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From Pictures to Words - a guide to choosing books for beginner readers: Rhyme

The Angel of Nitshill Road by Anne Fine
Published by Mammoth, 1993
ISBN 0-7497-0974-X
Illustrations © Kate Aldous, 1992

Any book from multiple award-winning author, Anne Fine is guaranteed to be a runaway success. The Angel of Nitshill Road is no different. A book for younger readers, it tells the story of how life changed at Nitshill Road School for Penny, Mark and Marigold once the angel arrived.

The author describes with striking accuracy Penny’s fear of being bullied and teased in the playground because of her weight, by the school bully, Barry Hunter. Mark, the nervous child, can’t contain his rage when Barry teases him and ends up going completely crazy, which is exactly what Barry wants. Marigold simply endures all the taunts, her expression never changing.

Even when writing about such a serious matter, Anne Fine provides the usual helping of humour, characteristic of all her books. Mr. Fairway is completely at a loss when it comes to dealing with Celeste, (the angel of the story) in class. Her suggestions are always unusual but he ends up letting her have her way time after time.

Before she leaves the school, not only has she solved the bullying problem, but Celeste has made Mr. Fairway promise it will never happen again as long as he is teaching in Nitshill Road School.

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