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Reading Ahead

Notting Hill Carnival: A West Side Story (Quick Reads)

Candice Carty-Williams

Reading level: Level 1, Level 2, Quick Reads

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Sapphire is the hot-headed leader of the Red Roses in an area where gang loyalty is all that matters. But after a tragic event, Sapphire vows to leave her old life, friends and her gang behind. Life without the Red Roses and the violence that always followed them is certainly quieter.

When she meets a boy called Apollo on her way to Notting Hill Carnival, she forms an instant bond with him. She thinks he could be the one. Until she discovers he’s a member of rival gang, the Gold Teeth.

Will she ever escape her past with the Red Roses, and how many lives will be ruined until she does?

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  • Trapeze
  • 9781409196181
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Reader Reviews

A modern day Romeo and Juliet, with a happy ending. It shows how easy it is for rivalry to arise and become dangerous. You feel for the characters and at times hold your breath in the hope that rivalry will end and the gang members will have safe, happy lives. You can’t help likening it to what is happening today and wishing that more real-life problems could be resolved without harm.

30 June 2021

I really liked how the book focuses on gangs and how easy it can be to get caught up in a gang and feel peer pressure to act a certain way. Along with this it follows a love story between two of the characters that makes you really invested in the outcome of the story.

19 March 2020