Poppy’s life revolves around her dad, Big Frank, whom she adores. So when her mum tells her that he’s been arrested, she simply can’t take it in; nor can she when news of his imprisonment is confirmed, sensationally, in the local newspaper. Her mum offers little consolation as she withdraws into herself, her English becoming ever more halting as she lapses into her native Polish. Confused, angry and hurting, Poppy takes it upon herself – with the help of her friend Will – to plot an escape plan for Big Frank.
The strength of this story is in the unfolding of the emotional rollercoaster Poppy experiences as she struggles to come to terms with her dad’s imprisonment. As her belief in her super hero dad is brought into question, so her emotions veer from defiant and categorical denial of his crime to acceptance and a strengthening of love. The story remains sharply realistic, far removed from many stories on this theme, in which the accusation against a parent turns out to be an unjust and horrible mistake.