The Blue Helmet

Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Lee wants to be a Tarantula – a member of the biggest, most powerful gang in his neighbourhood. But when his initiation goes wrong and the police catch him robbing an auto supply store, Lee’s father sends him to live with his aunt in New Toronto.

Lee feels more lost than ever. His mother’s death from cancer, and his father’s constant absence working two jobs mean he has practically had to raise himself. But though he initially resists his Aunt Reena and the customers of Reena’s Unique Café – a ragtag collection of the unusual, the unkempt and the deeply eccentric – Lee gradually learns to open himself up to his new surroundings. When Lee strikes up an unlikely friendship he is suddenly confronted by the ravages of violence, and is forced to face the consequences of his own aggression.

The Blue Helmet is a powerful portrait of one young man’s struggle to come into his own, and the peace that comes from the achievement.

From the Hardcover edition.



"I thought you guys aren’t supposed to smoke on duty.”

The fat plainclothes cop named Carpino lowered his window an inch.

“You’re a strange one to talk about rules,” he said.

The unmarked police car hissed through deserted Sunday morning streets,...
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Winner of the 2007 CLA young adult canadian book award
An OLA top ten best bet for schools and libraries

“William Bell is arguably one of the most wide-ranging and reliable of Canadian authors. His range is impressive. So is the high quality of his writing.”
Books in Canada

The Blue Helmet reminds the reader that all actions have consequences, and that one must take responsibility. . . . Bell has created a fast-paced and moving story of a teen trying to find his place in the world.”
— (Highly Recommended) CM magazine