THE BIG PINK by Ann Pilling


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From the author of Henry's Leg (1987), a story about a British girls' school that offers such familiar shenanigans as midnight feasts, on-stage pranks, and a predictable assortment of teachers--from lovable to awe-inspiring--but also a unique protagonist who learns and grows through persevering in a tough situation. Fat Angela, sent (while her parents go off as medical missionaries to Pakistan) to The Moat, where her martinet of an aunt is the new headmistress, is promptly nicknamed ""The Big Pink,"" becoming the butt of her dormitory's cruel teasing. But she's a nice kid; when in doubt, she takes her mother's advice, asking herself, ""Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?""--and when life gets more complicated, as it inevitably does, she works out her priorities in terms of those internalized queries. So, in spite of being suspect as the Head's niece, she makes real friends among the other students (whose high spirits get them all in trouble); and she comes to understand that Auntie Pat has similar priorities in trying to balance her inherited staffs idiosyncratic strengths and deficits. The entertaining gallery of colorfully defined characters and the eventful progression of Pink and her aunt to their well-deserved acceptance at the school make this a satisfying story for able readers.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1988
Page count: 155pp
Publisher: Viking