It’s Danny’s birthday and his dad has organised a birthday dinner, with his grandparents and the Kennedy’s and Mr Benson in attendance. Danny tells everyone he hasn’t got anything for his birthday but we find that his grandparents gave him a jumper that he says he will never wear and his grandfather secretly gave him some money.
Mr Benson tells us that his father spent most of the war in jail because he was a conscientious objector and a pacifist, who is someone who doesn’t believe in father. It is clear that Danny’s father and grandfather do not agree with this stance.
There is a seat empty at the table and it is set for Danny’s mum who hasn’t come home for the dinner. Danny’s dad gets really upset and says that the are going to continue with the dinner without her.
Danny’s mum eventually comes home and Danny’s dad is furious with her and tells her that she can’t have any dinner. Danny’s mum laughs at this and tells him to grow up. They have a massive row where dad reminds mum that it wasn’t her fault but she still feels that she is to blame. He also reminds her that she has two children who need her.The row ends with Danny’s mum saying ‘there’s only one that matters,’ and Danny knows it wasn’t him.
Later in the evening, Danny goes outside and is surprised to see Sarah who asks Danny to come to the hospital with her to see Andy. Danny again asks Sarah about what really happened but his dad interrupts before she can answer. She runs off telling him to be at the hospital on Monday at four.
1.Who came to Danny’s birthday dinner?
2. Why did Benjamin Benson’s father spend most of the war in jail?
3. What did Danny do with the present his grandmother had given him?
4.Why did Danny feel relieved when he got Pete’s card?
5Why do you think Pete hadn’t been making sense on the phone?
6. Why do you think Danny’s father wouldn’t give his mother any dinner? 7. 7. Why did Danny’s mam feel that, ‘There’s only one who matters?
8. What did Sarah ask Danny to do? How did he feel about that? Why did he agree to go?
Activity: The argument Danny’s parents had an argument at his birthday dinner. Imagine that they continue the argument later that night and write what they might say to each other.