Although Someone Like Me is my bestselling book so far, it is the one that is most difficult to talk about in workshops and meet-the-author sessions. That’s because of the ending. If you haven’t read the book yet you should probably stop reading this article now. Well, maybe you could read on knowing that there is a big surprise at the end of the book. But don’t cheat and skip to the last page. That will spoil the surprise and you will find that, when you do read the whole story, it will be a different experience from the one you would have otherwise had.
It was such a luxury for me to be able to visit the Year 5s at Hale School, who had all read (or had read to them) the story of Tas. And when they reached the end of the book they immediately started again, this time looking for the clues that they had missed along the way. By the time I met them in their classrooms the boys had lots of questions to ask about how I came to write the book, why I wrote it in the way I did and how they could improve their own writing? I explained that I had set out to write the story of a boy who is like them in almost every way. There is just one thing that sets him apart. I wanted to concentrate on what he can do, not on what he can’t do. But I had to make sure I included enough clues for the reader to go back to, once they had discovered for themselves what makes Tas different.