Foreboding

Running throughout Private Peaceful is a sense of something bad about to happen. What parts in the story of the brothers’ childhood make you feel this sense of danger? What role does death play in the early part of the story?

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Time

How do the clock times before every chapter make you feel?

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Brothers

Private Peaceful begins with Charlie promising Tommo, “I’ll always look after you”. Does he manage to? And how does Charlie change as he grows older? Do you think Tommo changes, too?

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Tommo’s Secret

‘I knew what they did not know, what I could never tell them.’ (Five Past Ten)

What was this secret? What effect does it have on Tommo?

Should he have told someone?

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First day at school. (Five Past Ten)

What do you think of the author’s description of his first day at school – the journey, the schoolyard etc?

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Five Past Ten

‘They’ve gone now, and I’m alone at last.’

Where do we think he is?

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