Waiting for the Sky to Fall
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I'd advise reading this long novel in advance of offering it to older pupils. There might be some criticism, of the subject matter from the odd parent. Katherine in Jacqueline Wilson's significant novel is rated as gifted at school and home, notably by her very domineering, callously pushy father who has vested in his elder daughter all the life chances he feels he missed. The true price is paid largely by his obese wife and the younger, immature sister Nicola, and by Katherine herself as she awaits the O-level results that she knows will enrage him to greater excesses. Fortunately, Richard, her first boyfriend, surreptitiously enters her life at this time, and until the fateful letters arrives, life has a sweetness that school and home have never yet provided. There is some very sharp observation of people and their differences, their prejudices and their strengths, and the novel moves through events credibly and swiftly.