Here's a note from Pauline Fisk, a British writer of novels for the young adult market. She says her new novel, In the Trees, set in Belize, has just been published by Faber & Faber in the U.K.
I haven't read it yet but it sounds interesting. I always try to do what I can to bring attention to Belizean writers and to others who write about Belize.
In the Trees is available for Kindle on Amazon.com though not yet in paperback direct from Amazon. I assume it will be more widely available in bookstores and online soon.
I'm a British author of many years standing, writing novels for the young adult market. In 2008 I had an extensive trip around Belize to research a novel for that age range about gap year volunteering. I trekked into the Chiquibul Forest with a guide - and with some help from the military - to a remote region on the Belizean/Guatemalan border where I met young teenage volunteers working on a project to protect wild life and trees from poachers. I also visited and stayed with the Kekchi-Mayan people of Toledo District and spent six weeks travelling and meeting people before returning home to the UK to write my book.
The resulting novel, 'In the Trees', has now come out, published by Faber & Faber. It tells the story of a young south London boy of Belizean descent who returns to his homeland to find his family but finds a group of young gap year do-gooding volunteers instead - just the sort of people he'd never expect to like. He and they are thrown together to face challenges and adventures which provide them with a rite of passage into adult life. The adventure ends with a plane ride home for them, but hard choices for my hero, Kid Cato, who's beginning to see the world with new eyes. Does he stay, or does he go? Is he a Belizean boy or a British one, or is he something else altogether, which he can only find if he strikes out alone?
As well as being a novel about gap year volunteering and young people growing up into adult life, it's also a novel about rainforest devastation and the common ground to be found between people of different backgrounds, cultures and races. Belize is a great place to learn this sort of thing. In Belize City, interviewing a Health Department official, I asked if there was one single unifying factor that identified all Belizeans, of whatever ethnic background, and the answer I was given was 'Hope'. The country had great problems, she said, but Belizean people were full of hope.
Visit my website, http://www.paulinefisk.co.uk
, and find out more about me and my book... The book has been well received in the UK where I've visited many schools talking to children about what I've learnt from Belize. I was honoured to be invited by the Belizean High Commissioner to an Independence Day service at Westminster Abbey where she shook my hand and said, 'So you're the author who wrote that wonderful book.' I'd love the opportunity to make the book better known in Belize, particularly for young people and in schools.