Life is tough and cheerless for Billy Casper, a disillusioned teenager growing up in a small Yorkshire mining town. Violence is commonplace and he is frequently cold and hungry. Yet he is determined to be a survivor and when he finds Kes, a kestrel hawk, he discovers a passion in life. Billy identifies with her proud silence and she inspires in him the trust and love that nothing else can. Intense, raw and bitingly honest, A Kestrel for a Knave was first published in 1968 and was also made into a highly acclaimed film, Kes, directed by Ken Loach. In a new introduction Barry Hines reappraises a book that has become a popular classic.