Review Blog

Jun 25 2013

I own the racecourse by Patricia Wrightson

cover image

Text Publishing, 2013. First published in 1968. ISBN: 9 781 922 147028.
(Age: 8+) Andy is different to other boys his age, he is a open and friendly person who likes to say that he lives 'behind a closed window'.
While Andy's friends play a game where they own places around town which he doesn't quite understand Andy wishes that one day he can join in. 'You can't own it if somebody else does,' they would tell him when he tried to claim the corner store. So when an old man offers to sell Andy Beecham Racecourse for three dollars Andy instantly agrees. When his friends learn what Andy has done they do anything they can not to see Andy hurt. However the workers call Andy 'The Owner' which does little to help the boys convince Andy of the old man's duplicity. Andy becomes more and more involved in the maintenance of his racecourse and before long he catches the attention of the real owner and Andy feels he has to prove that he really is the owner. But what will happen when Andy's admonishments go too far and disaster strikes Beecham?
What I found unusual about this novel is that Andy's fragility of mind is never directly mentioned showing that people like him deserve to be treated just like everyone else. Overall this novel is something which young people today don't see, Andy's gentle and simple character voice teaches important lessons and values which most people neglect such as caution and acceptance. Suitable for ages eight and up I would recommend making this book available to young people today.
Kayla Gaskell, Age Seventeen

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