The Bailey game ISBN: 9780330398305
Published by Macmillan, 2002
Gripping and realistic, this novel tells two stories in one. Alex in the present day remembers Michael Bailey and the horrific way he was treated by her and her classmates two years before. Now it seems to be happening again with new girl Lauren. Lauren is from Australia. Spikey and difficult, she had not wanted to come to England, and the other 13 year olds begin calling her names, sending nasty notes, chasing her, and in the case of ringleaders Greg and Sandi, threatening physical violence. Alex, remembering Michael, who left school having suffered a breakdown from the ferocity of the bullying, tries to befriend Lauren with mixed results. They are wary of each other, but when Greg and the others begin threatening Alex and Lauren's younger sister Caroline, the girls finally tell all to their mothers. With the help of a tape recorder, they record the vicious threats, and the school takes action. This is a really frightening story of bullying. The bullies seem almost beyond redemption, and one knows that those bullied, particularly Michael Bailey, will be marked for life. A rivetting read.