Monday, February 15, 2010

FLOUR BABIES


FLOUR BABIES
by Anne Fine
1992
178 pages
Mr. Cassidy, teacher of room 8 forsees nothing but trouble ahead when the annual school science fair asks his class aka The Sads and The Bads to submit a project.
The class unanimously votes to have flour babies after a student named Simon mistakenly over hears a conversation that leads him to believe that at the end of the experiment they will be able to destroy their flour sacks.
The six pound flour bags are passed out and each boy is given the responsibility to care for his baby around the clock and record his responsibilities and thoughts in a journal. Also the babies come with a set of rules:
Page 34
1. The flour babies must be kept clean and dry at all times. All fraying, staining, and leaking of the stuffing will be taken very seriously indeed.
2. Flour babies will be put on the official scales twice a week to check for any weight loss that might indicate casual neglect or maltreatment, or any weight gain might indicate tampering or damp.
3. No flour baby may be left unattended at any time, night or day. If you must be out of sight of your flour baby, even for a short time, a responsible babysitter must be arranged.
4. You must keep a Baby Book and write in it daily. Each entry should be no shorter than three full sentences, and no longer than five pages.
5. Certain persons(who shall not be named until the experiment is over) shall make it their business to check on the welfare of the flour babies and the keeping of the above rules. These people may be parents, other pupils, teachers, or members of the public.
Day by day the boys figure out different ways to deal with their babies-one boy quickly reaches his breaking point and kicks his baby into a creek, while another starts a babysitting service and makes money by charging the other boys to take their babies off their hands.
Simon has a surprising reaction to his baby-rather than it being a burden he actually starts to feel affection for his little sack of flour.
As the three week experiment draws to an end Simon starts to understand the full time responsibility that his mom has faced raising him as a single parent and starts to come to terms with his absentee father.
I thought flour babies was a good story. A good lesson to be taught about parenthood and responsibility. I had a little trouble with the translation and language with the book. The boys did not sound American although the story is set in America. But all in all worth a read. I recommend this book for ages 10 and up. It is available for check out at the Salmon Public Library.

2 comments:

  1. Very funny! I was interested in your review when I found out you were reading this book. I remember my own flour baby assignment from high school. Absolutely hated it. I have a feeling I will enjoy this book. Question: was the book originally published in another language?

    Thanks for sharing your review!

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  2. Sorry I should have mentioned that the book was first published in Britian. So some of the phrases the kids use just sound a little funny. But very readable regardless. If you had to carry a flour baby in high school you will definately geta kick out of this book.

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