Learning to Think.

Learning to Think.

A broken system kept her trapped, education helped her break free


Brought to you by Penguin.

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 found her way out.

A shocking, inspiring and ultimately hopeful memoir that holds up a mirror to the everyday realities of living in poverty, it is also a testament to the power of books and to learning to question our world.

'Tracy King's memoir is heartbreaking and hopeful...An incredible true story of survival and forgiveness.' TIM MINCHIN

'Raw and unflinching.' CAROLINE CRIADO PEREZ

'A brilliant writer.' ADAM KAY

'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

©2024 Tracy King (P)2024 Penguin Audio


  • King's memoir is heartbreaking and hopeful; a devastating true story that teaches us how the pursuit of knowledge can be a path to both freedom and breathtaking grace.
    Tim Minchin

About the author

Tracy King

Tracy King is a writer, producer and science communicator based in England. She has worked on subjects ranging from science and technology to politics and videogames, for the BBC and in the Guardian, Telegraph, New Statesman, Stylist and The New European, amongst others. She was a columnist for Custom PC magazine for over ten years. Her science and critical-thinking animations include a collaboration with Tim Minchin, Storm, which has six million views on YouTube and was adapted into a bestselling graphic novel. Her television and radio credits include Sky News, BBC Newsnight, Good Morning Britain and BBC Sounds.
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