'IN THE TREES' - Faber & Faber
“I hope that as you read this book it motivates you to realize the changes that people like you can make to our earth even though it would seem that we are worlds apart." RAFAEL MANZANERO, CHIEF EXECUTIVE, FRIENDS FOR CONSERVATION & DEVELOPMENT, BELIZE
'Original and fresh,' BOOKBAG
''[Fisk] vividly brings to life the beauty and dangers of Belize's varying landscapes, both rural and urban. Fisk's writing at its best is novel when describing the Belize jungle, and the startling nature of its sights and sounds stay with you long after the end of the novel.' WRITE AWAY
'All around him, the smell of trees rose from the ground, earthy and dank, just the way he’d smelt it that first day. And he’d heard a voice that day, which he’d thought was calling out a welcome. But really it had been calling out for help.'
Kid Cato’s come to Belize, on the Caribbean coast. He’s left behind his life in London to look for his dad. But what he finds instead is a group of gap year volunteers – just the boring, do-good types he’s always hated, but he’s stuck with them. Stuck with the jungle too.
But, but the time it’s done with him, he’ll never be the same. And neither will Kid’s new companions. Their adventure in the trees will change them all.
Writing this novel was a real adventure for me, starting with a journey I made to the Belizean rainforest. This journey took place in February 2008, but six years before that my eighteen year old son went on a gap year adventure to Belize and came home unrecognisably transformed into adulthood. Obviously I was curious about the process by which this transformation had taken place. When I realised that there were no gap year novels for young teenagers on this interesting rite of passage, I decided that one day I’d write one myself.
In February 2008, I went out to Belize on a research trip. Aided by an Arts Council grant, and supported by both the Authors' Foundation and my publishers, Faber & Faber, I explored the country, met young gappers, faced some of their challenges for myself and spent six fascinating weeks trying to get under the skin of Belize.
It would take a separate book to describe everything I saw in Belize during that time, trekking in the jungle, seeing for myself the destruction of the rainforest and the difference that groups of young British gappers, working on volunteer projects, were making, and visiting and getting to know the Kekchi-Mayan people. Take a look at my photographs - they’ll give you a small idea of what I got up to. Certainly I returned home with a whole new attitude to life - and a novel which I couldn't wait to write.
The novel's title is 'In The Trees',a phrase which I first heard as a means of describing the experience of living, working and sleeping out in the jungle. But it covers so much more than that, speaking of a mindset which is particularly Belizean, and a way of life that's taken up by my hero, Kid Cato, a south London boy who meets gappers, tangles with jaguars, snakes and howler monkeys, explores Mayan ruins, lives with a Belizean family and finds a whole new self.
This could well be the most exciting book I’ve ever written. Certainly it’s the most exciting book I’ve ever researched!