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4.5 out of 5 stars
Not Bad For A Bad Lad
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 22 May 2010
Not bad for a bad lad is told as personal story of a Grandpa's life when he was a lad. He wants his grandson to know the truth about his youth so he writes it down.

From when he is a young boy everyone one thinks he is a bad lad, even him. He is sent to Borstal Prison, where his loves of music and a horse called Dombey intertwine his life together. He learns when you earn respect things can change.

This book is wonderful, and the author is great and really knows how to capture a reader. It combining the very best of storytelling and detailed water colour illustration which bring the settings alive.

Perfect for older children who are ready for chapter books in terms of content but who like plenty of illustrations to look at in a book as well as words.

Would defiantly recommend reading this !
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on 13 February 2012
Not bad for a bad lad is a story of redemption that reflects Borstal training in the 1960s. It is a vivid testimonial of what could be achieved through hard work and discipline along with help and encouragement from the staff of these establishments.The lads in these institutions were under a strict regime that entailed getting up at crack of dawn followed by breakfast of porridge and tea.Huge dining hall floors had to be acrubbed spotless before woking in Harvest fields untill dusk or topping sugar beet in freezing weather for days on end.Some were lucky enough to work at the stables or in fruit packing sheds and when they were deemed to have progressed towards release they were awarded a special badge in the shape of a Pheonix rising from the flames which usually meant that if they were good boys for anther six weeks then they would be released on licence. In the 50s it meant that they would immediately go straight into National Service for two years. It really was a hard life and nothing like todays Young Offenders Prisons. The story "Not bad for a bad lad" Not Bad For A Bad Ladis as true as it can get and this book deserves to be read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 2 March 2012
I worked at that Prison for a while with the Suffolk Punch Horses and an assortment of In-mates,the book does show how many people do change when given some responsibility. It is amazing to see aggressive or upset and home sick-men all move on the same level when taking care of animals. The Suffolk's are now called The Suffolk Punch Trust and still rely on In-mates to help take care of them, give them a look on the internet! Great research Mr Morpurgo.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 28 June 2012
Bought this for my 10 year old son to get him to read more. He had already read "War Horse". He found it really fun and easy to read and even got him reading wo=ithout prompting him. Good book for young minds
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 April 2012
A serious story about how a young lad gets into more and more trouble , mixes with the wrong people , is sent to prison .... But his heart is in the right place and his love for horses saves him ... A happy ending to an extraordinary story , very human and uplifting. Informative too with plenty of historical background information . Suitable for 10 years and up.
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on 17 March 2012
Not bad for a Bad Lad is a book about a grandpa telling his grand-son about his youth as a Bad Lad.Everyone thought he was a Bad Lad,even himself.At the age of 16 he is sent to Borstal prison of young offenders for only a year thanks to one of his only friendly teacher who could see he meant no harm in his life.He just didn't want to learn and had been a thief for the past 4 years because he thinks the only thing he can be good at is being a troublemaker.Bad Lad was in jail when a friendly man who was in the first world war with horses saw him slowing down everytime he passed in his 2 mile run and said that Bad Lad could have a stay here daily to look after some of the horses if he liked.Eventually he goes out of jail and becomes part of the army with horses as a soldior and has parades of all sorts.Hope you like the book.

Review written By Abhay Goel
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on 13 June 2013
I think the book Not bad for a bad lad was stunning for all of the excitement and enjoyment was amazing! It was one of the best books I have ever read. One of the parts which I really enjoyed was when the boy had a happy finding while a parade was going and he saw Dombey the horse leading the parade.
I think that this book is amazing and has simple yet tricky vocabulary and is very easy to understand, I fully recommend this book and I would strongly advise to just let the flow go and then you will find you can't stop! So overall the author MIchael Morpugo is a brilliant author and I have nearly read all of his books, and so far they are all terrific and i would recommend all of his books!

James C
Age11
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 22 March 2012
After reading war horse I was looking at other titles for Michael Morpurgo. This was a very quick read but a good one still and something I would like to share with my class. The download experience was excellent.
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on 28 July 2013
A faction book which takes the subject of borstals, work horses and drum majors and weaves it into the reminiscence of an old man telling his story as a former bad lad and how he reformed. Short and accompanied by Michael Foreman's inimitable illustrations, it then has short information at the back about Suffolk punch horses, the history of Borstals and working army horses, which are accompanied by real photos. For anyone liking horses they will like the story. Good for reluctant readders as there are plenty of illustrations interspersed with the text and it's short. Woudl support curriculum work as well in a school.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 July 2013
A well written book that is great for people age 8-11 or who like Michael Morpurgo. I would definitely recommend it to someone to a friend .I really enjoy it :).
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