O.Henry, The Ransom of Red Chief
American short story writer O.Henry is a favourite with teachers around the world. His stories have so many elements that make them ideal for an English student of any age. Over only a few pages he creates skilfully crafted characters, fast pacing action, all literary devices imaginable, and, above all, irony, humour and unexpected endings. At the heart of the story is a message that teaches us to be kind, generous and forgiving.
William Sydney Porter, who took the pseudonym O.Henry while writing stories during a prison sentence for embezzlement, lived at the turn of the 20th century in America. His 400 short stories delve into his experience as a rancher, pharmacist, a bank clerk, a fugitive from the law and a columnist for a newspaper.
The Ransom of Red Chief centres around a feisty boy, who turned tables on his kidnappers – it resonates with the kids and their parents, who are on the receiving end of the lively personalities of their darling ‘angels’!