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This is a contemporary tale about two friends - one of whom, Asra, is an asylum seeker from an unnamed Eastern European country. The other, Ruby Tanya, is the daughter of a local man who is campaigning against the presence of asylum seekers in his community. During a dramatic explosion at the girls' school, a young teacher is killed. The asylum seekers at the local camp are blamed, and local people begin to argue that they should be deported. A branch of the National Front gets involved and demos are planned. Asra and her parents are due to be deported, but Asra runs away at the last minute so her parents have to return without her. She hides in a nearby derelict building and is helped by Ruby Tanya.
ROBERT SWINDELLS left school at fifteen to work on a local newspaper. At seventeen, he joined the RAF for three years, then trained and worked as a teacher. Now a full-time writer, he is the author of a number of bestselling titles for the Random House children's list. In 1994 he won the Carnegie Medal for STONE COLD (Hamish Hamilton), a teenage novel about a serial killer. RUBY TANYA won the Salford Children's Book Award 2005. 'Plots which grip the reader from the opening paragraph' THE SUNDAY TIMES 'Robert Swindells writes the kinds of books that are so scary you're afraid to turn the page' YOUNG TELEGRAPH