Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Top ten school stories

Andy Mulligan was brought up in South London, and educated at Oxford University. He worked as a theatre director for 10 years, before travels in Asia prompted him to re-train as a teacher. He has taught English and drama in India, Brazil, the Philippines and the UK. His Ribblestrop was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl funny prize in 2009 and Return to Ribblestrop won the Guardian children's fiction prize in 2011.

He named his top 10 school stories for the Guardian, including:
Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens

Some children read Dickens, I'm sure of it. In the first part of this epic, young Nicholas gets a freezing stagecoach to frozen Dotheboys Hall – he's to be the new teacher. He witnesses the terrible abuses of wicked principals Mr and Mrs Squeers, who flog the boys with terrifying sadism. It's a truly cynical school, based on real places the writer visited, and when Nicholas snatches the cane and thrashes the schoolmaster…oh, the scent of revolution!
Read about the other entries on the list.

Nicholas Nickleby is on John Mullan's list of ten of the best wicked uncles in literature and is one of Paulette Jiles's 12 favorite books.

--Marshal Zeringue