Review Blog

Oct 16 2014

Stuff Happens: Ned by Andrew Daddo

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Penguin, 2014. ISBN: 9780143308096
When Ned is late for his first day in year 5, he feels that he is going to be off to a bad start, despite mum telling him that 'no-one gets in trouble on the first day of school'. Discovering that his teacher for the year is to be Ms Lucas, the 'dragon lady' he remembers negatively from year 2, he makes some poor choices, plays class clown and manages to end up in trouble after all. Thanks to his two older siblings being remembered by the principal and his teachers as total angels, Ned seems to feel that he can never live up to their status. He continues to break the rules to get the attention of his peers. Following meetings with his parents and the principal, things begin to change. Will the changes be for the better or not?
As with other books in the series, this title highlights the differences between right and wrong, sibling rivalry, rules, teachers and students and learning how to make correct decisions. The familiar settings of home and school add to the accessibility of the plot and, despite the strong positive messages contained therein, the story is not totally didactic. This would be a good read aloud and starting point at the beginning of the school year, for middle primary classes, when setting class rules or guidelines and discussing the concepts of strong and weak choices.
Jo Schenkel

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