Friday, 23 July 2010

Cuckoo in the Nest by Michelle Magorian

This is a fantastic book by the same author who wrote the wonderful novels Goodnight Mister Tom and Back Home.

This book is set in 1946 – 1947. This novel is about how a boy of about seventeen is desperate to become an actor in a real theatre. He used to work in a paper mill with his father until he got sacked, he must get a job as an actor but will anyone take him on?

While Ralph does his best to get the job of an actor he must hide this ambition from his father. Ralph’s father doesn’t approve of the theatre and they already get into enough quarrels without getting into that one – again. It was a struggle for Ralph to get into the theatre every Friday night without his father knowing, never mind this.

Since the theatre isn’t willing to take him on unless his father supplied them with one-hundred pounds and his father would never agree to pay that money, even if they did have it, Ralph must find some other job. He finds one at one lady’s house, as a gardener. Before long Ralph is helping with something to do with her family as well as with her garden. He also makes very good friends with her daughter when she comes to stay.

Ralph still must be as close to the theatre as possible, so he starts to help out every Saturday night clearing the props from the stage after the show. He finds himself falling in love with the assistant stage hand, who unfortunately for him is engaged. Whilst doing this he still tries to get the job as an actor.

So can Ralph keep this up while not letting his argumentative father catch on what is going on? He must also look after his stressed mother, put up with his annoying aunt, whinging cousin, determined to work but still to young brother and his very clever twelve year old sister. Will he ever get a job as an actor? Will anyone ever find out about his love to the Assistant Stagehand? And will he ever get the chance to meet his favourite actor, Basil Duke? Read this amazing book to find out.

This is a truly excellent book and I recommend it to anyone eleven plus. I give it an eight out of ten.

1 comment:

  1. My little one really enjoyed Goodnight Mr Tom - I shall suggest it to her. Thank you for the recommendation.