The Orphan

A woman is found unconscious in the street with a severe head wound; she is also pregnant.
The woman gives birth to a son but later dies- her dying words was the Name Robin McNally- Police sergeant Bob Cole is out to get McNally a petty thief for murder but he manages to get off in court. The grand parents of the woman bring up the boy as their own. Jackie Boyle has an unusual talent- he has the ability to remember everything he see's. he can read a book in minutes and remember every word. Jackie watches his Grand Mother who he calls mam cooking and when she dies of a stroke is forced to cook and clean so that his father who is really his Grandfather; can go to work down the pit at Battlehill Colliery. The five year old does this until his father is killed in the pit rescuing his friends- Jackie is sent to Oakridge Children's Home where he suffered at the hands of the Matron and the nuns strict regime. The Orphan is a fast paced story that will leave you wanting to read more.

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17. 17

It had started to rain as Jackie Boyle made his way to Meadowell Infant School. He pulled up the hood on his duffle coat. He could see all the other parents taking their kids into school so he followed them in.

One of teachers came over to him and asked where his mother was.

“She’s dead Miss.”

“Who brought you then?”

I brought myself I only live in Briarwood Avenue which is just around the corner.”

“Alright come with me said the teacher as she led him to the nursery class.

All the children were sitting crossed legged on the floor and the teacher asked him to join them.

“Good morning everyone, my name is Miss Hunter and I am going to be your teacher.” Now here you will learn your numbers and letters so that you can read. Then we will teach you to write.

“I can read and write said Jackie.”

“You can! Well come down to the front of the class and read us a story.

“She gave him a Benjamin Bunny story to read.

“Miss have you not got a proper story to read?

“That is a proper story Jackie what do you mean?

“I mean a book with more than three words to a page; I read The Elves and the Shoemaker and the Billy Goats Gruff at home.

“You do not start reading those until class three.”

“Why these stories are for babies to read?

“I think you had better come with me Jackie.

Miss Hunter took him to the headmistress’ room where Mrs Backhouse was busy filling out a report.”

“Can I have a word with you headmistress?

“Yes Miss Hunter what can I do for you?

 This boy is able to read and write. He tells me he is reading the Brothers Grim Stories.”

“Leave him here a moment Miss Hunter and I will see to him.”

“Thank you headmistress.”

“Now young man, what is your name?

“Jackie Kevin Boyle; Headmistress.

“Well now please go and choose a book over there and bring it here and read it to me.

Jackie went along the book shelf looking at the book titles until he pulled out a book by Arthur Ransome called Swallows and Amazons. The story is loosely based on Daniel Dafoe’s Robinson Crusoe. Where two families The Walkers and The Blackets go to the Lake District to camp, go fishing and sail the two dinghies’s one called Swallow the other the Amazon. They explore the make believe island with their uncle James Turner who they call Captain Flint. There is a mock battle to see who can capture the others dinghy. They discover the house boat on the other side of the side of the island they call cormorant Island being burgled and a trunk is taken with the memoirs of the boat owner.

They set off a fire work on board to try and alert the owners but end up setting fire to the boat.

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