Flour Babies


Author – Anne Fine

Age – 10+

Class 4C are a group of students who don’t do well at school and their teacher is Mr Cartright.

When he explains that due to their past lack of skills in science they are not allowed to do the exploding custard tins etc as past classes have done – and have to choose from a list of ‘safer’ topics: Textiles, nutrition, domestic economy, child development or consumer studies.

Not knowing what half the words even mean, 4C go into overdrive arguing what to do. Child development ends up being chosen at random and they are all given a Flour Baby – with instructions. This is a small sack of Flour they have to treat like a baby, keeping it clean, not leaving it alone, keeping it dry and safe. Some take this more seriously than others, especially Simon Martin. At first he thinks he’s going to enjoy exploding the flour sack at the end of the topic but begins to realise how hard it would be to look after a baby. Is that why his own Dad left when he was just 6 weeks old, never to be seen again?

This is written in such a way that Year 6/7’s can read it but enjoy the humour and the subltle message about avoiding early parenthood. Flour Babies won The Carnegie Medal, Whitbread Children’s Book of the year in 1993.

(Responsibility, School, Family, Growing up, Humour)


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