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Once Removed

4.43 of 5 stars 4.43  ·  rating details  ·  21 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Suspecting self-harm, newly qualified teacher, Abriella Garside, risks everything for a troubled pupil. An incident with a craft knife and unexplained injuries are not enough to secure help for the girl. Unsure whether Beth is being bullied or has problems at home, Abby tries to win her trust and the two begin a friendship. But has the teacher gone too far?

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Published May 3rd 2012 by Crooked Cat Publishing (first published April 30th 2012)
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Community Reviews

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*Full disclosure: the author sent me a copy of this novel in the hope that I would review it. All opinions are my own.*

I was excited to read this novel as I instantly realised it would touch on some very topical, sensitive themes and I was curious to see how the author would handle them.

This is the story of newly-qualified teacher Abriella (Abby), a woman with a bit of an emotional background of her own, and who recognises in twelve-year-old pupil Beth, that *something* is also amiss. Abby isn'
I loved this book! I didn't want to put it down until I was done, and then I wanted to read another by the author. I particularly liked the character development, the plot, the ethical issues and the resolution, which was a bit unexpected. It's a good read!
Lindsay (Little Reader Library)
'Like unlocking the valve of a pressure cooker, opening her skin released the dementing force.'

Abby (Abriella) Garside is a newly qualified secondary school teacher in a small town in Yorkshire. Beth is a pupil at the school. Abby notices Beth involved in an incident with a craft knife. She resolves to keep an eye on Beth and tries to help integrate her more in her lessons. Beth comes to trust Abby.

Abby has a difficult relationship with her family throughout her life. Thinking back to when she w
K.B. Walker is a very good storyteller and Once Removed is, I felt, a story close to her heart. When I read the author’s notes after I’d finished the book, I understood why.
The two main characters, Abriella and Beth, have very low self esteem and they have developed similar ways to cope with their self-loathing. However, Abriella Garside is ten years older than Beth, and recognises the emotional pain and signs of self abuse that she sees in the girl. Abriella is desperate to help Beth, but find
I must admit that I was kind of skeptical going into this 133 page book that it would be as good as the reviews that it was receiving on Goodreads. Reviewers were dead on. In this short book, the author was able to write a gut wrenching story which got into my heart! I loved how the 12 year old, Beth was described and the rawness of her emotions were written. There were times that I was on the edge of my seat and just wanted to wrap my arms around her and take away her pain. I absolutely love bo ...more
Billy Bob
This book was entered in The Wishing Shelf Book Awards. This is what our YA readers thought:


Once Removed

K B Walker

COVER 6/10
Generally, the readers thought the cover was well put together and professional-looking. However, they all thought it was rather ‘boring’. One reader put in her feedback, ‘The cover is probably perfect for the subject matter but there’s so much grey. Grey is not a very enticing colour.’ They thought the blurb was well written and enticing although perhaps
An excellent book. Read it on a recommendation from a friend and although the book is a little different to what I normally read I couldn't put it down. It takes you into the very heart and soul of some of the characters. Definitely well worth reading.
Great fictional short read, handled subject with care... Read more of my review at
This was an interesting novel, though my experience with Y.A. writing is limited. K.B. Walker does a super job in depicting a difficult topic-that of self-harm. The writer tackles the emotional aspects very well and highlights the dangers a teacher can face in befriending a pupil, especially one who is seen to have obvious bonding problems with her peers, as Beth does. Beth’s degree of harm is the big question throughout most of the novel. I wanted to identify more with Abby, but couldn’t, and f ...more
Frances Plino
Once Removed is an incredibly powerful book dealing with great sensitivity issues that shocked, moved and saddened me by turns. It is an astounding debut by KB Walker.

The storyline follows two main characters, schoolgirl Beth and her teacher, Abby. Their two strands are told in alternating points of view as Abby, believing her pupil to be self-harming, reaches out to Beth.

Based in a small town, the growing friendship between teacher and pupil is watched with suspicion and, when Beth disappears,
Jeff Gardiner
'Once Removed' touches on a difficult subject with great insight and sensitivity. The novel brilliantly examines how children respond to being abused or exploited - in a range of ways - by selfish, ignorant adults, and then how it affects their self-esteem or even their self-value as an individual. We also get to see how some adults fail to cope with emotionally damaging memories from their own childhood. This is definitely a 'crossover' novel that teenagers and adults would benefit from reading ...more
Miriam Drori
I was with both the main characters all the time. With their imperfections and mistakes, they seemed so plausible. I'm not sure the climax scene could really have happened as written, but by the time I got there, I was hooked and ready to believe everything in this story.

The characters and their problems have remained with me - a sign of a good story.

If possible, I'd have given it 4.9 stars due to the editing errors (lapses in tense and person), but the story is perfect.
Lindsay Townsend
'Once Removed' by KB Walker is a contemporary story dealing with what could be described as relationship issues. It is also a story of emotional redemption and growth, an adventure-thriller and a novel that is not afraid to look at the difficult themes of abuse and self-harm. KB Walker writes characters particularly well, with compassion and insight, so that even the 'baddies' are not all bad and the reader can appreciate how the two lead characters of Abby and Beth are torn, caught as they are ...more
This is a poignant story, beautifully written, about two people afraid to cry out for help as they struggle to find a way through to each other. It touches chords of sympathy and makes you cringe with horror as it reaches to the core of secret problems and furtive attempts to cope.
“The shriek scraped down my spine”
“Beth singing to touch the ceiling”
“The gingery autumn colours and soft textures of the home-made plaited rug moistened Abby’s eyes and stole her words”
Abby and Beth, similar in so man
This book makes for a quick read even if the subject matter itself is anything but light. The true joy of the book comes in the structure of the narrative, passing perspective back and forth between Abby and Beth in a way that compels you to get further along so you can see what is happening to them next. Of course, none of that would matter if you didn't care about the characters but KB Walker manages to make both sympathetic characters full of life whose trials make you care and worry for them ...more
B.J. Eveleigh-Bell
Written with sensitivity and perception this novel deals with the complex subject of self-harming. Through convincing characters and a wholly believable story line it examines the social and emotional issues involved.
Beizal marked it as to-read
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Crooked Cat Autho...: promotion on Goodreads 3 19 May 04, 2012 09:42AM  
A storybook romance swept me from my American childhood to marriage, life and a teaching career in Yorkshire. Becoming an author seemed as likely as being a princess or an astronaut but after twenty years at the chalk-face, I left schools behind and set my mind to the dream. I've had several poems, short stories and articles published, won a handful of local prizes, as well as being invited to spe ...more
More about K.B. Walker...
A Life Less Lost

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