Slice of life

25th September 1998 at 01:00
New fiction chosen by Michael Thorn

Any child who has had to plead and bargain to be allowed a pet will adore Fly, Cherokee, Fly (Corgi Pounds 3.99) Chris d'Lacey's story about a boy who nurses an injured racing pigeon back to health. The chapter in which Darryl's parents talk themselves into letting him look after the pigeon highlights one of d'Lacey's strengths as an author - an unerring ear for the stock phrases and attitudes of family life. Mum and Dad say the bird must go and Darryl has a tantrum and runs to his room. Eventually, Dad takes the positive view ("It'll give him something personal to cherish") and Mum reluctantly concedes ("On your head be it").

Hilarious family repartee continues throughout the novel. The mother's comments, in particular, will surely amuse those who have heard similar things at home. Darryl's younger sister, although not central to the narrative, also has her say. The story - about commitment, co-operation and resistance to bullying - is given an unusual context. But the humorous family scenes root it to everyday reality.

The result is a stirring and convincing novel for older primary readers, which will do for racing pigeons what Kes did for birds of prey.

Michael Thorn is deputy head of Hawkes Farm primary school, Hailsham, East Sussex

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now