Because You Were There by Joan Lewis

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Tina was silent for a second. Then she shut her desk lid with a reverberating slam and stood up. "You wouldn't dare," she challenged. "What about Denise? You're only getting at me because I'm black."Tina, a bright and rebellious ten-year-old from Jamaica, leaves her homeland in 1968 to join her mother in Britain. But instead of receiving a warm welcome, Tina is forced to attend an ESN school, where she is treated as inferior due to her Jamaican heritage. Eventually, in desperation, she writes a cry for help in the form of a poem, giving it to the one teacher she trusts. But her teacher, Felicity, ignores her hidden plea, though as the years go by she remains haunted by the memory of the vulnerable teenager. Fifty years later, Tina and Felicity cross paths again, and as Felicity grows closer to Tina's family, she wonders if she will ever be able to make amends for the cruelties that Tina has suffered in the interim.
Binding: Paperback / softback

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