Julia Jarman can be for given for thinking I’d forgotten all about her book, but the truth is that every time over the last year when I picked up Hangman, I put it down again. Something about this book, more so than other books about bullying, scared me witless. And when I had read half the book last week, I had to force myself to go on. Don’t misunderstand me. It is a very good book.
It’s almost too good, and quite possibly more realistic on the subject of bullying than many others. That’s why it’s so painful to read. Luckily the second half of the story was more bearable, because I could tell it was leading to a conclusion of sorts, even if it turned out to be very, very bad.
My conclusion, though, is that I’m not upset by the awful behaviour of the boys in the story. Children have always been like that. Always will be. I’m dreadfully disappointed in the adults, and can’t understand how they all could manage to be quite so blind and naïve, and as far as the teachers went, so unprofessional. Not a single parent seemed to know their child. Didn’t stand up for the needy child. The teachers tutted amongst themselves about the bullied boy being a funny one. Not a mixer, and shaking their heads.
Stupidity is far scarier than cunning bullies.