Book reviews

Changing Society: a personal history of Scope 1952-2002
By Chris Davies
With a foreword by Jonathan Dimbleby
Scope pound;8
Order on: 020 7619 7341

Chris Davies's parents were among the first members of Scope (formerly the Spastics Society); he was seven when the organisation was set up to campaign for the interests of people with cerebral palsy, and attended one of its schools, which he recalls as "a mixed blessing".

Having fought to be allowed to take O and A-levels, he was turned away from art college "because if I couldn't physically practise art, they weren't interested in having me".

Davies is a success story: after access problems at two universities, he got a degree with the Open University, worked full-time for Scope and is now a freelance journalist. Others were less lucky, and their stories are woven through this account of the changing shape of the charity, in which the people for whom it was set up have gradually gained influence.

It's also a look at key landmarks in public education about cerebral palsy, from the Daily Mirror Ruggles cartoon strip in the Fifties to present-day sophisticated campaigns on access.

Dog Bark
Poetry from the Bethlem amp; Maudsley Hospital School
Rockingham Press pound;5.95

This exciting collection with its glorious cover by Yanick Makunga combines poems by pupils and teachers at the hospital school (for young people with mental health difficulties) with work by published poets, including Anne-Marie Fyfe, Moniza Alvi and E A Markham, among those who led poetry workshops at the school.

Universal themes such as "seasons" and "place" ("what makes places special, how we hold on to them and the notion of one's own imagined place") have yielded a rich variety of highlights, which include "All of It", a multiple-choice test to determine paths through life by Peter Groot, and Oliver Moore's "My Terms" - "I want to get rid of order but bring it back when I feel weak".

Geraldine Brennan

Eve Garnett: artist, illustrator, author
A Memoir by Terrence Molloy
The Book Guild pound;14.95

Author of The Family from One End Street , the first children's book peopled entirely by working-class characters, Eve Garnett has been increasingly misunderstood since its publication in 1937. The town featured in this famous story was Lewes in Sussex (where the publisher is based), rather than some unnamed slum, and the author - often accused of patronising her characters - had strong socialist sympathies, even at one time attracted by communism.

This biography by her nephew throws further light on a complex, prickly personality, whose interest in the poor was stimulated by the 19th-century books she read as a child as well as by what she saw around her in London's East End during the 1920s.

Nicholas Tucker

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