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Destination Anywhere

Destination Anywhere

Published: 15 Apr 2021

Paperback / softback, 320 pages

Recommended for age 14+

By Sara Barnard

Published by Pan Macmillan

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A breathtaking novel about finding yourself and finding a friend by the award-winning author of Beautiful Broken Things. Sometimes you have to leave your life behind to find your place in the world. After five years at secondary school spent without any friends, Peyton King starts sixth form college determined that things will be different. 

Tagged friends and school

Reviewed by B Guerriero

Destination Anywhere is the story of Peyton – 17 and with a passion for drawing – who travels to and through Canada on a mission to overcome her demons. 

Peyton experiences bullying throughout high school; this erodes her self esteem and leads her to making toxic friendship choices. Decisive in putting life on hold and escaping to the most friendly and beautiful country on the planet, she embarks on a solo trip to Vancouver which will help her reflect upon and reset boundaries in her relationships with her family and past friends. Peyton will eventually connect with a bunch of young people who love and appreciate her for who she is and who, just like her, are ‘looking for some kind of freedom’.

This story will touch the heart of every young person who has ever been bullied, felt that they couldn’t fit in and longed for finding their place in this world. Sara Barnard writes about friendship, group dynamic, friendship, intimacy and consent with uncompromising honesty and, through the lived experiences of the friends that Peyton makes along the journey, tactfully touches upon the themes of homophobia and parental rejection. 

Destination Anywhere would make a great class novel for KS4 and KS5 children and would be an enriching addition to any high school library.

My name is B, my pronouns are they/them and I am an RQT and a Year 4 teacher at a school in East Manchester.
I love reading and talking about books with my students, and always look out for stories that represent and celebrate our diverse communities and lived experiences.
When I am not reading or teaching (or teaching reading or reading about teaching), I play my guitars, write songs and poems and cook.