From beloved, bestselling historical novelist Tracy Chevalier, whose mega-hit Girl with a Pearl Earring enchanted readers around the world, comes a poignant, unforgettable adaptation of Othello set in the fierce world of preadolescent children, where the grown-up forces of love and jealousy, and the hurt of being ostracized, can be as real and as devastating as for any adult.
"O felt her presence behind him like a fire at his back." Arriving at his fourth school in six years, diplomat's son Osei Kokote knows he needs an ally if he is to survive his first day--so he's lucky to hit it off with Dee, the most popular girl in school. But one student can't stand to witness this budding relationship: Ian decides to destroy the friendship between the black boy and the golden girl. By the end of the day, the school and its key players--teachers and pupils alike--will never be the same again. The tragedy of Othello is transposed to a 1970s suburban Washington schoolyard, where kids fall in and out of love with each other before lunchtime, and practise a casual racism picked up from their parents and teachers. Taking us vividly into the lives and emotions of four eleven-year-olds--Osei, Dee, Ian and his reluctant "girlfriend" Mimi--Tracy Chevalier's powerful drama of friends torn apart by jealousy, bullying and betrayal will leave you reeling.