FORM 5

Novels

Catch us if you can
Name: Ahmad Zul Fikhrie Bin Azmi Matric no:10706 College: Mara Junior
1

Sc ience Col lege Kubang Pasu

2

CATCH US IF YOU CAN

Author’s background

3

Catherine MacPhail ( born 25 January 1946, Greenock) is a Scottish-born author, who has an established reputation as a writer of gritty, urban stories that tackle emotional and contemporary issues that eventually work towards a positive solution. Although she has had jobs (assembling computers for IBM and as a housewife), she always wanted to be a writer. Her first published work was a sort of "twist-in-the-tale" story in Titbits, followed by a story in the Sunday Post. In addition to writing books for children around their teens, she also writes for adults and is the author of the BBC Radio 2 series.

Synopsis

Rory and his grandfather, Granda, have looked after each other since Rory’s dad walked out on them. Granda is given to lapses in memory (putting Rory’s homework down the rubbish chute and the rubbish in Rory’s school bag) and completely irresponsible behaviour (setting fire to his coat at a Parents’ Evening), but he has a generous heart and plenty of charm. Rory acts as his carer until there is a fire in the flat and the authorities decide to separate them. However, Rory is determined that they will stay together and they embark on an escape but with their faces on every television screen and in every newspaper, this is not so easy. Their journey is full of surprise betrayals and unexpected friends as they attempt to evade the authorities and eventually track down the man who walked out on them.

4

Elements

PLOT SUMMARY
Chapter 1 Readers are introduced to Rory and his Granda as they wait for Dr Nicol in the waiting room. The doctor is concerned that Rory is too young to take care of his grandfather. However, Rory is aware that there are only two of them in the family. Chapter 2 Granda has a failing memory; always misplacing things. Rory has the sole responsibility of taking care of Granda like buying him his lunch every day. Chapter 3 Rory sacrifices some of the things he likes for Granda. He gives up football so that he can be at home with his Granda. Rory’s worry is that if Granda is put into Rachnadar, they would

5

be separated. Rory’s dad had left them many years ago and Granda is very disappointed with his son, not wanting to see him again. Chapter 4 Granda is very popular with Rory’s friends and meets Mrs. Foley for the first time. Granda accidentally sets fire to his and Mrs. Foley’s coats at the school’s Parents’ Night. Chapter 5 Val Jessup, a social worker is assigned to take care of Granda and Rory. Darren’s mum and Mrs. Foley are both worried for Rory and are glad of the extra help they were going to receive. However, Granda has a little accident in the flat and is taken to the hospital. Chapter 6 Granda has suffered from smoke inhalation and has to be hospitalised. Rory pleads to the Big Man to make Granda wake up. Val Jessup is nervous to let Rory live in the flat alone and drives him to the children’s home at Castle Street. Chapter 7 Rory goes to the home because he has no choice and he thinks that it will be for only one night – till his granda is out of the hospital. Tess, a young inmate of the home, terrifies Rory with her bad behaviour.

Chapter 8 Granda admits that he had forgotten that the chip pan was on the stove, hence the fire in the flat. He tries to appease Rory by saying that he would get better soon. However, he is upset that his grandson is in the Castle Street home. Chapter 9 Although Rory loves his grandfather, he is slightly annoyed with him as well because of the accident; he had landed himself in the hospital because of that and now Rory is in a children’s home. Rory goes back to the flat with Val and collects Granda’s medication. There, Rory realises that he wants to return home. Granda feels the same too. Chapter 10 Rory is given the idea that Mrs Foley might foster Rory. Rory goes to the hospital to find that Granda is not there anymore. Chapter 11 Granda has been shifted to Rachnadar. Val Jessup tells Rory that he is just a boy and that he cannot take care of Granda anymore. Chapter 12

