Alone at Pine Street
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Samantha Padgett, the heroine of 'Alone at Pine Street,' is guaranteed to encourage even the most charitable of readers to put this book down for ever. Can you think of anything more nauseating than 'a clever nine year old' who has 'lost her rightful place at the top of the class'. A bit dated, or has Mr. Boyson managed to reinstate league tables back into the Primary classroom? Some of the detail sounds dated too --- do boys wear sandals any more? Peripheral comments are all that can be made, because the plot never begins and certainly never arrives, and the book just stops after a hundred and twelve pages. The publishers claim that the writer 'writes sensitively about contemporary children in urban environments ...', to me she seems sadly lacking in contact with real children, their dialogue, their thoughts and their activities.