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Here I Stand
Front cover of Here I Stand © Chris Riddell/Amnesty International

Here I Stand

A dynamic collection for young adults aged 12+.

At a time when we are seeing a surge in hate crimes in the UK, Here I Stand is all too relevant. The stories and poems confront many horrors, but they also speak for freedom, solidarity and activism. 

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25 top writers and illustrators explore human rights under threat in a literary shout-out to readers to stand up and help shape a better society.

Contributors include:

  • Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell
  • Newbery and Carnegie Medal winner Neil Gaiman
  • Scottish poet laureate Jackie Kay
  • Costa winners Frances Hardinge, AL Kennedy, Christie Watson and Bryan and Mary Talbot
  • CILIP Carnegie Medal winners Sarah Crossan and Kevin Brooks
  • Australian author Tony Birch
  • Irish Book Award winner John Boyne
  • Waterstones Prize winner Sita Brahmachari
  • Graphic Novel of the Year winner Kate Charlesworth
  • Newbury Honor winner Jack Gantos
  • Much-lauded Ryan Gattis
  • Multi-award-winning Matt Haig, Elizabeth Laird, Bali Rai, Tim Wynne-Jones and Sabrina Mahfouz
  • Best-selling Liz Kessler
  • Performance poet and singer Amy Leon
  • Betty Trask Award winner Chibundu Onuzo
  • Wikileaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning, sentenced to 35 years in US military prison
  • Prominent human rights lawyer Jules Carey

Helping young minds tackle tough issues

Their stories and poems are poignant, challenging, heartbreaking, angry and haunting. They cover important issues likely to resonate with teenagers today, such as bullying, race hatred, child sex abuse, freedom of speech, identity and gang honour. All of them uphold the importance of speaking up against injustice and standing up for others. Download teaching notes for Here I Stand

Showing the need to protect our rights

The writers show how precious and fragile our freedoms are and the vital need to defend them constantly.

Many write from direct experience. Jackie Kay wrote her poems after talking to refugees in Scotland. Frances Hardinge’s story Bystander, on the torture of so-called child ‘witches’ in the UK today, is inspired by a true story; Elizabeth Laird’s tale of child trafficking is a result of meeting young Pakistani boys trafficked in the UAE.

Before writing Redemption, Ryan Gattis sat down with a man on death row. While Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell created I Believe... in response to the Paris terror attacks, and Bali Rai wrote The Colour of Humanity because of the tragic death of Liverpool teenager Anthony Walker in 2005, at the hands of racists.

All royalties to Amnesty International.

Reviews of Here I Stand

'Here I Stand is an important and thought-provoking book.', full review