Recommended by Paul Brackenridge (@mr_brackenridge)
Form and genre: Play, adapted from 1977 TV play (also by Willy Russell.)
Length: 88 pages
A short play about a group of pupils from a remedial/ ‘progress’ class in Liverpool who are taken on a trip to Conwy castle.
They get up to all sorts of hijinks, but there is a serious message about education and the lack of opportunity for the most deprived at its heart.
Age recommendation and challenging content: At one point one of the students is in despair and seems to have suicidal thoughts. Conversations around child poverty may also be upsetting for some students.
Notable reasons for recommending this book: Relevant social commentary which links in nicely to a number of popular GCSE texts, especially An Inspector Calls and, of course, Blood Brothers. A nice, short play with some very interesting characters and themes which could lead to some engaging and challenging class discussions.