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Patrice Lawrence

  • Original Title: ORANGEBOY
  • Publication date: June 2016
  • Publisher: HODDER & STOUGHTON
  • Country: GB
  • 448 print pages
  • Crime fiction/Thriller


  • Epoch: Contemporary
  • Time Period: 21st century
  • Location setting: United Kingdom
  • Themes: PEOPLE facing life, Dependence, Moral dilemma, FAMILY, Siblings, Filiation, Search for the truth, Death, Facing failure, PEOPLE facing the extraordinary, Revenge, SOCIETY DYSFUNCTIONS, Racism, Inner-city violence, SOCIAL CHRONICLES, Friendship


Sixteen-year-old Marlon has promised his widowed mum that he'll be good, and nothing like his gang-leader brother Andre. But everything changes when Marlon's first date with the beautiful Sonya ends in tragedy. A contemporary urban thriller with a family drama at its heart.


Shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award 2016.
In The Jhalak Prize for Book of the Year by a Writer of Colour inaugural longlist 2017.
Winner of the Bookseller's YA Book Prize 2017.
Also shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2017, and the 2017 Branford Boase Award too.

A young man has an impossible choice to make, in this powerful coming of age urban thriller. The action is uncompromising and powerful, yet punctuated by moments of extraordinary tenderness and it will challenge preconceptions and melt the hardest heart.

The Costa Judges said: “A gripping topical thriller by a fresh new voice in children’s fiction.”

"A contemporary urban thriller with a powerful family drama at its heart." - The Bookseller

Patrice Lawrence was born in Brighton and brought up in an Italian-Trinidadian household in Mid Sussex. She found her way to east London in the '90s.
She has been writing for as long as she has been reading and her first novel, ORANGEBOY, has been shortlisted for the Costa Book Award, nominated for the Carnegie Award and shortlisted for the Leeds and North East Book Awards.


Sixteen-year-old Marlon Sunday just wants to be a normal boy, studious and avoiding trouble. His older brother Andre has given the family more than enough trouble over the years due to gang activity that almost cost him his life and left him brain damaged. When Marlon gets the chance to go to the fair with a beautiful older girl, Sonya, he jumps at the chance and makes some reckless choices, including taking a quarter of an ecstasy pill. At the fair it all goes wrong when Sonya dies and that is the beginning of his troubles. Especially when he gets the message that Someone is coming for Mr Orange.

His friend Tish tries to help him as much as she can but things are getting more dangerous with each twist and turn of the story and it's a battle to survive and attempt to become what he doesn't want to be.

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  • Author’s biography

    Patrice Lawrence is a British writer. She comes from an Italian-Trinidadian household. Her first novel, ORANGEBOY, won The Bookseller′s YA Book Prize 2017, the Waterstones Children's Book Prize for Older Children 2017, and was shortlisted for the 2016 Costa Children's Book Award. Her second novel, INDIGO DONUT, was a finalist for the YA Book Prize 2018. Both books were nominated for the Carnegie Medal.