The author of The Young Team has shared an inspirational story of a troubled kid in care who “disnae read” unable to put his book down.
A youth worker wrote to Graeme Armstrong, telling how he gave the gang novel to a kid at the secure unit – and hopes the story will put him on the path to a better future.
The worker asked the writer to sign a copy for the boy with an encouraging message as he faces being handed a jail sentence next month.
He wrote: “I work in a secure unit for adolescents, I just wanted to let Graeme know that he has had some impact on one boy, who “disnae read” and would see himself as one of the young team.
“Graeme I gave your book to him yesterday at 1 o’clock and he has literally not put it down, it’s amazing. He says it’s pure class. I don’t think he has ever read about someone like him before and I can see him making the connections and hope it makes him think, that if he wants to, things could be different.
“I said he should write a review of the book in his dialect, he just looked at me in disbelief!
“I was wondering Graeme if I could purchase a copy of the book (he’s no keeping mine) and kindly ask if you could possible sign it and send him a wee message. He’s due up in court in January and will probably get a sentence and leave us.
“I would love to give him something to motivate him, as I can see his intelligence when he drops the hardman front.
“I know everyone is busy right now and you might not get this message, but all the best “your book was bangin’.”
Graeme shared the message on Twitter: “On a day of bad news across Scotland-this has definitely cheered me up a wee bit!
“For the doubters, the critics and the cynics… words are powerful and representation of unrepresented people matters (Believe me, we are never too busy for this!) Sending love to this kid!”
The author’s post drew messages of support and praise from followers.
Callum2591 wrote: “I know that’s why you wrote that book. No for fame or riches to reach the margins and give this young man some hope and identification that he isn’t alone.”
Waterstones at Glasgow Fort said the message ‘made their day’, adding: “Always knew TYT was something *a bit special*, and getting to meet the folk who buy your book every day validates EVERYTHING about why fiction matters in our communities. Pure, utter class – you superstar!”
Ian Farnes commented: “This is great, from an ex-teacher who knows a wee bit about this, you might just have changed that kid’s life. Never stop doing what you do.”