Chapter Five: Summary and Questions

Buddy is having a good day at school. Mr Normington is off, his friends are back and he did well in his history speech. As they were leaving the class, some of the other students target Buddy by singing ‘My old man’s a dustman,’ a song aimed to embarrass Buddy. Charmian tells him to forget about as it’s Friday and they agree to meet later that evening.

Buddy plays a game, where he goes into the shop and sees if he can leave without stealing anything. He passes the test and he thinks that this proves that he’s not a thief like his dad. Buddy has tea by himself, peas on toast and is still hungry after, showing how little they have to eat.

Buddy goes to the Satellite Youth Club later that evening to meet Jules and Charmian. He feels a little intimidated as one of the only white people there and turns up late to make sure his friends are already there. Buddy gets dirty looks from one of Jules’ friends and it is because he had trouble with some white kids earlier in the day. Buddy tells Jules that he had trouble with white kids too. This highlights the problem of racism in the world of the text. It also becomes apparent that Buddy really likes Charmian and he has told her about his mum.

After the Youth Club, the twins go for chips and Buddy tells them he’s not hungry but he’s starving and has to move away from the outside of the shop because of the smell of the chips. Charmian and Jules come out of the shop and she hands a bag to Buddy who takes one chip. She tells him that the bag is for him and he becomes very embarrassed and he tells her that he doesn’t want them. Buddy is embarrassed because he knows that she knows that he has no money. Charmian threatens to put all three bags in the bin unless Buddy eats his and he eventually agrees.

On the way home, they see a sign for a Dracula film at the cinema and Buddy tells them the story his dad told him about the haunted house on Croxley Road. When he’s finished telling the story the twins are impressed and Jules wants to go see the house. Despite not wanting to, Buddy joins the twins as they set off for Croxley Street.

  1. How did the boys embarrass Buddy at school? What does this show about the boys?
  2. How do we know that racism is a problem in the text? Explain your answer.
  3. Why does Buddy go into the shop?
  4. Why won’t Buddy accept the chips from Charmian? What does this tell us about Buddy?
  5. Are the twins good friends? Explain your answer with reference to the text.

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