Up Frogs by Ross James

Up Frogs by Ross james is about a young boy who grows up too soon when the closure of South Crofty tin mine causes his world to collapse. Written from the boy’s point of view as he struggles to make sense of what lies beneath the surface. His unlikely sanctuary is a patch of industrial wasteland.

Review by Gray Lightfoot:

The line “the brambles swipe at my arms, unzipping my skin, and I see the red below the surface” (which is reprised at the story’s end) really resounds with me in this wonderful retelling of the effects of unemployment on a Cornish family after the closure of South Crofty mine near Camborne. The ripped skin caused by uncaring corporate decisions reveals that beneath it lies the life blood of community, of real people’s lives. The neat metaphor of the loss of the young boy’s ‘lucky’ brass toad resounds with the loss of his working father’s pride and the consequent devastation of a seemingly happy life.

Before this loss, the boy’s life seems almost idyllic as he basks in the sunshine at Up Frogs and in the pride he has for his father. We are viewing the dismantling of a community through the eyes of one child mindful of the fact that there would be hundreds of others suffering in the same way.

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Up Frogs by Ross James

Up Frogs by Ross james is about a young boy who grows up too soon when the closure of South Crofty tin mine causes his world to collapse.

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