Granny the Pag

by Nina Bawden. Novel. 192 pages. Grades 4-8.
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This is a terrific story. Cat (real name Catriona) lives with her unconventional grandmother whom she has nicknamed Pag. Her mother and father are television stars and are so silly that their personalities are almost caricatures. The Pag is a famous psychiatrist and she and Cat have a warm, funny relationship. At school, run by a fatuous headmaster, Cat is being harassed by three boys but her good friends Rose and Tom, with threat of retribution by The Pag, have held them at bay.

Now, however, her mother and father want Cat to live with them in Surrey and it looks like they may succeed. Cat goes to a solicitor and there's a last chapter climax in which the court decides her fate. And then there's The Pag's near-drowning just to add a last page trauma.

The effect of the book, however, is warm and accepting. We are left wanting The Pag to live forever, for Cat's silly parents to go back to their artificial world and for life to just go on the way it is.




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