I had been thinking of writing Luke for a long while. The story of a boy who has leukaemia and how his life changes. When I was about 15 there was a boy called Richard at my rugby club who had leukaemia and I was impressed then with how much positive energy he had. So Rich, wherever you are now, this story is for you. Luke’s story is told not only by Luke himself but by his gorgeous sister, Krista, his mum, his doctor, his football buddies and coach. I think this adds a lot to the story as you hear the character of each person coming through as they tell their part of the story.
Excerpt from Luke Your whole life changes when someone tells you that you’ve got cancer. You look at life in a very different way. I used to worry about maths tests. I used to worry about Adrian Earl. I used to worry about my mum who was bringing up me and my sister on her own. But now none of that is important. I can only think about one thing: Cancer. I should introduce myself. My name’s Luke, Luke Baker. Black hair, dark eyes, one metre ninety two (tall for my age) and a bit on the thin side. I live with my mum and my sister in a flat in Bedminster, part of Bristol. I go to the local comprehensive school, not the best school in the world but I’ve got some good mates there. There are a few girls that I like but I’m a bit shy when it comes to girls. I haven’t actually had a real girlfriend yet. I’m doing all right at school. I’m not Einstein but I should leave school next year with a bunch of G.C.S.E.s. I know I’m not the academic sort. Not like my sister. She’s really brainy and dead good looking as well. Half her friends at school want to be models. But there’s only one girl in our school who could be a model. And that’s Krista, my wonderful sister.
For teachers using the book with their pupils, you may like to download the whole story as mp3 files of the book for use in class. It can be downloaded (for free) from the publisher’s website. This gives you an opportunity to hear the story before you order a class set of thirty copies.
The star goalkeeper of the Bedminster Boys, Luke Baker. On the left we can see Adrian Earl and in the background, Bobby Earl, the trainer of the team.
For teachers planning to use Luke, click on the wordle image to get a bigger version which you can download and either print out, or project onto a screen. The words are those which appear in the first two paragraphs of Luke. You can get your students to look for adjectives, verbs, things they like, things they don’t like etc. The book is for A2 level pupils. It is published by Alinea in Denmark and sold by a variety of educational publishers around the world. Here are details of the publishers. In some cases there is a direct link to the book; in other cases you’ll have to rattle the cage of the publisher in question to get them to order it for you.
Germany Ernst Klett Sprachen
Italy Loescher Editore
Norway Gyldendal Nork Forlag A/S
Poland Wydawnictwo Lektorklett
USA EMC Corp
Hungary Klett Kiado KFT
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