Stephen and Ashraf are 16-year-old classmates and each fancies the other's sister. A bond forms between them but is destroyed when Stephen gets involved in an extreme right-wing organisation and Ashraf is drawn into an extremist Muslim group. They become enemies and are injured when their rival groups clash. Over weeks in hospital in adjoining beds, they're visited by their sisters. The girls' friendship and the boys' fondness for the other's sister, begin to break down the barrier of intolerance and the boys become friends again.
Robert Swindells was born in Bradford in 1939 and continues to live in Yorkshire.
He left school at 15 and worked in a variety of jobs, including primary school teaching, before becoming a full-time writer. His widely acclaimed novels often reflect his political passions, such as BROTHER IN THE LAND, which is set in the aftermath of a nuclear war. He has won the Red House Children's Book Prize several times and in 1993 he won the prestigious Carnegie Medal for STONE COLD, a young adult novel about homelessness.