Astrid Lindgren Nomination

Jane Mitchell

Award-winning writer of books for young people



What's the story?

Rafiq is only nine when Kashmiri Freedom Fighters raid his village in search of new recruits. Tall for his age, he is the first boy to cross the chalk line into a life of brutality and violence.

Jameela cannot forget her brother. While Rafiq is trained to kill in the rebel camp high in the mountains, she keeps his memory alive.

When finally their paths cross again, Rafiq is unrecognisable as the boy who left the village. Will Jameela know him?

More info

Endorsed by Amnesty International (UK) as contributing to a better understanding of human rights and the values that underpin them.

'A book such as this makes much contemporary 'teen fiction' seem shallow by comparison' (Dr Robert Dunbar, The Irish Times, September 2009)
'Tremendously powerful book...beautifully written in clear and accessible prose.' (Bookbag)
'Above all, you want, must, keep reading to find out what happens to Rafiq and his companions.' (INIS, Children's Books Ireland magazine, Autumn 2009)

Publication Details

2009, Walker Books, UK.

ISBN: 978 1 4063 1517 2


National Awards

Regional Awards

Teaching Resources

Download my 'Teaching guide for Chalkline'

See my next book