Rowan the Strange


Rowan the Strange by Julie Hearn is the third in a trilogy that follows three generations of the same family. However, this story does stand alone. It is set against the background of the Second World War and the Blitz. Rowan is not like other children. He has strange, uncontrollable anger attacks. When his parents can't cope, they send him to an asylum under the care of a Doctor who is both German and Jewish and has inner battles of his own. At the Asylum, Rowan meets up with Dorothea who believes she can see and talk to Joan of Arc. She is happy with her state and has no wish to be 'cured'. With the madness of war raging in the outside world, you are left wondering what we mean by ' normal', ' rational', 'insane'. There are some harrowing scenes, which are not for the faint-hearted, of the medical treatment these young people receive. And yet, we know that it is only through trial and error and experiment that medical progress is made. A book that raises so many questions but doesn't attempt to give the answers. With unforgettable characters, this multi-layered, disturbing but compelling story is sensitively told. One to set young people thinking. A challenging read for KS3.

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Dreams & Aspirations theme | Fiction | cross curricular | Issues