Burning from the Inside


ISBN 9781770862463 | 5.375″ x 8″ | TPB | $14.95 | Age: 13+ | 240 pp
ISBN 9781770862470 | EBOOK | $12.99

Category: Novels
Curriculum: Character EducationFriendship | Language ArtsStrong Female Protagonists | Social StudiesSocial Organization and Subculture, Society



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Getting caught is nothing new for graffiti-writer Thom, but this time it lands him in a youth detention centre. He’s offered a chance to clean his record — if he can infiltrate and inform on a group of writers known as the G7. Writing under his new identity, TNT, Thom gets the attention of the G7 … and the admiration of one of their members. Aura keeps having the dream: the one where her writer idol Story shows her The Ten — a legendary work of graffiti that holds the promise of quintessential truths. Aura’s obsession surrounding Story intensifies when a new graf bomber starts appearing over town: TNT. Not usually one for signs, Aura comes to believe that he is meant to show her the way to Tiger Mountain, the secret location of The Ten.

In her search for the truth about Story, Aura is blind to the lies surrounding TNT. And as Thom gets closer to the G7, he questions the motives of the cop who put him up to it — and his wonders whether his own motives have changed.


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Shortlisted for the 2014 ReLit Award (Fiction)


“The adrenaline rush for these [two teen protagonists] is achieved through challenging society’s rules about sex, drugs, alcohol and tagging … Walde riffs on Orwell’s classic 1984 in showing how counterculture lifestyles are an attempt to find real emotion in a society devoid of meaningful relationships.”
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“I enjoy a good mystery, and although this book isn’t part of the mystery genre, it had a really good hook … Aside from the interesting plot, the characters themselves were believable, and … likeable as well.”
I’ve Read This


I had the dream about Story last night. Again. The same dream I always have. First there’s the sound of the train. Then I’m walking downtown, and all the buildings are bright and shiny and the sidewalks are gold, and even though it’s daytime the stars are all out and the sky sparkles. Everything sparkles.

And all the people walking down the street are beautiful, and not in a movie star kind of way, but deep down inside, right to the core of their soul, like they’re naked on the outside, wholly and completely loved for who they are. Unconditionally.

And I’m there too, and all I can think about is how I can’t believe that this is the city where I live and all the closed-up shops are open and full of light and all the freaks and junkies are like angels with wings and it’s lightly cool like after a summer rain and everything feels new and clean and rainbows are bursting everywhere.

And then I see Story. She’s always standing there, in the middle of the street, waiting for me, her hands in her pockets, a wise, wide smile on her face, mischief in her eyes. She reaches out and takes my hand and it’s lightly cool, too, just like the rain, and then she always says: I’ve been waiting for you. And then I always say: I’ve been waiting for you, too. And that’s when I feel like my guts are going to burst because she smiles this smile at me again and we turn around and walk hand in hand down the shiny golden streets of the town toward where I know The Ten will be, where she will, at last, show me her last great master work.

She who is so familiar and yet a total stranger, whose work I have come to know most intimately and so completely and yet who I will never, ever meet. How is it that our lives are so completely and fantastically intertwined in this dream I always have? This dream that always ends the same way: I ask her where The Ten is and she turns to me and says, Look back. And I turn my head to see what she sees and she says, Don’t you see?

And before I know it she’s gone. Disappeared completely. And I’m standing alone in the street again, and it’s the same as it always was, with all the shitty abandoned storefronts and homeless people and head shops and tattoo parlours and everyone’s waiting for a bus to take them somewhere and The Ten are nowhere in sight.

And that’s when I wake up, knowing that I have to keep looking for them, knowing that they’re somewhere in this city and not just in my dreams, but real, down some darkened street, along the Kalpa Path, on the top of Tiger Mountain, waiting for me to find them.

Teacher’s Guide

News and Extras

Christine Walde on her new novel, ‘Burning from the Inside’ - Christine Walde answers our questions about writing, graffiti, and her hot new novel, Burning from the Inside.


About the Author

Walde, Christine - has been published for her poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Her first novel, The Candy Darlings, was published with Penguin Canada and Houghton Mifflin (2007).

Books by the Author

Burning from the Inside - Christine Walde
ISBN 9781770862463 | 5.375" x 8" | TPB | $14.95 | Age: 13+

Shortlisted for the 2014 ReLit Award (Fiction)

When Thom lands in a youth detention centre for graffiti writing, he’s offered a chance to clean his record by infiltrating a group of writers known as the G7. Undercover, Thom gets the attention of the G7, and the admiration of one of their members, Aura - a girl obsessed with The Ten, a legendary work of graffiti that holds the promise of quintessential truths. (read more)

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