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Terror Kid

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  348 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Rico knows trouble. He knows the look of it and the sound of it. He also knows to stay away from it as best as he can. Because if there's one thing his Romany background has taught him, it's that he will always be a suspect.

Despite his best efforts to stay on the right side of the law, Rico is angry and frustrated at the injustices he sees happening at home and around the
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 4th 2014 by Hot Key Books (first published August 28th 2014)
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Average rating 3.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  348 ratings  ·  44 reviews

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Sally Flint
Feb 26, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: teen-reads
I don't quite know what to make of this book. The plot is good, but the execution of it just feels strange. I know it is aimed at young readers, but, even so, to me it read like the skeleton of a story that needed fleshing out. I can only think that the author was determined to make every single word count. There was nothing extra, just the stark truth. It is the story of a clever disaffected teenager who gets duped into terrorist activities that he is unaware he is involved with. The social iss ...more
Sarah Churchill
Sep 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
I admire what the author's set out to do, and the very topical and controversial subject at the core of the story, but the execution of it wasn't for me. This is a very short story (200 pages, large type) that's quick and to the point, but not fleshed out enough for me to feel anything real about the characters involved.

I know it's meant to make me question what makes someone a terrorist, and whether the media is filled with propaganda to perpetuate hate and discrimination, but to be honest it
Tom Sutton
Sep 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked this book a lot, it is one of the few books I have actually enjoyed reading the only thing I didn’t like however was the ending because it makes almost everything that happens before it pointless but even with the ending being bad it was still a very good book
Nov 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: public-library
Read for Concorde Book Awards 2016.
Front Cover Thoughts: Ooh this book will be interesting, especially with what's happening in the world right now, can't wait to read it.
Last Page Thoughts: Wow, another case of a great idea written so badly (flashbacks to The Maze Runner)
Characters: RICO: quietly angry teenage boy. KARIMA: angry teenage girl. STEFAN: angry dad. LENA: angry, tired mum. LOLA: not sure why she wasn't charged at the end?
Storyline: so basically this was a book about injustice. it
3.5 Stars

Terror Kid is a short and fast-paced story, on the one hand this works brilliantly because you’re pulled into Rico’s world from the very first page and you want to read the book in one sitting.

How Rico is treated in those first couple of chapters, the “wrong place, wrong time” is part of why later on in the book Rico does what he does. Rico is a little naïve but the injustices he sees and experiences are big part to what lead him helping to Speech.

I do wish Terror Kid could have been lo
John Stanley
Jul 02, 2016 rated it liked it
I read this book because of the author. He has been on Question Time and I have come to respect him a great deal. I don't necessarily agree with all of his politics but I do respect him as a thinker and as a person and for his passion, so it was intriguing to see what his novels would be like.

His political and world views come across strongly, not in a bad way because of course that is what he believes in. The book is very plot based rather than character based, which is not something I normally
Nov 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
The book was a bit of a let down especially after reading Face, by Benjamin Zephaniah.
The book to start with didn't have a clear plot and I felt the end was almost rushed and pack in as much information as possible.
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
My book’s title is ‘Terror kid’ it is written by Benjamin Zephaniah.
It’s about a 15-year old boy named Rico and he is tired that he can’t do anything because
the world is failing and by that I mean there are in every city people protesting against the
government. That’s why he is going to do something. But he sort of fails and the story changes.

I didn’t enjoy the topic of the book because it was all about the protesting people and
there was a lot of negative emotion they shouted often to each
Feb 08, 2021 rated it liked it
I read this book as a school librarian and I can see the positives to be taken from it; I can also see the negatives.

As for a book to open up discussion about lawful behaviour, being coerced into crime and the injustice of racial discrimination, it wins on all fronts. But for a book to exemplify good writing it fails quite miserably. The constant telling of facts that precede the plot and character is irksome but on the other hand for young readers that struggle with reading this may well be a
Holly Jackson
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Taking into consideration that this book it aimed at young adults, I still don't think it's very well written. Which is a real shame because I love Benjamin Zephaniah as a poet, this is the first fiction book of his I've read and it really was only OK. A little far fetched, rushed and simplistic. Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman is aimed at young adults and has similar themes, Terror Kid really can't hold a candle. Maybe good for teens who struggle with reading though.

Sorry Benjamin Zephani
Reflections and lessons learned:
I don’t think that I realised that this was a YA book until I started it, but it was still interesting and well written tale. A great warning for how quickly things can escalate in terms of lawlessness, but sad to think that idealism would be taken advantage of. As an aside the setting is the centre of the country and possibly the world in where my heart resides - strange old industrial Birmingham...
Jenny Fribbins
Nov 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Read for the school bookshelves. Very readable but like other Zephaniah books I've read, the characters feel a bit forced. The storyline also wraps up super quickly and is therefore a little anti-climactic. But, the story is relevant and could possibly be good for teens at risk from terrorist grooming. ...more
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Very interesting viewpoint and good for reluctant readers. Pace is a little slow and the narrative is driven by dialogue which I don't think is always effective. However, it's unusual to hear a narrative from the viewpoint of the novel's main character - this is what makes it compelling.
James Smith
Mar 09, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a strange book to read. The subject matter behind the book is so important right now, but the writing is a bit jumpy and at times feels underdeveloped. The postscript poem tells as much as a story and is quite excellent.
Kim Miller
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019, young-adult, library
Topical but very weakly written. Kind of reads like a middle school narrative - plot driven with no real character development or depth. Is an easy read for Grade7-8s but not sure I could recommend it.
Jakob Okkenhaug
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great young-adult novel for 13-16 year olds. Will use it in the classroom.
Dec 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: tan-tan
The book is interesting
Dec 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
It’s really interesting and shows equality . I recommend this book because it shows betrayal but resistance !
Venita Eastmond-Jessamy
My 12 year old son read this book in two days, not wanting to miss what happened next!

