Grade 7-9 When Angela's parents depart England to do medical missionary work in Pakistan, Angela is sent to a boarding school run by her aunt. As soon as she settles into her dorm (called the Big Pink), Angela is met with teasing be cause she is fat and the Head's niece. Led by the overbearing Sophie, an AA (anti-Angela) group is formed. When the girls trick Angela into thinking that a note was sent to her by the grandson of the school's benefactor, a boy on whom she has a crush, Angela is devas tated. Her only asset is her ability to sing and play the piano, even though she's too embarrassed to actually per form in front of others. The climax comes when Angela is talked into per forming a duet at the Founder's Day celebration and, just as she begins to sing, she notices her parents in the au dience. She knows now that she will be able to leave and sings well as a result. The plot moves right along, with sub- plots intertwining well. The rivalry be tween Angela and Sophie is well done, and Angela's embarrassment about her weight is realistic. But the book will take some selling due to small print, British terms, and unsatisfactory devel opment of secondary characters. Bon nie L. Raasch, C. B. Vernon Middle School, Marion, Iowa
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
In this British novel, Angela has several strikes against her when she enters an exclusive girls' school: her aunt is the owner and headmistress, so Angela is getting a free ride; she is self-conscious about her religious upbringing; she has a North Country accent; and, she is quite overweight. Aunt Pat is strict and wants her school to project a certain polished image, so she is impatient with Angela's shortcomings. The other girls find her an easy target for their amusement and mean jokeslike calling her the "Big Pink" after the largest dorm. In her determination not to let them best her, Angela wins self-esteem and is happy by the end of term, but even heavier than before. Pilling's book dares to break the mold of certain social predispositions: Angela's nemesis, Sheila, begins to lose her powerbase with the other girls from the outset, and, although it is anticipated, her eventual downfall is very real; Angela proves that she is no fat doormat. A gossipy, chatty atmosphere pervades this thoughtful boarding-school drama, with the addition of some well-placed surprises. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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