The Scarecrows, the fantasy psychological novel of extrasensory powers by Robert Westall is about a boy named Simon who is remarkable for (1) having lost his father, whom he adored and now idealizes, who was a decorated hero in the British Army and who perished at the battle of Aden, and for (2) being capable of irrational and violently dangerous rage, a rage that his father may also have suffered. Simon's mother is an important character and she marries a man, Joe Morton, who is an cartoonist and pacifist and wholly unlike Simon's father. Simon's young sister Jane likes Joe very much, a feeling not shared by Simon.
The family moves to Joe's cottage situated by an old water mill for the summer and just as supernatural threats begin to close in on Simon and his family, Simon's school friend Tris La Chard comes to visit and helps Simon understand the dynamics of the supernatural events and their relationship to his anger. By the way, the last of the important characters are the mother cat and her kittens that Simon finds and adopts into the family.