Ruben by Bruce Whatley

On the outskirts of a big formidable, futuristic city, Ruben lives amidst the ruins of abandoned buildings. A street child, he ventures into the city to scavenge, always keeping to the shadows, wary of the huge machines and their operators. He would love to board one of the outgoing trains, away from the grim industrialised area. One day he meets Koji, another homeless child who shows her secret places to him; they understand each other.

Bruce Whatley has created an amazingly potent, scary world where it seems no one would thrive, let alone a child. His illustrations are masterful and haunting, highlighting the loneliness of Ruben and his vulnerability amongst the steely might of the metropolis. Readers will be engrossed with the superb pictures and memorable story. This is fine illustrated fiction for ages 6+.

Alexa Dretzke