Skip to main content

Goggle-Eyes by Anne Fine





1990

Kitty’s classmate comes to school with red eyes. She has been crying and is still clearly upset. She runs out of the classroom and Kitty is sent after her to see that she is all right. The girls spend a long time in a cupboard as Helen tells Kitty that she is upset because her mother has acquired a new partner whom she does not like and Kitty comforts her with her own story about a similar situation she has experience..

Goggle-eyes, aka Gerald Faulkner is her own mother’s new partner. He obtains the name because of the way he looks at Rosalind, Kitty’s mother, when she wears an outfit that he has asked her to put on.  Kitty thinks he’s treating her mother like a Barbie doll.   

There are many shades of grey here which may challenge the target reader who still sees the world in black and white. The reader is in fact invited to find Goggle-eyes sympathetic before Kitty herself realises that there is more to him than she had at first thought.

He is very different form her mother but perhaps they complement each other.
Rosalind and Kitty have some common ground: they are against nuclear weapons and quite a big part of the novel is taken up with an activist event at a nuclear submarine base. Goggle-eyes presents an opposite maybe equally valid opinion and invites the young reader into the debate.

The text is a little dated: there are no mobile phones and the nuclear arms consideration isn’t perhaps our main priority today. Yet broken marriages and parents acquiring new partner is a challenge for young people that persists.

This is quite a short book though the chapters are long.            

Comments

Popular Posts

Hilary McKay’s Fairy Tales

2017, fluent reader, Key Stage 2, ages 9-11, upper primary
Here are some familiar fairy stories though the titles may fool you: Rapunzel becomes The Tower and the Bird, Rumpelstiltskin becomesStraw into Gold, and Cinderella is Roses Around the Palace. We are also offered some rather interesting details about some well-known stories. The mayor of the town with the rats tells us how the children who replaced the lost ones were much more amenable than the ones who were piped away. A young girl has a sliver of the looking-glass that once belonged to a wicked queen.Whilst the girl has chickenpox her grandmother tells her Snow White’s story. It is true she assures her granddaughter. How does she know? Because she is Snow White. Hansel and Gretel tell the story of what they did in their holidays.
There is perhaps an assumption that the reader will be familiar with the original stories. Certainly they are amusing and not just for the young reader.Adults can enjoy them too. 
This is quite a …

The Wierdstone of Brisingamen

A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin

Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz

Flambards by K M Peyton