In 1981, a novel appeared that shocked Soviet readers, for the events described in it looked like a real nonsense: young pioneers-Leninists were festering a new student. The author of the work is Vladimir Zheleznikov. "Scarecrow" (a brief summary is given below) -so he called his story, the idea of which he took from life: similar events happened to his granddaughter. The work so shocked the actor and director Rolan Bykov, that already in 1983 the screens of Soviet cinemas released a feature film he had shot with the same name.
So, the summary of "Scarecrow". The action takes place in a small provincial town. To the local eccentric old man Nikolai Nikolaevich Bessoltsev, who collects paintings, comes his 12-year-old granddaughter Lena. She goes to a local school, absolutely sincerely hoping to make new friends here. But classmates almost immediately start to mock her. They are amused by her spontaneity and naivety combined with her awkward appearance: long, thin arms and legs, a big mouth with an eternal smile and two pigtails. Not having had time to spend five minutes in the new class, she gets the nickname "Scarecrow". The brief content of this story is not able to convey those negative emotions that the new classmate has caused in schoolchildren.
Only one boy did not laugh at her. It was Dima Somov, who enjoyed the authority of the whole class, because he was considered handsome and clever, and also was the son of wealthy parents. But Lena Bessoltseva is alien to any self-serving thoughts. She just wants to be friends. Dima accepts her friendship and tries to protect her as far as possible from attacks by classmates. And when he saved the dog that Valka's classmate wanted to hand over to the jester, he became a real hero for the girl. But soon friendship broke down due to Somov's act. He told the teacher that the whole class had fled to the movies. Lena heard this conversation, but she was firmly convinced that Dima admits to classmates that it is because of him that now they all will not go on vacation to Moscow. But he did not admit, and the girl took his guilt upon herself. Somov's conversation with the teacher was heard by two other classmates, but they preferred to remain silent to see how he would get out. Lena, as a traitor, boycotted.
One day Valka the animator ran into the courtyard of the house where the Scarecrow lived (the summary can not convey all the details), and stole her clothes from the clothesline. Besides, he saw Somov there. He chased after Valka to take the dress off. Lena ran after them and was at the dilapidated church, near which the whole class gathered. Boys and girls built a scarecrow from a straw (the summary does not allow to describe the whole monstrosity of the further action), put on it a stolen dress and staged its burning. Bessoltseva rushes to a burning branch with a dress and, untying her from the pillar, disperses her blasphemous classmates. She understands that everyone hates her for the betrayal, which she did not commit, but continues to remain silent.
Somova is given by one of the classmates who heard his confession to the teacher, but Lena does not care. She wants to leave this town and persuades grandfather to let her go or go with her. Grandfather hesitates. On the birthday of Somov, Lena comes, shaved naked, and in the same burnt dress that was worn on a scarecrow. The summary will never convey all the emotions, so it's better to read the book or watch a movie. The girl demonstratively fools and with a demented smile proclaims herself a scarecrow, a freak and a jerk. Classmates are shocked, but suddenly everyone in the depths of the soul understands that a freak and a nothingness is each of them. They leave the house of Somov, and the next day they finally become convinced that he is the traitor. They are ready to ask Lena for forgiveness, but it's too late: she's leaving. Her grandfather travels with her, but before leaving she gives her house along with an invaluable collection of paintings as a gift to the city. He gave a portrait of his grandmother to the school. When the children saw the picture, they were stunned: from an old portrait, more like an icon, they looked at a young woman, exactly like Bessoltseva.