Sunday, October 2, 2011

Jane Shaw Guide: Judy Redfern

Described on the first page of Northmead Nuisance as little, round, merry and red-haired, Judy is a new girl in the Fourth Form at Northmead. She surprises the other girls by telling them that going to a boarding school has been her lifelong dream; she is looking forward to joining clubs and getting involved in the school play. Unfortunately, her unbridled enthusiasm is not matched by talent. She is clumsy, careless and accident prone. On her first visit to Appleacre, she falls into the pond, and on the second she plunges into a quarry. When put in charge of scenery for the school play she sends it all crashing down during rehearsals. In a hurry to get to the hockey game, she leaves a tap running with the plug in the sink, causing a mini flood in the school and her friend Gail to slip and break her wrist. After Gail makes some vague predictions while reading tea leaves, which apparently come true, Judy believes that her friend has mystical powers and avidly studies the questions in an exam paper that Gail pretends to see from afar using second sight, resulting in her coming top of the class in History with a 92. However, she innocently spills the beans and blurts out to the teacher that she knew the questions in advance, resulting in her and her friends getting no points. Despite her blundering behaviour, which always makes her bright red with embarrassment, she is liked by the other girls and is quickly accepted into Nicky and Kay’s circle of friends. Judy is fourteen years old at the start of term, and celebrates her birthday just before the half-term holiday. Before moving to Northmead, she studied at a day school in London called St. Mary’s.