6

Granda is very upset to be sent to the home and it breaks Rory’s heart to see him cry. At Castle Street, Rory fights with Tess. Rory becomes exasperated when Granda retreats further and further into a shell while at Rachnadar and at school, the idea of being fostered by Mrs Foley worries him. Life is certainly unpleasant in Castle Street when Tess becomes increasingly uncontrollable. Rory decides that the only way is to run away with Granda. Chapter 13 The Great Escape. Darren offers the use of his mom’s caravan and Rory plans the escape with great detail. Granda relies on Rory to get out of Rachnadar. Chapter 14 Granda is like a little boy, allowing him to be led; safe in the knowledge that Rory would look after him. He is happy to be in the caravan and decides that he is indeed a lucky man to deserve a boy like Rory. Rory has done all of this so that they could be together. He realises that he would never let anyone separate them. Chapter 15 Happy in the caravan, Granda recovers his old self. Chapter 16 While fishing, they meet strangers and Granda is prejudiced when he calls them “tinkers”. As Granda’s health improves and both of them are happy, Darren sends Rory a text message saying that the authorities are after them. Chapter 17 Rory prepares Granda for another move away from the police but as they move through the woods, the strangers whom they had met the day before, reach out and help them. Chapter 18 Rory has no choice and allows them to lead. They are taken to an older caravan camp and Rory meets Tyrone and his family. Tyrone’s mom responds that they had helped them because it was Rory that they had wanted to help. Chapter 19 They are taken care of well in Sammy’s camp. While there, they realise that they are the top story on the Scottish news as a boy and his grandfather on the run. Apparently, the authorities are worried about Granda whose health is a real concern. Granda decides that he would rather die of cold and hunger as long as he is free. Chapter 20 Granda and Rory are worried that Sammy would get into trouble by helping them. But Sammy insists that he did not kidnap them and that they are not escaped convicts. Rory learns never to be judgemental of people. Chapter 21

7

The runaways enjoy the birthday party in Sammy’s brother’s place. Ruby reads Rory’s future and predicts that he would meet people who would help him; some of whom he would not be able to trust. He would certainly find what he is looking for but would face a terrible sadness before that. Chapter 22 The public has mixed responses over Rory and Granda’s running away. Ruby indicates that people are taking sides about them, arguing about the rights and wrongs of their case. Rory realises that they would have to be on the move again. Sammy suggests that he drives them to Dundee so that they can take a train to Glasgow to be with family friends who would provide them with shelter and time to think. Chapter23 In the train, Rory realises that they have been recognised and alights at an earlier station. When Granda goes to the toilet, Rory is bullied by a young man who recognises him. Granda beats the latter with a bottle and decides that he will steal a car to escape. Chapter 24 Granda seems an expert at stealing cars and his driving scares Rory. They stop at the lay by to have some rest. Chapter 25 The runaways meet Rab when they stop to buy petrol. He offers them help. Chapter 26 Rab says that he wants to help them because Rory and Granda are not criminals. He allows them the use of his flat and seems kind and concerned. Though pale and tired, Granda says that he is alright as long as he is with Rory. Rory prays for help because he realises he needs someone to help him. Again TV newsflashes show that the public is very much on their side and Rory gets to know that his Granda’s son, his father, has been traced to Liverpool. Chapter 27 The television news states that neither Rory nor his grandfather have attempted to contact Jeff McIntosh in Liverpool. Rab encourages Rory to take his grandfather to his son. Chapter 28 Rab has a grand idea to make sure that they get to Liverpool. A whole line of people are going to take them to Rory’s dad and Granda comments that the world is indeed wonderful after having experienced so much kindness. Chapter 29 Annie drives them into England and leaves them with Norma and Nicola. The latter admires Rory for what he has done. Granda agrees but his mood changes when he finds out that they are going to his son in Liverpool. 8

Chapter 30 Granda refuses to go and for the first time Rory is frustrated. He had hoped that his father would take over the responsibility of Granda but Granda thinks that it would hurt Rory too much if his father would leave them again. Rory begins to hate his father and Granda consoles him by saying that they have never needed him and that they do not need him now. Nicola rings up to tell Rory that the police are coming and that they would have to move on. Chapter 31 It is the second escape; both of them run out into the dark. Granda is tired and they both stop to rest and eventually sleep off at a stone bus shelter. Prior to that Granda says that if he was to die, he would as a happy man. On awakening, Rory is not able to awaken his grandfather and is afraid that he may be dead. Chapter 32 Rory runs for help and remembers Ruby’s prophecy about the terrible sadness. Help comes immediately and the police introduce him to his father.

