The Midnight Gang by David Williams | Teen Ink

The Midnight Gang by David Williams

September 17, 2023
By Joy_Kirby8 BRONZE, Mexico City, Other
Joy_Kirby8 BRONZE, Mexico City, Other
1 article 5 photos 2 comments

    The Midnight Gang is a children’s novel by English comedian David Walliams. The book talks about serious issues through the eyes of children and with humor.

       The story starts when Tom hits his head while playing Cricket and is sent to the Lord Funt Hospital. He meets Porter, whose job is to push patients around the hospital. His face is deformed, which makes Tom afraid at first, but Porter has a good heart and they later become friends. Tom is then examined by Dr. Luppers, who only recently became a doctor. He’s rather easy to fool.

Along the way, we learn that Tom’s parents are rich from extracting oil from the ground in various desert countries. Since they’re traveling all the time and don’t have time to take care of him, his parents have packed him off to a posh boarding school deep in the English countryside. But Tom doesn’t fit in at school and is often bullied by the students and teachers there.

Later, he is sent to the children’s ward. There, we meet the other children: Amber, who has appointed herself the group's unofficial leader and has broken her arms and legs, meaning she needs to be pushed around in a wheelchair. Robin, who is recovering from an operation to save his eyesight, and for now, can’t see. They are both twelve. George is eleven years old and is recovering from an operation to remove his tonsils. Sally, at the age of ten, is the youngest of the group. It is never directly stated what she’s struggling with, but we can see from Sally losing her hair and being weak all the time, that she is going through chemotherapy and is battling cancer. But all the children have one thing in common: their parents don’t have time for them.
Matron runs the children’s ward, but she hates children. Though at night, the children trick her into eating chocolates with pills inside that make her fall asleep. They then sneak out to go on a snowy adventure. Turns out, the children (except Sally), are part of a secret society called the Midnight Gang, which was founded by a mysterious patient at the hospital many years ago. Ever since members of society have been making other patients’ dreams come true. Tom convinces the others to let him join. They try to make George’s dream come true, but they are caught in the act. Then, Tom gives his wish to Sally, and the group works hard to make her dream, of “a beautiful life” come true.

This book uses its colorful characters and fun writing style to discuss all kinds of different topics, like imagination and the importance of dreams, bullying, sickness, and even death. It also tells us, that even through hard times, we’ve got to stay strong and look on the bright side. All of the characters were humorous and stood out to me, each of them having their own, unique personalities. They all felt so real. I love how caring the children are towards Sally, and how they understood she might not have much time left and let her dream come true. Plus, the writing and the artwork both reminded me of Roald Dahl, one of my favorite authors. If you're a fan of him, then this book is for you!

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