A first novel
Jon is 15 and life is hard. Money is tight and Jon is trapped in a hopeless, miserable existence.
Then by chance, he meets someone who helps him to see things differently.
Despite girls, bullies, teachers, policemen, his mother and her violent boyfriend, Jon wants to survive. Once he finds Jimmy and Paul, he begins to take control of his life. He becomes an apprentice adult.
Charles Kimpton Publishers
Sep 2004. £6.
Greatly convincing, as far from patronising as possible. A worthwhile read.
Edward Malnick (age 15) Independent on Sunday
A cool book. This should get your teens reading.
15-year-old Jon struggles to find something worthwhile in his life. He is from a single parent family and hates school. Peter Inson used to be the headmaster of a comprehensive school in West London. He knows his stuff.
Anne Fairhall, National Association of Teachers of English
Kids can rely on “dunno” to provide a realistic account of childhood with language that they use and understand.
Peter Kennedy Willesden and Brent Times
As a magistrate who sits in the Adult Criminal Courts and the Family Proceedings Courts, I found this book extremely interesting and useful. Looking at the home situation, minor criminality and truancy from the point of view of the child was invaluable.
Claire Scargill JP NE Essex and Essex Family Panel
At the outset I would say that this book gripped me after the first few chapters and I finished it in three hours. Thank goodness that Jon meets someone who shows him there is a life other than crime! Youth court justices, who hopefully might understand the situations Jon gets himself into, should read this book. Indeed, I recommend it to all my fellow magistrates.
Dr. Brian Denton JP. Magistrate October 2008
I’m glad dunno seems to be going so well. I finished it over the summer and was truly impressed. I enjoyed the story-line and the characters. I passed it on to Dave who also thought it was great. I don’t think he could quite believe it was a first novel of someone he knew!
Jenny Rowe Institute du Rosey, Switzerland
Fluent, engaging writing for adults and teenagers alike.
That’s what makes this an interesting novel. Jon is lost, but so are the adults — those who’d like to help him and those who couldn’t care less. It’s an all too-common story, no matter what side of the big pond you are on.
Young Adult Books Central, US
Ambitious and compassionate.
Books for Keeps
Very, very moving. I wanted my teenage sons to read it.
Sue Wardell, SilverDell Bookshop, Kirkham, Lancs – Independent Bookseller of the Year
dunno….a useful word in the life of fifteen year old Jon, helping him to escape the relentless and useless questioning of adults. Peter Inson’s book is an intense insight into how difficult teenage life can become. A great read for both teenagers and adults.
I came across this book completely by chance, and I am so glad I did. In fact I am putting a copy into the Retiring Rooms at both the Youth court and Family Court where I sit as I think all magistrates who deal with young people would benefit from reading it. Never patronising; the author doesn’t offer any hard and fast answers to Jon’s problems, just possibilities. The first novel I have come across which exposes the lives of those who live well below our radar, the underbelly of our society. A teenage book for adults, and an adult book for teenagers, it may open your eyes.
Herschelian – Magistrate’s Blog
I read “dunno” which was not only sold in the English book shops in Zurich, BUT in the little bookshops in St Andrews as well! I really enjoyed it! It was a real page turner and it was very exciting thinking that, not only do I KNOW the author, but he was my English teacher!
Katya Okun. Rosey graduate