Advantages: Perhaps an eye-opener
Disadvantages: None it is a great read
I haven't bothered to do a "My All Time Favourite Books" list yet, but when I do get round to it, this will be positioned in the upper reaches somewhere.
A Kestrel for a Knave, was written by Barry Hines, and published in 1968. It is set in Barnsley, and tells the story of Billy Casper, a working class schoolboy. It is clear from the narrative that he comes from a home where the father is absent, his brother, Jed is a bit of a bully and he takes his troubles from home, to school - it seems that something is always on his mind as he cannot concentrate at school - it would seem he is not interested, the simple fact is that no-one seems interested in him.
Billy, appropriates a book and from it learns about birds of prey. He chances upon a kestrel which he rears and this gets him some positive attention from a schoolmaster for a change. It is sometimes too easy to review a book by telling the story, which spoils things somewhat for the reader, so I will go no further with the story.
At face value this is a story of the sadness of working class life 'up-north' and how one young man copes with it. There are many other readings to this book though and I highly recommend it.
Summary: A sad read in places