Wow. A very different book to what I’d normally choose as I naively assumed when I picked it up that it would be a bit ‘girly’ – what a hypocrite I am! I always tell my students to endeavour to remove stereotypes and be individuals rather than pigeon hole themselves and others according to what society expects them to be. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover Miss T!
When reading the first few chapters I was a bit shocked with the setting, as we follow boys in a class which seems to be labelled by the kids and openly by the teacher, Mr Cartright, as a class for ‘naughty’ and ‘stupid’ kids. The fixed mindset language was a bit tricky to see past, although bearing it mind it was written in 1992, maybe it is just a generation thing? Anyway, the boys are set a task to look after sacks of flour as if they are babies. They have to always be watched (babysitters are needed if you are unable to), they have to be kept clean etc. Fine focuses on a child called Simon who really gets carried away with the task and realises that being a parent is a challenging 24 hour job. Simon also has an internal battle with himself about why his dad left him and his mum when he was only six weeks old. He matures a lot over the three week task – why not have a read yourself and see how he does this?