Jarman, Julia Hangman

ISBN 13: 9780006754183

Hangman

3.33 avg rating
( 45 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780006754183: Hangman

A powerful school novel chronicling the rise and fall of a bully , culminating in a dramatic search for a pupil on one of the WW2 Normandy landing beaches , in Northern France.

Danny is different from the other children at school. He’s a bit of a swot, old-fashioned, and gets bullied by the other boys – particularly the class ‘star’.. Danny befriends the girls, which makes the boys who bully him even worse. On a school trip to Northern France to visit the WW2 landing beaches, the bullies play more and more tricks on Danny culminating in making him miss the coach back from a day trip. Lost in France, with limited French, Danny is kidnapped by an old man. The police are called in, a search gets under way and the finger is pointed at the bullies. Danny is meanwhile kept prisoner – terrified and dermoralised, he contemplates suicide. But his kidnapper turns out to be an old WW2 resistance fighter who is reliving his past and thinks he his helping to hide Danny from the Germans. Danny is found, safe but unconscious from a mystery illness. Neither he, nor the ringleader of the bullies will ever be the same again. A moving, powerful and compulsive read with plenty of historical detail [WW2] and social issues.

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Review:

Established British author of several children's books for the 8-12-year-old age group (including Time-Travelling Cat and When Poppy Ran Away) Julia Jarman confronts the painfully recurrent issue of bullying.

As with all her books, before starting to write she spoke to lots of children and adults and collected a great deal of 'real life' data. Her method works. Hangman is simply written and easy to read but its story is not an easy one. When Danny, the odd, detached, pedantic boy Toby knew at Primary school, turns up at his secondary school Toby is not pleased. He's worked hard to get in with the cool, laid back sporty set and he doesn't want to feel responsible for an odd ball. While Toby sits on the fence his other 'friends' take over. Danny is remorselessly bullied both in and out of school. Things come to a head on a school trip to Normandy, close to the D-day beaches where men fought against Fascism. A mean game goes dreadfully wrong and a simple children's story becomes a totally absorbing, frightening and sobering lesson in life. A truly powerful read. (Ages 8 to 12). --Tamsin Palmer

Review:

"Jarman provides a searing insight into the mindlessness of bullying and the fickleness of so-called friendship." ( Books for Keeps)

"A powerful and perceptive story." ( Mail on Sunday)

"Bound to touch the heart of every child who has ever been party, in whatever way, to a bullying situation . . . one of the best novels on the subject I've come across" ( Northern Echo)

"Hangman is for anyone who's ever been a playground thug or just stood by while someone else was being picked on. Bullying's no joke! Read this incredible book and take note." ( The Times)

"Julia Jarman has an amazing ability to convey complex layers and issues through short and sharp stories which have maximum impact...irresistable plot" ( School Librarian)

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