I tried to beat his record by took me three days reading on the train. Well written kept you engaged. Recommend read for both adults and children

Katy Noyes
Dec 29, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

I applaud what the author is trying to do with Terror Kid, but there was a lot here that grated on me as I listened (I audio read this), and it may have come across better on paper.

Rico is a talented computer whizz kid - he can repair them, hack them, build them. He's known for it. The story begins when he's in the 'wrong place at the wrong time', walking home in the middle of a riot (those riots from a few summers ago, near his house in Birmingham. Wrongfully arrested, he is indignant
Dane Cobain
Jan 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
The last few Zephaniah books that I’ve read have been a little bit hit and miss, but with Terror Kid (which was published last year and is his most recent work at the time of writing), he’s definitely back on track. True to form, it takes a look at our struggling society and highlights some of the issues that Zephaniah clearly feels passionate about.

The story-line follows a teenage boy with a gift for computers, who unwittingly gets drawn into a terrorist plot in which nine people lose their liv
Allegra S
Nov 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
When I read this book I actually thought there were pages missing. This book moves extremely quickly and doesn't provided the expected explanations, resolutions, or emotional connection between characters. The author doesn't really explain how Rico learned his computer skills or give us a sense of how hard works to hack things. Usually in a story the character has set-backs due to lack of a quality while trying to complete a task. For Rico he breezes through the internet with no problems. I also ...more
The Book Moo
Dec 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I gave this book 4 stars because it opened my eyes to what people can go through because of our "justice" system. How the police can target people just because they're in "the wrong place at the wrong time".
Benjamin has brought to light so many problems with our government and justice systems, and how prejudice they can be. I feel like this book understands what young people put up with, the bad media we get and why so many elderly people are frightened of us! No wonder people are scared to walk
Apr 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Despite the number of pages the text was large print, so that made this a quick read. I read this in one sitting. I did care about Rico's character and what happened him. Despite his attempts at being streetwise his character is very naive, especially considering the area he lived in. I think others may think that it could've been fleshed out a bit, although I think the author deliberately wanted every word to count. This meant that the focus was kept on Rico's reality. The author gave just eno ...more
Pammy-sue Jones
Jul 10, 2015 rated it liked it
An enjoyable, thought provoking short novel for young adults. I liked the simple and direct style of writing, and the many modern day issues the novel attempts to tackle - such as terrorism, propaganda and hostility towards and directed from the police. Unfortunately I felt the book did not develop the characters or issues enough to be able to give any more than three stars. I do feel, however, that this book would be an excellent starting point for a classroom to discuss problems in society and ...more
Jul 14, 2015 rated it liked it
An easy read, with a thought provoking story, showing how easy it is to manipulate people and how the police 'stop and search' method is usually just based on what the person looks like. I felt like the story lacked depth, however it was probably kept short as the book is aimed at younger readers, although some more character development or some point of view changes could have made this an amazing book rather than just a good one. A great idea which is very relevant at the moment but was writte ...more
Oct 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As ever, Benjamin Zephaniah writes an easy-to-read, enjoyable story, that would be easy for people of all ages to get into yet which also touches on some really important issues. It made me think about some things I would never have considered. It made me question other things that I kind of take for granted, at least to an extent. It also seemed a good call to arms for a social revolution that after hearing Benjamin Zephaniah speak recently, I'm more certain that we need than ever. ...more
Dec 01, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: teen, 2015
A very easy read and I enjoyed it but it didn't feel like the complete story - it didn't seem fleshy enough. I expected and wanted more but saying that I did enjoy it and it made you think about how easily people, especially teenagers, can be manipulated despite how clever they appear to others. It also highlighted how some groups of people can be 'picked on' by the authorities and how this might feel to those individuals.

A great book that approaches a difficult topical subject: terrorism.

I think this book would be very useful in the classroom for year six pupils. I read it and found it quite hard hitting because it hits a range of themes including manipulation, terrorism, injustice and I think this book would be a great starting book to start this conversation.

I enjoyed this book.
Dec 27, 2014 rated it liked it
A useful book for encouraging discussion about what motivates people to break the law, how trust is built, what we mean when we use the word "terrorist", but the language is pedestrian so whilst it is an "easy" read, I was left disappointed (unless I had been looking for something to use to teach the whole "British values" thing that is now being forced onto schools). ...more
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