Out of Heart is a story about Adam, whose family home is an unhappy place of silence and secrets. Yasmin, his Mum, has escaped from an abusive relationship, his sister Farah doesn’t speak any more and Adam himself doodles and writes obsessively in his notebook rather than trying to talk to Laila, the girl he has a thing for. When his grandfather who lived with them chooses to donate his heart to a stranger and the stranger turns up at their door, everything begins to break apart.
William, the recipient of the donated heart has had a hard, lonely life and finds new meaning in the family that adopt him. But people in their neighbourhood disapprove and Adam’s estranged violent father begins to cause trouble. There are no easy answers in this book and Adam has to deal with more than anyone, young or old should have to deal with before he finds any.
This is a painfully real account of one boy’s struggle with and against family and community in order to find his place in the world. The urban setting and cultural context of Adam’s Muslim faith are vividly and sympathetically brought to life in a way not often seen in UKYA. 12+