awareness of gangs, drug dealing and county lines. Unfortunately, so many young people will be able to relate to this in some way, either with the county lines and drugs, or with poverty, or with difficult family life, or with the death of a loved one. So many difficult topics wrapped up into one book. In the end, it shows love, and how family and friends are most important. Erik has always been friends with Ravi, then suddenly he doesn’t think Ravi is cool enough for him, says he’s a nerd, says he’s weird, and Erik becomes friends with the wrong people. Erik’s very good at making the wrong choices. He will become friends with Ravi again though, so it’s ok in the end. I loved how the book doesn’t completely sort itself out and the problems don’t disappear, because real life isn’t like that, but Erik gets help and the reader realises that Erik (and anyone in his situation) isn’t alone and there is help out there. The ending being like that made the story way more realistic. Yes, it does have strong language (lots of swears on lots of pages) and there are violent scenes, but these make it way more realistic. I finished this book in under 24 hours, it was that good. Also, the way the book is formatted like poetry is really different and makes it more interesting. It shows poetry can really be many things. I rate this book a 9.5/10 and the only reason it isn’t a 10/10 is because it is quite short when you realise there aren’t many words on each page, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing!

Beatrice

LSST Library Shadowers

Crossing the line is a really thrilling and exhilarating book, although it contains strong language, violent scenes and drugs.But despite all that it is a brilliant book which involves Erik telling his life's story. This extraordinary book has a gripping story line and is really with reading it. I recommend this book to all ages above 13 and give it a 4.5 stars out of 5. I hope this review will help you out with "Crossing the line"

Gabo

Macaulay Book Club

"Crossing the Line" is an incredible debut novel. Fisher experimented with structure and format, and created an excellent book written in concrete poetry. The book explores the theme of drug dealing really well, and creates a believable character that narrates the story wittily. I really enjoyed this book: I finished it in 3 hours, and fell in love with the plot. "Crossing the Line" is one of those books that feels authentic, and I really enjoyed immersing myself in Erik's story.

Ruby

Fiction Addiction

I really enjoyed reading crossing the line. despite the unusal layout that I didnt expect to like. The plot had lots of twists and turns however the author didnt over-do it. It was easy to pick up and read in small sections as it had small vesres, wich was useful at school so that I could quickly read a few pages and then put it down when needed. the theme wasnt the sort of thing i would often read however this didnt stop me enjoying the book. i felt like i could really understand what Erik was going through becasue of the way the book is written. the use of metaphors aloso enhanced the experince. overall, this was a very intresting and unique read.

mae

Fortismere

I found the story to be really interesting and progressed at a good rate but one problem was the book differed from the normal book layout (e.g each line was about half the page instead of the whole page like usual and the words bended off the rows) which bothered me while I read it but you get used to it pretty quickly. Other than that the storyline was great, you could understand the relationships between the characters and it really showed the harsh reality of getting tied into things like this.

ava

Fortismere

The book is an incredibly good read and goes in depth into the struggles and hardship of poverty and coercion. The fact that it is in verse only adds to the beauty and contrasts the stark reality of crossing the lines. It also serves as guide to how to stay away from this horrific enterprise. I would rate this book a 9/10.

Ethan

The John Mason Shadowers

Crossing the Line is a very interesting, exciting book about a boy called Erik who wants to make some extra money. He decides to get involved in gang life and works for a man called K1. This book uses strong language to show how roadmen and gangstas speak. Overall, i enjoyed reading this book and would like to read more of the author’s books.

yusuf c

Ermysted’s

I read the book called Crossing the Line by Tia Fisher. It is a story written in verse, which for the concept of the storyline was really effective. It is set in modern- day England in a struggling family. At the start of the book, Eric’s dad had just died, and he was angry and sad all at the same time. His mum didn’t have a job so there was no one to provide for the family. After a little while, too soon for Eric’s liking, his mum had found a new boyfriend. Eric did not like him. Soon after, his mum is pregnant again but she and her ‘boyfriend’ got in a fight, and he left. Again, no one to provide. Soon, she gives birth to twins... An extra, unexpected mouth to feed. Eric knows he must do something, but he makes the wrong decision. He began to enter a world of crime, drug dealing. Eventually, after a time of close calls, life or death situations and a gun, he says, 'NO!’ My favourite thing about the book is that it is quite inspiring, and it gives out a message, ‘If you are in a tough spot, you can always get through.’ I would recommend to readers 12+.

Zack WF

Ermysted’s

This is a gripping book about a boy, who we can sympathise with or relate to which makes you feel involved in the book. It is page-turning and the format is unique, making the reader excited and engaged. I recommend it to anyone who wants an engrossing book which tugs at your heartstrings.

