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Trace the development of the friendship between Helen and Miss Brady. Show how this relationship helped Helen to deal with her problems.

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Trace the development of the friendship between Helen and Miss Brady. Show how this relationship helped Helen to deal with her problems. Helen is a normal young schoolgirl except for her brother Peter who died not long ago in a motorbike accident. Her dad thought the world of Peter because he went to grammar school and he was going to become an engineer and move away from the place where they live, Alfred Street. Now that Peter is dead her dad has become "morbid" as some of sympathetic pupils in her class describe him. Helen cannot bare the silence in her house. Her dad locks out everybody now that Peter is dead as if there's no one else left. Helen feels left out and lonely. Sometime she hates peter! Miss Brady is an old woman who lives alone on a scruffy barge. She doesn't care for people, so she says and lives with her badger "Bad Bill," and her swan. However she is weak and old and has a bad leg and needs some help although she is too stubborn to ask anyone. When Helen first visits Miss Brady, sent by her teacher to give harvest fruit to old age pensioners, the old lady appears rude and makes Helen feel stupid. ...read more.


""Sorry," called Miss Brady. "Didn't mean to frighten you-it's just that he's a bad tempered old devil at the moment. Might just bight you know." Here Miss Brady shows that she cares for Helen, she's worried the badger might bite the girl. As the 2nd visit progresses Miss Brady begins to reveal things to Helen. She admits that she doesn't like asking for help. This shows that she is beginning to trust Helen even though she is still very honest to Helen in telling her that she thinks children are "brats" and that she "probably doesn't like Helen." In this visit Miss Brady helps bring Helen's family closer together by allowing Helen to bring her parents to see the badger. For a while her dad forgets about Peter and the silence in the house is gone for the evening. "And until bed-time that night, the silence had gone from the house." The 3rd visit, although very short is extremely important. Miss Brady gives Helen the keys to the barge. ""Then you'd better have a key." Miss Brady reached into the pocket of her tweed jacket. "Here."" This shows that there is trust growing between Helen and Miss Brady, even if there is no friendship yet. ...read more.


Using her new found confidence Helen lies to her mum and tells her the teachers are on strike again. This part of the book is also the real turning point for her dad. "Me dad's come out of hibernation-I can tell by his eyes." The last visit of the book is the height of Miss Brady and Helen's friendship. When Helen first goes in she sees Miss Brady's empty bed she goes cold thinking the worst. "Her stomach went cold as if she had swallowed a lump of ice." It shows she cares for Miss Brady. Miss Brady also cares for Helen as well as she exclaims that she didn't want Helen to lie to her parents. ""Oh, I didn't mean for you to lie to your parents, Helen." Again I have found another similarity in Helen and Miss Brady's personality. They both glare at the doctor when he cracks another joke about the Miss Brady. Then there is the real turning point for Miss Brady. She say's that she might not sail away as she "rather likes it here." Miss Brady and Helen had similar problems. Both of them were lonely, they were both interested in the badger. This interest brought them together. It also brought Helen's family closer. Miss Brady gave Helen trust and self-confidence. She used this to help her dad get over his problems. Amie Whitfield ...read more.

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