Even if it doesn’t, the book of the same title by Penelope Lively is still worth reading.
Dame Penelope Margaret Lively, born 17 March 1933 is considered to be a prolific, popular and critically acclaimed author of fiction for both children and adults. Although she won the Book prize for her masterpiece «Moon Tiger» that is oriented to more mature public, first she became famous thanks to her short stories, given a glimpse of a child’s world.
The short story with garish title «Next term, we’ll mash you» is believed to be another masterpiece, where the author applies her distinctive insight and consummate artistry to the subtle story of a school life. Going to a boarding school, the young Penelope learnt at first hand how violent and hard-hearted children could be. That personal experience gave rise to producing one of the most shinning short stories dedicated to bullying a newcomer can face in a school.
Just as most of her short stories this one represents a very real, very ordinary life drawn exquisitely in miniature. That’s why at first glimpse the plot of the book may seem plain and uneventful. No sweeping epics. No high drama. No neat resolutions. Just as in real life, change happens in Lively's novels, but only incrementally. The raging emotions are not on the surface, but deep inside the souls of the characters, so you need to try and grasp the meaning of the story out of descriptions the author provides. To repeal the gist of character’s personality the author presents word-pictures of scenes and events by giving specific details that appeal to the five senses and the reader’s imagination. Thus although Penelope Lively doesn’t describe the characters directly, we can clearly see all of them thanks to their reaction to the…