Log in. Year 6 are learning just what it takes to be full time mums and dad! Based on the novel by Anne Fine, Flour Babies. The story centres around Simon Martin, a pupil in class 4C at an unnamed school.
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As it so happens, a new student has arrived at the school, and, by sheer coincidence, his name is Martin Simon. The class teacher, Mr. Cartwright, sends the boy to Dr. Feltham's class, and Simon, who had been sent there by accident, soon arrives.
The class are choosing their options for their contribution to the school Science Fair. As a result, 4C have ended up having to choose between a series of boring experiments. First they have to choose a topic- their options are consumer studies, textiles, child development, nutrition, and domestic economy. Simon Martin is given the task of pulling a voting slip out of a tub; Martin Simon's slip comes out, and the topic he has chosen is "child development". The experiment which Dr. Feltham an eccentric science teacher who organises the fair has chosen for child development is 'Flour Babies'.
Let chaos reign. To their intense disgust they get the Flour Babies - sweet little six-pound bags of flour that must be cared for at all times. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published April 7th by Puffin first published September 1st More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Flour Babies , please sign up. Holly Edwards He was missing his father because he left him when he was little so simon Martin got angry because he wanted him back.
See all 6 questions about Flour Babies…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Flour Babies. Mar 25, Rebecca McNutt rated it really liked it Shelves: school-life , dysfunctional-family , fiction , middle-grade. Flour Babies is a very odd story, but beneath its strange premise of trouble-making kids being given four sacks as a substitute for infants there's a harrowing lesson for the main character in responsibility as he considers at length his own dysfunctional family and the way he was raised.
As the other boys in his class are careless with their "children", he's determined to look after his at all times. This book is definitely better than its reputation. And of course the concept behind these types of educational projects is to on the one hand instil a sense of responsibility into as yet often woefully carefree and naively irresponsible teenagers how it feels to be totally and wholly on the proverbial hook for something, in this case a flour baby and on the other hand to make both male and female adolescents think and consider twice with regard to sexuality, with regard to especially unprotected intercourse, as parenthood is shown to be, parenthood means continuous commitment, responsible thinking or at least, it should.
Now for Simon, who like the rest of his classmates, is asked to keep a diary of his feelings about being one hundred percent responsible for the welfare the health of his assigned flour baby, his feelings continuously mature throughout Flour Babies , moving from initial anger and disgust to for the first time actually beginning to understand why his mother is often so stressed out and irritated and even somewhat coming to terms, even being able to fathom a bit why his father abandoned the family, why fatherhood was so traumatic an experience for him and to him that he left, that he ran away.
And while the ending of Flour Babies is fortunately and appreciatively cautiously optimistic and hopeful, thankfully and realistically, Anne Fine also does not simply and completely have Simon Martin be transformed from somewhat of a slacker, a teenager with often annoying and frustrating attitudes and habits to some kind of a glowingly pure hero for no, while the flour baby project has indeed left Simon wiser and more tolerant, he is and still can be rather a handful for his mother and his teachers, although he did actually and in fact do a much much better job caring for his flour baby than many if not most of his schoolmates, than his school friends did.
Nov 23, Lisa rated it it was amazing Shelves: children , carnegie-medal-and-shortlist. Bittersweet story about struggling students and the unexpected effects of a science project.
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Flour Babies centres around Simon Martin, his peers in Form 4C and their experiences of a 'Child Development' project, where they each take on the responsibility of a small sack of flour for several weeks. The bag of flour comes equipped with a set of rules: "The flour babies must be kept clean and dry at all times.
Flour babies | Cheswardine Primary and Nursery School
No flour baby may be left unattended at any time, night or day" and they are weighed weekly to check for leakages or weight gain through taking on water both are signs of neglect. The students are to think of their flour baby as a real baby and it is designed to teach them about responsibility and parenthood. Unsurprisingly, they hate the project, but Simon, who regularly finds himself in trouble and doesn't gain very much from school generally, finds that he begins to enjoy the project and it helps him come to terms with his own absent father.
I read this book as a child and enjoyed it - I remember hoping that our school would give us a similar experiment! Re-reading it now, I find that the language has dated and I wonder whether children would relate to it now. Written in which unbelievably is 21 years ago! It seems unbelievable that a boy like Simon a teenager and an 'underachiever' would express himself in these terms. However it would start an interesting debate on slang and students reading it today could draw up translations, working out the modern-day equivalents.
Flour Babies is largely set in a school environment and describes the relationships between teachers and pupils in a knowing and humorous way. Despite the fact that the text feels dated, the dynamics of teacher-student relationships are not so different to those in modern day schools.
It is written from third person perspective and although it often centres on Simon's thoughts we also follow the form tutor, Mr Cartwright, and hear his thoughts too. The book is set in an all-boys school and no girl characters are present in any detail.
However Simon's mother is an important character and Simon gradually appreciates her, and how her life was affected by being a single mother. There are some tender scenes, for example the description of Simon first appreciating that he is alive: "He pulled the flesh on the back of his hand up into a miniature tent, and then let go.
The skin sprang back instantly, keeping him in shape. His shape. It struck Simon for the first time in his life that he was totally unique. It is this which makes the story more believable - Simon is a funny, lively boy who doesn't enjoy or appreciate the structure and routine of school, but the unconventional nature of the project has in fact taught him things.
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Anne Fine does not attempt to sugarcoat Simon's absent father - there is no tearful reunion or happy ending. Simon simply realises that his father did not stay and accepts it; he doesn't know his father and decides that "only the people who know you really count". The language in the book and the sentence structures are quite complex. In addition the narrative frequently jumps around in time, which could prove confusing for under-confident readers. However as a class text, I think this is a strong contender - it provides debate on parenthood, teenage parents, responsibility and friendship.
Apr 28, Plum-crazy rated it really liked it Shelves: read , general-fiction , childhood-faves-kids-and-ya. At the end of the period the bags will be weighed for weight-loss leakage of flour! Despite it being quite poignant at times the author manages to avoid things becoming mawkish. A book that I suspect I take different things away from as an adult than I would have done reading it as a child. Nov 18, Sally rated it liked it Shelves: childrens , england , school , family.
Cute, enjoyable story. Another I grabbed through readitswapit. The funny thing was, when I read that the boys were in class 4C, I immediately assumed this meant grade 4 - as in they were about 9 years old.