The Bailey Game
‘Every school has places that you can find if you want to, if you don’t want people to see you. That was important in the Bailey Game – being secret.’
The Bailey Game was vicious. It wrecked people’s lives. What happened in Alex’s class should have ensured that it was never played again. But a new girl arrives. She comes from somewhere else. She’s different. That’s enough for the Bailey Game to start all over again.
The Bailey Game began when I was asked to write a book for slightly younger readers. M y daughter was 10 or 11 at the time and I asked her what I should write about. She said ‘bullying’. Although she wasn’t bullied, as far as I knew, it is something all children fear. I thought back to my own days at school, to my years as a teacher. Names, faces, incidents came back to me and I thought about how a bad case of bullying affects everyone. There are no innocent bystanders. A stark choice is given. Bully or be bullied. What happens to the child who is caught in the middle?
‘A very exciting and disturbing tale. I highly recommend The Bailey Game.’ Michelle Elliott, Kidscape
‘A well-written, sensitive exploration of a theme central to the lives of most children.’ Independent on Sunday
‘This chilling evocation of the world of a tough junior school has conscience and cowardice fighting it out in the heroine’s sensitive spirit.’ Times Educational Supplement
‘A volatile mixture. skillfully worked up into a frenzied climax. The writing is powerful and the convolutions of the plotlines are tightly controlled.’ Junior Bookshelf
‘Rees treats this subject brilliantly.’ Viewpoint