Saturday, 18 December 2010

Step by Wicked Step- Anne Fine

A sneak preview into my book that will be published soon...


  • The novel is set in the modern 20th century.
  • The story begins on a wet, rainy night with storms raging in the sky as the five main characters make their way ahead of their classmates to Old Harwick Hall for a week-long field trip.


  • The story takes place in Old Harwick Hall which is a spooky Victorian mansion built hundreds of years ago.
  • It is described as 'absolutely private' and 'a towering mansion with dunce-hatted turret'. It has 'dark windows' and a 'huge oak and iron door'.
  • The Tower Room in Old Harwick Hall - a room equipped with beds pointing to the centre. This is the room where the five characters Pixie, Claudia, Ralph, Robbo and Colin first gather when they arrive.
  • A tiny room (' a tower off a tower') adjoining the Tower Room is where the characters discover a mysterious old diary belonging to Richard Clayton Harwick. The room is hidden by the frame of a bed but a pock-mark reveals its existence. The room is full of cobwebs and dust on the furniture. There are six vaulted windows, a lantern, candelabra, some books, cushions and a tiny carved wooden cow with three legs in the room.

Plot Overview

The novel is written in seven chapters. The first two chapters are without titles while the other five chapters consist of stories from the five main characters, Claudia, Pixie, Ralph, Colin and Robbo. In the story, five schoolchildren spend the night in the creepy Old Harwick Hall, as part of a school field trip accompanied by their teachers. The schoolchildren do not really know each other, but the discovery of an old diary in the tower room find themselves coming closer together as they actually have a lot in common. The novel is written in an autobiographical style where the five main characters, Claudia, Pixie, Robbo, Colin and Ralph take turns to tell their five distinct stories step-by-step, story-by-story. They share stories of their stepfather, stepmother and step siblings frankly and openly and how they cope with their own situations. Their stories have a mixture of happy and sad endings.


    Al-Manar said...

    Personally I would like to see books selected on literary merits, the least is any attempt to show nationalism, the pride of Malaysia-boleh. If indeed the new book by a local write is ‘full of grammatical errors’ it only shows the calibre of those in the selection board. The very name ‘English literature’ should tell it all. It is not just about moral values and how interesting the plots are. I have seen children given sample answers on characters, plots and moral values to memorise for SPM exam. That seems to work!

    One reader wrote in the Star a stinging letter pointing out grammatical mistakes in this year’s PMR English paper. Would the plan to import some 370 English teachers have any positive impact on the situation we are in?

    You may be able to enlighten me why different English Literature books are chosen for different states.

    Rahmah said...

    salam pakcik,
    we also need to give local writers prominence but of course but of course not at the expense of quality. i'm still waiting for the samples of errors in the book as claimed by anonymous earlier.

    The purpose of introducing the literature component is to use literature as a means to improve ss language and to develop an interest in reading and appreciation of the aesthetics. it cannot be equated with the 'Literature in English' syllabus that is an elective offered to SPM candidates for example because the lit. in english is a literature paper per se. in the 'literature component', the approach is lighter although ss still have questions to answer in the SPM. your example of teachers asking ss to memorise plots and moral values is true for the weaker ss. perhaps the teachers do not have much of a choice because their ss do not have the proficiency to tackle the exam questions.

    yes i read all those letters on the pmr- not a very pretty picture i must say. assessment is always a touchy issue :)

    employing foreigners to teach will only add 'flavour' to the teaching kaleidescope in malaysia unless they change the function/role of these foreigners. i've worked with GAP volunteers and PET teachers before and their contribution is minimal. they need to be immersed first in our education system first to understand it well.

    to ur question on why three different texts, my conjecture is we need to have variety and also to cater for the different language proficiencies. a ss can study any one of the novels even though a text has been allocated for a state. therefore there are three choices for the ss.

    Anonymous said...

    teacher.can you please give me the synopsis,setting and plot overview of chapter 4.tq

    Rahmah said...

    dear anonymous,
    i'm unable to do that because the commpany owns the copyright. why don't you get it from the bookshop? it's only rm6.50, a small price to pay for your spm. all the best!

    holagurrl_94 said...

    Hello,I'd just like to say that I am immensely disappointed with the selection of the novel for English Literature this year .Only someone so daft could be oblivious to how much the downgrading of our FORM FIVE novel undermines and offends the intelligence of seventeen year-olds all around.It was in my unbiased understanding that we 'follow the standards of the prestigious British academic institutions'.Then why are we given something that is obviously intended for CHILDREN for our Form 5 Syllabus when we should be off reading something TRULY literature; like for instance Sherlock Holmes?

    ekynnabila said...

    Hi, can u help me with this question ? What is the changes the characters have to face and how they cope with the changes ?
    Please..i need this on my presentation. Thank you very much :)

    Rahmah said...

    dear ekyn,
    u can either refer to the literature resources on the tab above or get a copy of the book by pelangi publications.

    Anonymous said...

    Hi~How to answer the questions (being responsible is one of the important values shown in the novel you have studied)??

    Anonymous said...

    Teacher, I need your help. How to download the files for step by wicked step in literature resources ??