Chapter 33 Granda is not dead. He is hospitalised and recovers eventually. Rory is reunited with his dad and his family. He has two little sisters who endear themselves to Granda. His dad asks to be given another chance to prove that he can be a good dad and a good son again. Rory has found what he was looking for and realises that if anything happens to his Granda he will not be alone again. He is thankful to all who have helped them on their journey. He is very happy that he, Granda and his family are together again.

9

CHARACTERS
Major characters Granda Rory’s grandfather. Also known as Mister McIntosh. Elderly, partially senile and never quite well, with a tendency to forget what he is doing (never puts off his pipe properly till it smoulders into flames). Loves his grandson dearly and cannot bear the thought of being separated from him. Rises to the occasion when least expected to. Hurt by his son’s departure from the family and after his daughter-in-law’s death, is dedicated to taking care of Rory.

Rory A young boy, still in school who is dedicated to taking care of his aging grandfather. Shows determination and courage even in desperate situations (when the grandfather is admitted in Rachnadar). Mature, he understands why his grandfather refuses to meet his own father.

10

Minor characters Val Jessup A young and eager social worker who is responsible for Rory’s well being. Responsible, she is anxious that Granda receives his full pension benefits and arranges for Rory to stay at the children’s home in Castle Street. Mrs Foley Rory’s teacher who is keenly aware of his inability to pass up his homework because of his duty to care for his grandfather. She is very concerned when Granda is admitted into the hospital and realises that Rory should not be in the children’s home.

Darren Rory’s best friend in school who helps him to stay in the mother’s caravan when Granda is taken away from Rachnadar.

11

Jeff McIntosh – reconciliates with his father and son when he sees them on television.

Sammy, Ruby and Tyrone The family that offers comfort and security knowing that if they did not, the police would have taken Rory and his grandfather away.

Rab and his friends Offer security and are keen for Rory and Granda to go to Liverpool to meet with Rory’s father.

Setting
Where it happens
Physical setting Dr Nicol’s clinic Social setting
Comfortable with the care and concern of Dr Nicol Public school

Atmosphere
Relaxed

Rory’s school

Rory is terrified of Mrs. Foley. Helpful classmates – try to help Rory with his homework. Parents’ Night.

Granda and Rory’s flat

Flat owned by the Building Society 12

Despite Granda’s forgetful antics, there is much love and understanding between the two.

Hospital

The nurses and a policewoman are kind to Rory but do not tell him Granda’s real condition.

Rory is worried for his grandfather’s health – the constant fear of death nags at him; he begs ‘Big Man’ to ‘wake’ Granda up from his sleep. ‘ grey , dead stone, crow step gables and even a turret …..an eerie silver light was cast against the building. Like something out of a ghost story.’ Contrast between amiable boys and girls as well as aggressive Tess. Rory is miserable.

Children’s home at Castle Street.

Temporary home for abandoned children who may be up for foster care.

Where it happens
Physical setting Rachnadar Social setting
‘This is where they put old folk that nobody wants.’

Atmosphere
Granda is upset being there and it hurts Rory. ‘…..the shuffling old people with dead eyes pass up and down…’

Darren’s mum’s caravan

The caravan provided them with the comfort they had missed in the past few days. Similar to many other caravans in the campsite. 13

‘…dead secluded’ but filled with basic necessities.

Tyrone’s caravan

Warm and friendly. Smelling of spices; domestic and happy atmosphere.

Perth railway station

Rory is threatened and Granda attacks the young nasty boy; Granda is galvanised into action – decides that he will steal a car. It is comforting to know that Rory and Granda are among people who trust them and are willing to help. The public, though worried for the responsibility that Rory has undertaken with the care of his grandfather, is very helpful in attempting to get Jeff McIntosh to meet his father and son. Rab has recognised Rory and his Granda and is keen to help

Gas station

The trip to Liverpool

Norma’s house provided temporary relief. Granda is hurt and angry that he is actually being taken to Liverpool to meet his son / Rory’s father.

Where it happens
Physical setting Bus shelter Social setting
The bond between the two generations.

Atmosphere
Granda is cold when he rests at the shelter after the escape from Norma’s house, but tells Rory that he is willing to be anywhere as long as ‘they are together.’ Rory is extremely afraid and shocked that he may be alone when he thinks his grandfather is dead.

