While Jon does claw his way up to a bit more stability, this novel is too honest to paint too rosy colored a picture at the end of the book. Jon doesn't find a compelling teacher that makes him decide school is great. He doesn't come into a great deal of money. He and his mother don't fall into a Leave It to Beaver pattern. That's what makes this an interesting novel. Jon is lost, but so are the adults -- those who'd like to help him and those who could care less. It's an all too-common story, no matter what side of the big pond you are on (the story is set in England).
While I didn't love all of the writer's style and I did trip up a few times on phrases that must be common in England but not here in the States, I recommend this novel for anyone who wants a realistic and gritty look at the life of a down-and-out teenager. Recommended for ages 12 and up, but more preferably 14 and up.