The Big Pink

Ann Pilling, Author Viking Children's Books $11.95 (160p) ISBN 978-0-670-81156-4
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. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/25/1988
Release date: 05/01/1988
Hardcover - 382 pages - 978-0-7451-0959-6
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