Liverpool

The family is united ‘I’d find what I was looking for.’ 14

Granda may accept his son eventually (despite the years of misunderstanding). Rory had found a family and would not be alone when Granda finally goes.

Plot
Climax Rory is convinced that his Granda is dead when they escape and rest at the stone bus shelter.

Running away from the authorities with the help of caring individuals

Rory runs for help. Intervention of the authorities.

15

The Great Escape.

Meets his father.

Granda is admitted to the hospital when he inhales smoke during the fire in the flat. Rory is sent to the Children’s home in Castle Street.

Granda recovers in the hospital and meets his son and family.

Exposition : Readers are given a view of Granda’s and Rory’s life.

Resolution: Rory is reunited with his father. He is happy that he now has a family.

Themes

Family and relationships A journey of love and protection between a grandfather and his grandson.

Growing up / Adolescence Explores key issues that young boys of this age may confront as their characters are shaped by relationships around them.

Bridging the generation gap A young boy’s love for his aging grandfather; it shows a young boy realizing that someone he loves deeply may die.

Social and civic responsibilities How society tries to intervene and help those who they think are unfairly treated or who they think deserve a better treatment. 16

Social bias How society is quick to decide what the aged and ailing as well as the young should be treated.

Values

1. Family relationships and bonds must be appreciated and maintained. 2. Communication is an important feature among friends and family members. 3. Trust is a vital component in bridging generations. 4. Appearances may not be what they seem.

Analysing Characters
RORY – has a rich inner life; capable of growing and changing, adapting to every new situation with hope and optimism. Readers follow his development through a very wide variety of experiences. Consequences He and his grandfather avoid the authorities and eventually meet up with his father

Behaviour Kind, respectful and very aware of his responsibilities

Motives Honest and sincere; he is very determined to be with his grandfather all the time. He does not want his grandfather to be in the old people’s home and the only way out is to run away.

Actions He plans the great escape and is solely responsible for getting his grandfather out of the home for old people. Along the journey, he meets new people who extend help.

17

GRANDA – delightfully funny; often repeating phrases and is able to surprise the reader in some instances (hitting the bully unconscious in Perth railway station and stealing the car) Motives He has no serious motives except that he wants to be together with his grandson at all times. Behaviour Forgetful and often helpless, he has a good sense of humour. Loves his grandson who he says makes up for his ‘lost’ son. Charming to ladies, he considers himself lucky to have Rory as his grandson - “What did I do to deserve a boy like you?” Actions He unwittingly embarrasses Rory’s school teacher and becomes a hit among the children when he accidentally sets his coat on fire during Parents’ Day. In his forgetfulness, he nearly sets the flat on fire and because of that is hospitalised. He is very co-operative with Rory during their journey and never once complains.

Consequences Consequently he is separated from his grandson but runs away from the home. He meets strangers, some of whom he harbours prejudices. He hits a bully who threatens Rory and even steals a car in an attempt to escape. He reconciles with his son and his family in the end.

18

FRIENDS – a good collection of friends, who, despite being unknown to Granda and Rory, are very helpful to both of them in their initial mission to get away from Rachnadar and Castle Street and to be able to live together. Actions Behaviour Helpful and very understanding of Rory’s case. They all think that Rory is too young to be responsible for his granda. Consequences Motives Sincere in their attempts they know that Granda and Rory are not ‘dangerous’ people and only want to be together. Their help propels Rory and his grandfather to find the long missing father / son. “I think of them all. Everyone who helped us on our journey.” They go out of their way to help Rory and his grandson to escape from the authorities.

Symbolism
The journey / escape The caravan Movies and movie stars - of the desired freedom that both need to be together. - safety, privacy and security; both feel very safe in the caravans until it is time to run again. - refer to Granda’s constant memory of what he likes and remembers best – tending to verge on an element of fantasy.

19

Setting
Setting and the Mood of Characters The setting of the hospital or Rachnadar and the children’s home at Castle Street is both morbid and sombre. Both reveal a great deal of Mister McIntosh’s and Rory’s feelings and fears.

Rachnadar - the local old people’s hospital - granda always told me that was where you went when nobody wanted you “Shoot me before you put me in there, son,” he would say.

