Bad girls ISBN: 9780440863564
- Doubleday, 1996
- Corgi Yearling, 1997 (ISBN: 9780440863564)
Ten year old Mandy is being bullied at school. Having older, over-protective parents doesn't help, but the real hurt is that her used-to-be best friend has joined the bullies. After one verbal bullying session, she runs into the road and is knocked down by a bus. Though she is not badly hurt, her parents are horrified and try to make her tell on the girls. A visit to the school by her mum only exacerbates the problem. And then Tanya arrives on the scene. Tanya, who at fourteen has spiky orange hair and bizarre clothes, is being fostered by the family across the road, and Mandy falls for her immediately. Friendly, talkative and forthright Tanya is everything Mandy isn't, and despite Mum's disapproval, they are soon doing everything together. The friendship is so important to Mandy that when she realises Tanya is shoplifting, she makes every possible excuse for her. Inevitably, the two are caught. Tanya, who has been caught before, ends up in court with a supervision order, but Mandy is determined to keep in touch. A new friend and a new teacher who is capable of sorting out the bullies make all the difference in Mandy's life. Tanya comes over as a sad child, dyslexic, pushed from one place to another since her mum's suicide, but plucky and often admirable. The characterisations are particularly good. A sensitive and at the same time often funny story of two girls who need each other.