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The story of a strange and disturbing friendship seen through the eyes of Natalie as she gets to know Tulip Pierce, a deliquent girl most others go out of their way to avoid. Nobody wants Tulip in their gang. She bunks off school, is rude to the teachers and makes herself unpopular with her classmates by telling awful lies. But none of this matters to Natalie who finds Tulip's behaviour exciting and dangerous. At first she doesn't care that other people are upset by Tulip's bizarre games but as the games become increasingly dangerous and sinister, Natalie realises that Tulip is going too far. Way too far... Tulip becomes even more destructive and after a row with Natalie she commits a terrible crime.This is a compelling story in which Anne Fine explores the dark side of a friendship bordering on obsession, and sensitively depicts one girl's gradual decline into hostility and violence.

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About the Author:

Anne Fine was born and educated in the Midlands, and now lives in County Durham. She has written numerous highly acclaimed and prize-winning books for children and adults, including GOGGLE-EYES, winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Award and the Carnegie Medal, FLOUR BABIES, winner of the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Children's Book Award, BILL'S NEW FROCK, winner of a Smarties Prize, and MADAME DOUBTFIRE, which has become a major feature film. Anne Fine was named Children's Laureate in 2001.

From Kirkus Reviews:

The author of Alias Madame Doubtfire (1987) and, more recently, Step by Wicked Step (1996) mines a darker vein with this study in malevolence. Exploring the countryside around the elegant old hotel her father is now managing, Natalie first sees Tulip standing in a field holding a kitten; later in school Natalie makes overtures of friendship, not realizing until too late that Tulip is a social outcast and perennial discipline problem as well. Enthralled by Tulip's fearlessly antisocial behavior, Natalie surrenders her will and common sense, playing along in a succession of pranks, cleverly subtle harassment, and quiet, mean games with hair-raising names--Rats in a Firestorm or Road of Bones. In Fine's view, Tulip is to be pitied as much as feared, for her twisted, uncontrolled nature has been molded by an abusive father--but all of the adults in the story come in for a share of the blame, too, aware of Tulip's situation but, beyond handwringing, allowing it to continue. After a game of Wild Nights ends in arson, Natalie finds herself abruptly free of Tulip's spell and breaks off the friendship. Tulip retaliates, and on Christmas Eve, the hotel goes up in flames. Fine expresses with canny precision her protagonist's ambivalence and soul- searching, challenging readers to see how fascinating such repellent behavior can be. A moving, complex story. (Fiction. 11-13) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Published by LONGMAN (1999)
ISBN 10: 0582319412 ISBN 13: 9780582319417
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Irish Booksellers
(Portland, ME, U.S.A.)

Book Description LONGMAN, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0582319412

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