Castle Street Home - an old Victorian villa- converted into a children’s home just after the war. - grey, dead stone, crow step gables and even a turret – it looked just the kind of place wizards and warlocks would live

20

- the very building, stuck on the edge of in. town, dark and forbidding, frightened - silhouetted against the night sky as him. (I glanced into the corridor, patches of cloud scurried across the watched the shuffling old people with moon and an eerie silver light was cast dead eyes pass up and down, going against the building. Like something out nowhere.) of a ghost story - Granda was morbid of entering the home - Rory’s nightmare. – it terrorised him. - Although Rory accepts the fact that he is - When he is sent there, he is very sent there because of what had emotional and pleads with Rory “ Don’t happened, he is determined to leave the let me stay here” place as soon as his granda is out of the - Granda becomes agitated and needs hospital. medication to sleep. - He sleeps poorly – out of sheer terror of - He becomes pessimistic and nostalgic Tess and also of worry of his grandfather. “People then cared about each other. Looked out for each other. ….now - He also knows that he has no choice nobody cares about anybody but and comforts his granda that he will be themselves. It’s a horrible world, Rory” settled in Castle Street until the hospital - “If I were younger, I’d run away from discharge. - “Me and my granda were going to run here.” - He might breathe and walk, but inside, away.” - The Great Escape. my granda would be dead. - The landscape of the two places is not pleasant – the drabness of the two places shape and reflect the feelings of the characters and goad them into action (The Great Escape)

Setting and the Situation of Characters
The novel starts with Granda and Rory in the waiting room of a doctor’s clinic and ends with them at the hospital. • In the first instance (Chapter 1), Rory and Granda are waiting to see Dr. Nicol and Granda comments about “…how nervous I get going in to see this doctor.” But here we realise that Granda never ever forgets to take the various types of pills because it is Rory who “made sure he took them.” In the doctor’s room, it is Rory who is questioned about the prescriptions and whether Granda takes his pills regularly. It is here that we see the interaction of characters Rory’s responsibility of caring for his grandfather is clear to the reader and Granda’s appreciation of his young grandson is obvious. The phrases that prove this are often repeated throughout the text. (The author’s underlying message of the strong and loving relationship that the two have is seen throughout the whole novel). Rory’s journey of duty and care begins… The story ends with Granda recovering in the hospital. But this time, Rory is not alone in his responsibility. He has with him his dad and the family and when he 21

realises that Granda is not going to die, he goes back home to stay with his newly found family. • If in the beginning, Rory was scared and family meant just him and Granda, now in the end, if Granda did go eventually, he “won’t be alone again.” He considers himself lucky. The story begins and ends in quite similar settings but the characters are happier after going through their journey of trials and tribulations.

Glossary
Baffled Barring Battering Belching Berserk Billowing v. to prove too difficult or complicated for somebody to understand v. excluding n. repeated beating v. releasing gas from mouth noisily Adj. behaving in an uncontrolled way as a result of anger or irrational feeling v. to fill with air 22

Bonny Chute Commotion Defiantly Drooling Eerie Embellished Engrossed Forecourt Gables gnashing Gruffly Guffawed Hollering indignation Jotter Ominous Platter Rattled Rucksack Scurried Shuffling Sledgehammer sloshing Slurped Smouldering Stealthily Tinkers

Adj. attractive n. slope to drop things down n. fuss, turmoil Adv. disobediently v. dribbling saliva Adj. unnerving or unusual way v. beautify something by adding decorations v. to take up somebody’s whole attention n. an open area in front of the building n. the triangular top section of a side wall v. grinding your teeth Adj. harsh-sounding or throaty v. laughed loudly v. yelling, loud cry n. anger at unfairness n. note pad Adj. threatening, suggesting that something bad is going to happen n. a variety of prepared food v. to make somebody to lose composure n. a large bag usually with two straps and a supporting frame, a backpack v. to move at a hurried space v. walking without lifting feet n. a large hammer v. spilling liquid clumsily v. drank something noisily v. on fire, fiery Adv. Silently, sneakily, cautiously n. travellers (in former times , somebody who travelled from place to place to mend metal household items such as pots

23

and pans Tutting Wary Waxen v. expression of irritation or disapproval, to make a clicking sound with tongue to express annoyance or dissatisfaction Adj. cautious and alert for problems Adj. pale and unhealthy looking

24