Graeme is sixteen, five foot three, working in a supermarket and bored to death.
He has a passion for growing things and wants to be a park-gardener, but changing his job against his fathr's advice isn't going to be easy.
It gets even harder when Graeme is picked up from work by his hippy brother Derek and doesn't manage to get back home until the next day, to face a series of
scarifying family scenes.
Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me, says the jingle, untruthfully. Though Graeme resents his parents' attitude he can't, like
Derek, dismiss their smothering affection as just petty tyranny and Derek's messy life-style doesn't appeal to him.
One thing is clear: he must escape from the supermarket and since he daren't give notice in the usual way, he adopts a desperate plan.
Graeme tells his own story with a self-mockery and sense of the ridiculous that make Sticks and Stones a very funny book. It is also very
perceptive and curiously moving, with a strong appeal for teenage readers.