Celia Rees

The Bailey Game

The Bailey Game cover


‘Every school has places that you can find if you want to, if you don’t want people to see you. That was important in the Bailey Game – being secret.’

The Bailey Game was vicious. It wrecked people’s lives. What happened in Alex’s class should have ensured that it was never played again. But a new girl arrives. She comes from somewhere else. She’s different. That’s enough for the Bailey Game to start all over again.

Celia’s comments

The Bailey Game began when I was asked to write a book for slightly younger readers. M y daughter was 10 or 11 at the time and I asked her what I should write about. She said ‘bullying’. Although she wasn’t bullied, as far as I knew, it is something all children fear. I thought back to my own days at school, to my years as a teacher. Names, faces, incidents came back to me and I thought about how a bad case of bullying affects everyone. There are no innocent bystanders. A stark choice is given. Bully or be bullied. What happens to the child who is caught in the middle?


‘A very exciting and disturbing tale. I highly recommend The Bailey Game.’ Michelle Elliott, Kidscape

‘A well-written, sensitive exploration of a theme central to the lives of most children.’ Independent on Sunday

‘This chilling evocation of the world of a tough junior school has conscience and cowardice fighting it out in the heroine’s sensitive spirit.’ Times Educational Supplement

‘A volatile mixture. skillfully worked up into a frenzied climax. The writing is powerful and the convolutions of the plotlines are tightly controlled.’ Junior Bookshelf

‘Rees treats this subject brilliantly.’ Viewpoint