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The Boy in the Mirror

by Tom Preston

‘You stare at yourself in the mirror for several surreal minutes. The thing before you is not you. But it is.’

Shortlisted for the East Midlands Book Award 2016. Audiobook version now available.

In January 2011, aged 21, Tom Preston was diagnosed with stage 4 advanced aggressive lymphoma. His chances of survival were optimistically placed at around 40%. This short, autobiographical work tells the story of the fight in the months that followed – but this is no ordinary cancer memoir.

The Boy in the Mirror is written in the second person – so the events in this book are happening to you, the reader, living through the hope, love, suffering, death and black comedy encountered by Tom during the battle to save himself.

The Boy in the Mirror should become the go-to recommended reading for the friends and family of a cancer sufferer.”
Megan Brown, We Love This Book

“Books rarely pack such a strong punch. Although pretty bleak in parts, this is ultimately about love, trust – and overcoming death-defying odds. A powerful and well-written memoir.”
Natasha Harding, The Sun (five stars)

“An incredibly powerful read. Triumphant, smiling faces in colourful hospitals are too often the advertisement for beating cancer; this compelling account creates a reality of not only the thoughts and feelings prior to diagnosis but the often horrific treatment. You are guaranteed to finish this book.”
Ben McCann, Goodreads


Tom Preston was born in Kettering, Northamptonshire in 1989. He studied philosophy and politics at Oxford, and taught English in state secondary schools in the UK, before completing a Masters in education at Harvard in 2014. He is based in Nottingham and currently works for education charity Teach First.

In January 2011, aged 21, Tom was diagnosed with stage 4 advanced aggressive lymphoma, with his chances of survival estimated at around 40%. His book telling the story of the months that followed, The Boy in the Mirror, was published by Valley Press in September 2015.


Edition: Paperback

Date Published: 2015-09-17

ISBN: 9781908853530

Catalogue Number: VP0070

Number of Pages: 88

Cover design by Jamie McGarry

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