Jake's Tower

Style: Good

Attitude: Some Care Needed → Fairly Positive

Cover of Jake's Tower

Author: Elizabeth Laird

Publisher: McMillan

Published in: 2001

Age Range: Young Teens+

Period: Contemporary

Genres:  FamilyGritty


Jake lives with his mother and her violent boyfriend. Jake sneaks away at any opportunity and builds himself an imaginary tower where he can be safe. Eventually his mother moves away from Steve and Jake finds his real dad.


A heartening story, although the tower of the title plays less part than one might expect. Jake's mother makes a real effort to rebuild her life for her sake and for her son's, and Jake's own father and his mother, Jake's grandmother, all play their part.Steve - Jake's mum's boyfriend - is a nasty piece of work. The background to the story is quite sordid, including teenage lovers, an abortion, violence, and boyfriend-girlfriend relationships. There's a fair amount of mild swearing throughout.

This is what I was thinking when I went to bed in my dad's old room that night. I was thinking about fathers. About what they should be like. A father should be fit, strong enough to go after anyone who threatens his kids. He shouldn't have enemies, though. He would be friends with people outside his family, so that his sone would feel good walking down the street with him. People would come up to them and say, “Is this your son? Nice kid.”

Tuesday 1st January 2002