Kenza

Fiction Addiction

'Crossing the Line' is an incredibly moving book which tells a story which needs to be told. I enjoyed the poems which could have used a bit more structure and I love the way the writer weaved in a tiny bit of comedy in the right places. I love Ravi’s kindness and that he’s always there for Eric. I found it bleak and scary at lots of points in the book and it made me feel happy that I wasn’t in Eric's position because I feel it could have happened to anyone. Although I think it’s important that we explore and have happy endings, I would’ve liked to know a bit more about what happened to Eric and whether he was safe in the end. I love the addition of the twins and of Stern Mr R who all added something in their own ways. I didn’t understand what was happening in some of the bits as I thought the poetry was going a bit too fast but overall it was a beautiful book told in a beautiful way which I loved. 8 out of 10 stars.

Seb

The St. Bede’s Literary Critics

I devoured this book within 24 hours and was completely blown away by it! It’s very clear that Tia Fisher has researched this subject thoroughly by using first-hand accounts and consulting with organisations who support young people and their families who have, unfortunately, found themselves drawn into this violent, frightening and ruinous world. As I was reading Crossing The Line, I felt I could trust the authenticity of the tale being told as one that is lived by real young people and their families and I was really invested in Erik’s tale – it was shocking to see how easily someone’s life can change and the draw of the “opportunities” offered to them to “improve” their circumstances. The book provoked a range of powerful emotions for the different characters, especially hatred for the dealers and gangs who find the weaknesses in people and so move in to take over their lives and then rule with fear. The control they have over others (young drug runners who then turn on each other, the vunerable people whose homes they have taken over, the families who are so scared of repercussions etc..) really makes you realise that once in this situation, it takes a courageous person to get away from it; it’s virtually impossible without the right help. The timing of everything that happened in Erik’s life left him wide-open to being groomed into this seedy, violent and frightening underworld but it also helped me realise the importance of teachers, friends and families who should notice and be curious about each other’s lives. As an educationalist, I was disappointed by the fact that Erik’s teachers weren’t curious enough about what was causing the change in him because this is key to keeping our children safe. The prose style of writing lent itself well to the first person voice leading us to think like Erik and ask yourself as a reader what YOU would do in that situation. It got straight to the point by using the language of the situation – it didn’t need to explain, it made assumptions that the reader would “catch on”, which we did. A powerfully written message that I think all staff in schools should read for safeguarding purposes. I loved this book and it’s left a lasting impression on me which, with the amount I read, is rare. Thank you.

Claire

Woking High Flyers

I really enjoyed Crossing the Line. It was a clever verse novel that highlighted the issue of children being exploited in gang crime. It was an easy read, but very gripping with a good storyline nonetheless. I also liked the quirky way in which it was formatted, with many different fonts and interesting calligrams. It really breached the idea of "What is poetry?" I thought it was overall a very good book with a good plot about a serious issue.

Max

Fortismere

I think the storyline of this book was very good. Sometimes it was a little hard to understand what was going on because of the way it is written out. I would still recommend this book and I thought it was very good.

Henry

Ermysted’s

This was a fascinating story about County Lines and how easily you can get dragged into the drug trade. It was very emotional making me feel worry and relief for the character at emotional times, however I would have liked a better ending to the story as it was left on a cliff hanger instead of an absolute ending. While this may be liked by some people as it gives them a chance to use their imagination however I would much rather a certain ending.

Tomasz

Ermysted’s

Crossing the line is a cautionary story about the journey of Erik as he is drawn into a deal of easy money, he soon falls in with the wrong group and struggles to free himself. I think that this is a really good book and I like that Erik can always find a friend in the (slightly geeky) Ravi who never gives up on him. however, I did not think that the roll the credits bit where the dog was killed is needed it didn't add anything to the story. This book is written in verse, which I think is a brilliant way to convey the story.

Caiden o

VISTA Academy

"Crossing the Line" was a well-thought thriller, me being scared of what would happen every time I turn the page. It was a sad reminder of not only that county lines exist and affect teen students, but also that modern literature is usually tragical and usually written in verse, which is (in my opinion) a modern cliche. But other than that, the plot was very good and definitely is in the mix for the Carnegie Writing Award.

Yuvan

CRGS Book Society

"Crossing The Line" was a great book which spoke about deep and important issues within society in a way most books would not be able too. In terms of the plot, I enjoyed it very much however the ending ended up being a little bit anti-climactic, leaving me feeling like there was all this build up that just didn't go anywhere. However, the book still left me wanting to know more about Erik and his friends and family. The whole story was very well written and incredibly engaging with twists and turns along the way. There is one message I would like to tell the author after reading "Crossing The Line" and that is, please don't write books where dogs get hurt, thank you.

