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3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  32 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Micka tells of the bleak story of two young boys, Micka and Laurie, who are both dealing with extremely difficult family circumstances. Just ten years old, Micka has no model for life: his violent, older brother Lee is in and out of prison, his illiterate mother can't stop drinking, and he has barely enough food and clothes to keep him going. Laurie's parents have split up ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published December 20th 2011 by Picador USA (first published June 17th 2010)
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Jul 24, 2011 Paul rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: novels
This was short, sharp, and bitter.

In Britain there have been three crimes since the end of WWII which have sunk into our national soul and stayed there, and no amount of scrubbing can get them out. In 1963-5 there were the Moors Murders (4 children and one 17 year old killed); on 13 March 1996 there was the Dunblane massacre (16 children plus one adult killed); and between those two, on 12 February 1993, there was the murder of James Bulger - one victim. If you’re not familiar with this case you
Neil Randall
Micka is the gritty portrayal of a doomed friendship between two very troubled young boys from very different backgrounds. Told in a first person dual narrative, from each boys’ point of view, the distinct voices of each protagonist, one from a rough housing estate, suffering violent and sexual abuse from a sadistic sibling, the other, from a much more affluent yet no less dysfunctional family, his parents going through a messy divorce, living with an unhinged mother, resentful of an ambitious, ...more
Izumi Otani
Not a comforting reading, such a bleak book, but very well written taking the reader into the minds of the two young boys. Micka comes from a horrible, dysfunctional family, he is neglected and abused, the only persone who shows kindness is his teacher. Because of his background the reader understands how he becomes the man he is. Deeply distressing, but utterly convincing. The episode of the puppy is heart breaking. Laurie, Micka's friend from school, is a less lovable character. The story remi ...more
Andy Weston
Disturbing - but still enjoyed it.
Who was guilty in the end?
Jean Gill

Don't expect to enjoy this exceptional book; read it to experience what disturbed youngsters think and feel, to understand what goes on in their heads and why they act as they do. Written with totally convincing, inside knowledge of two very different boys' lives and feelings, 'Micka' goes deep into experiences of child abuse and deprivation, from the viewpoints of the two boys. I worked with many 'difficult' kids during my years as a teacher and Frances Kay's ability to get inside
Kevin Bergeron
The story is told from the alternating first person points of view of two boys, Micka and Laurie. Micka wants a puppy, and Laurie conducts scientific experiments, one of which is an attempt to create a new type of tree by grafting a lemon seed to an apple seed. Neither boy is going to get what he wants. Though from different socioeconomic backgrounds, both are deprived, and that perhaps forms the basis of their association, which cannot really be described as a friendship.

This is a story that do
Ugh. I don't really know if this was well-written or memorable as a work of fiction because I was too worried about what horrible event was coming on the next page to pay close attention. I think to another reader this would seem a poignant and moving story of the horrors of impoverished childhood in the UK, but I really was mostly repulsed by the story. That said, I did feel for the main character, Micka, a pathetic little guy who lives in the crappiest of homes and manages to remain somewhat i ...more
Babs Morton
The hopes and fears of ten year old Micka as he struggles against poverty, neglect and abuse, tumble from the page until you forget that you’re reading and simply listen as Micka tells you his poignant story.
Exceptional punchy prose and a hard hitting subject matter draw you further into a world that is both compelling and ultimately heartbreaking.
Anyone who cares about society, the future and the fragility of the child should read this.
Brutal, with pitch-perfect 10-year-old-boys, vulnerable and hard, cruel and kind, and wise beyond their years all at once. No flowers here - Frances Kay tells it like it is. Heartbreakingly inevitable ending.
Would recommend to anyone wanting a challenging book which will haunt you for days after the last page.
Kristin Gleeson
Micka is a searing and powerful novel that remains with you long after you complete it. It's not an easy topic but Kay deals with it with expert hands and shows us a side of life we may never encounter but certainly need to care about.
Disturbing and I didn't want to continue after the first part. I was glad that I did and think I've gained some understanding of children who might be described as feral for whom normal family life doesn't exist.
Cherise Stone
Disturbing and upsetting book yet well written. It's left me feeling sick that people actually go through issues like this.... I wouldn't want to read it again though!
real, deep and raw, reminds me of blood brothers
Dec 16, 2012 Anna added it
disturbing, very well written
Erica added it
Dec 23, 2014
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Frances Kay is a children’s playwright who was born in London and now lives in Ireland. She has worked with gypsies, prisoners and children in the U.K. and Ireland. She is married to musician Nico Brown. They have two daughters.
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