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Learning to Think.: A broken system kept her trapped, education helped her break free

by Tracy King

Hardback £16.99
Published 7th March 2024
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in Bath

in Edinburgh

in Ely

in St Andrews


Discover the inspirational coming-of-age memoir about modern poverty in Britain and the liberating power of education.

‘An astonishing tale, well structured and punchily told.’ - Sunday Times

‘Impossible not to read in one sitting.’ - Stylist, Best Books for 2024

‘A memoir you read with the same breathlessness as you read the most gripping of novels’ - i news


When you have nothing, you cling to whatever gives you hope.

Put yourself in Tracy King’s shoes. Growing up in an ordinary council estate outside Birmingham; a house filled with creativity, curiosity and love, but marked by her father’s alcoholism and her mother’s agoraphobia.

By the time she turns twelve her father has been killed, her sister taken into care and her mother ensnared by the promises of born-again Christianity.

This isn’t the stuff of cult documentaries; this is the story of an ordinary family trapped in a broken system. It’s a story that could happen to anyone without the tools to transform their circumstances.

And it’s the story of how Tracy discovered the truth about her father’s death and how she found her way out.

Shocking, inspiring and ultimately hopeful, Learning to Think. is a testament to the power of books and holds up a mirror to the everyday realities of poverty in Britain.


Praise for Learning to Think.:

‘A raw and unflinching account of growing up in poverty, which tackles the false narratives we tell ourselves to survive.’ – Caroline Criado Perez

‘Tracy King’s memoir is heartbreaking and hopeful … An incredible true story of survival and forgiveness.’ – Tim Minchin

‘What would you do if you began to suspect the events of your childhood didn’t happen as you remembered them? In this evocative memoir, Tracy King confronts the stories we all tell ourselves in order to live.’ – Helen Lewis, author of Difficult Women

‘[An] extraordinary book. It’s compelling and courageous, and it couldn’t be more timely. It’s written with such clarity and compassion, and I think it will leave every reader wiser and stronger.’ – Daisy Buchanan, author of How to Be a Grownup and Sisterhood

‘A brilliant writer’ – Adam Kay

‘You won’t often read a book so driven by raw emotion. A book of tragedy, hope and ultimately of triumph.’ – HH Wendy Joseph KC, author of Unlawful Killings


Learning to Think.: A broken system kept her trapped, education helped her break free
by Tracy King


Transworld Publishers Ltd


Publication date
March 7, 2024

22.3cm x 14.5cm x 3.0cm