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A Study Guide to


by Robert Newton


'It's 1919, Richmond Football Club is on top of the ladder, cream buns are threepence each and four boys are gunning for the best job in town. Charlie is lucky enough to win the prime job - running messages for Squizzy Taylor, the most dangerous gangster in Melbourne. But things start to get a little too hot for Charlie, so he decides to take the money and run...'

Study Guide Sample

Chapters 1-2

1. 'seedy streets' (1) Is this an example of alliteration or assonance?
2. Which character has a wife whose 'rotting teeth were sadly in need of attention' (1)?
3. In the novel, several characters speak in a type of slang where they drop letters from certain words. Rewrite the following words from the novel but include the missing letters - 'orses, 'e, 'ouse
4. What happened to Charlie Feehan's father?
5. Did Charlie live a wealthy life or a poor life? How can you tell?
6. Why do you think Charlie enjoyed running?
7. 'After all those years (his boots) was all he had to give'(4). What does this tell us about Charlie's father?
8. 'The street was my classroom now' (4) What did Charlie mean?
9. Why did Charlie go to 18 Darlington Parade?
10. Who was Dasher Heeney?
11. How many boys were in the running race?
12. Why was Charlie the underdog in the race?
13. Did Jimmy Barlow try to encourage Charlie before the race or did he try to intimidate him?
14. 'And what's more, he got it'(9). What does this mean?
15. What did the runners have to deliver?
16. 'All of a sudden the favourite didn't look so good' (13). Why not?
17. 'Together we fell through the door and crashed to the ground in a heap' (16). Draw this image.
18. Squizzy admits to Charlie that his eggs were hard boiled. Why did Squizzy hard boil the eggs? Why do you think he told Charlie? Did Charlie deserve to win the race? Explain.
19. Why was Norman Heath friendly towards Charlie after the race?
20. Do you think Charlie should have told Norman the truth about the eggs? Discuss.

The guide also contains spelling lists for the chapters as well as fill in the blanks tasks, order of events tasks, true or false questions, analysis questions such as the ones in the sample chapters above as well as novel activities at the end of the guide.

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