Nobody has any doubts about the fact that children shouldn't get ill. Unfortunately, illnesses don't discriminate and they affect even the most innocent. Currently, for the most part new children's hospitals have an appearance which makes it easier for little patients to stay in a place which is associated with pain and illnesses. Soft toys, pictures on the wall, stickers on the windows, common rooms with toys, everything to draw their attention from the reason they are there. For many years, parents have been able to stay in hospitals along with their children. I admit that I shudder when I remind myself of what hospitals used to look like a few years ago. Staying in such establishments caused trauma not just connected with disease, but with separation from parents and the fact that it was not a friendly place.
This problem is raised by the brilliant David Walliams in the book: "The Midnight Gang". The main character, a twelve-year-old boy called Tom, goes to a hospital which looks like something from the worst horror film: A huge building, creaky elevator, frightening service and a nurse who wants nothing more than to brutally torment sick children. Apparently, in this horrible hospital there isn't anything that could brighten up the children's stay and draw attention from being ill. Fortunately, Tom quickly convinces himself that the companions of his plight have a fascinating secret. The scheme in which they take part, the titular Midnight Gang, puts their dreams into action. By any means, often the most incredible, the kids try to make their dreams come true. It turns out that dreams, good intentions and imagination mean that nothing is impossible.
Typical of Walliam's writing, The Midnight Gang is also a book that raises the problem of longing and exclusion in a subtle and witty way. The children miss their parents, with love, friendship and longing for freedom and health. They dream about health and a normal life together, without drips, needles, and hospital reality. As in every David Walliams book, we meet some colourful and amazing characters. We will see that appearances are deceptive and it's not worth judging a book by its cover. The surface may be misleading. A gross appearance may hide a golden heart, and a slick appearance may hide brutality and venom.