Jess

Fiction Addiction

Crossing the Line by Tia Fisher is a thrilling adventure that had me hooked from page one! It's about two best friends who stumble upon a hidden cave and embark on the journey of a lifetime. The story is packed with twists, turns, and unexpected surprises that kept me on the edge of my seat. I loved how the characters faced challenges together, strengthening their bond along the way. Fisher's writing is so vivid; I felt like I was right there with them! Overall, Crossing the Line is an epic read that's perfect for anyone who loves action-packed adventures!

kieran

Fiction Addiction

This is a novel written in verse; the placement of the words on the page are as important in telling the story as the words themselves. A lot of the themes in this book are quite complex and dark, with the story dealing with Erik as he falls in with a bad crowd and starts to find himself feeling trapped in his situation. I was rooting for Erik throughout and hoping he would be able to turn his situation around; running seemed to be a bit of a lifeline for him. Sadly, this story is underpinned by the knowledge that there are so many real teenagers in similar predicaments.

Ms Gilchrist

High Storrs Carnegie Shadowing Group

Crossing the Line by Tia Fisher is a novel written in verse which uses interesting presentation, a believable storyline and three-dimensional characters to engage the reader. I found the development of the story realistic and interesting and Erik was an unlikable main character whist still allowing that reader to root for him and hope he can get himself out of his situation. The solutions and lies spiral in a way that makes the reader empathise with Erik and the presentation of the words in order to create pictures that add to the story rather than accompanying it. 9/10

Eleni

VISTA Academy

This was a very interesting read. It's not the type of book I would usually read, but I found it a book I would read again. It was quite hard going topics, and quite sad in places. But I thought it was also sweet and funny. I really think this could win. I liked to poems, they added a lot to the story. The book made me think. I think it was sad as well as frightening in some places. The book was brutally honest and eye opening. I will definitely read Fisher's other books now.

Grace

Ossie’s bookworms

I liked this book because it portrayed character development because it shows a kid going into drugs and dealing but after a while he and Ravi managed to get out of this situation I rate this book a 7/10

baasim

Ermysted’s

Meet fourteen-year-old Erik, who mourns for his father and is now the new man in the house until his mum finds a new lover. When she gets pregnant, it is up to Erik to find a way to keep his family safe. When Erik makes his own choices, everything builds up to where it reaches the top. Read this book to join Erik and his everlasting decisions, which lead him to trouble.

Afreen

Skipton Shadows

A fascinating story that sheds light onto the struggles of life. The use of county lines in the book brings to light the damaging effects it has on the children it exploits. Would definitely recommend.

Sam S

Ermysted’s

An amazing and illuminating verse novel about manipulation of young people in drug dealing and how hard it is to escape. It also discusses providing for a family and bereavement as a young person. I would definitely recommend this book as it absolutely gripped me!

Eve

St Kaths

Crossing The Line is written by Tia Fisher. It is a powerful story about impossible choices. This book is written for KS3 students and could really impact their future actions against other people. This is the story of Erik Andersen, who is excellent at making bad decisions. His bad behaviour in school, caused by his father's death, catches the attention of a local gang and Erik is pulled into a terrifying world of trap houses, drug dealing and violence. Each chapter is more exciting than the last one and the language is very realistic too. The author thought about how different types of kids speak and used those words to portray different characters and their personalities. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys real-life situation kind of books. It's an inspiring novel and you get to witness the kinds of struggles people go through.

Yagmur

Fiction Addiction

The lines were all wavy and weird which messed up my brain. The plot was ok. The book cover was very nice.

Rudra

Orpington Library Younger Teens Group

This is one of the best books I've read so far. Erik slowly falls into a path of drugs and gets caught up in very nasty business. At the end of the book the way he and Ravi manage to get out of that situation is very smart. The layout of the text in this book just makes it so much more enjoyable to read aswell. I would recommend this to 13-18 year old and rate it a 9.5/10.

Bassit

Ermysted’s

An incredible book. Moving, gripping, thought provoking. I think this is an early contender for the medal. One for older/more mature readers

Mrs C

Ossie’s bookworms

I think this book will win the award, it was a gripping tale where Erik had to make a choice whether to stay poor or get involved in drug dealing, violence and trap houses. This book shows that whatever lies you tell, the truth will eventually win. This book was brilliant, I recommend to any older reader.

Ben

Ossie’s bookworms

The progression of this book was really good, with Erik starting off sad and angry at his dad, then falling into a spiral of drugs and dealing, then recovering through sport, friends and family. It was pretty good despite it being a poem book.

Aaron

Ermysted’s