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George , The Skinners School


Mal Peet's Beck is a novel that takes you on a journey. This journey is enticing and choc-full of emotion. It will make you think about racism, abuse and homelessness.

My favourite aspect of the book is the fragmented locations that educate you about bizarre things. An example is the Canadian Brotherhood Home which is true to Benedictine-run establishments of the time. The boys worked the land while the monks were confined to oratory and prayer.

The 'perks' of having these unusual places is that we see thought-provoking character contradictions come through. You see this when the Priest who supposedly served God would be malicious enough to molested a 'coloured' boy.

This brings me on to the shocking racism that is found within the text, especially in chapter Earth. With the Giggs, Beck is forced into hard manual labour. Beck has the courage to object to this which just lands him in more trouble.

In all,
Beck is a bit like a series of consecutive volcanos about to erupt. They erupt at different stages of his life: this is just agony to the boy, the man, the hero!

Posted on: 18th June 2017 at 12:47 pm

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