feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
[personal profile] feather_ghyll
As I did last year, I thought I'd do a very subjective overview of things I posted about or should have posted about here. My favourite reread of the year was Daddy Long-Legs by Jean Webster. I was surprised by how much it held up and I enjoyed it. It was very amusing and touching.

After that, in order of preference, come The Lark in the Morn by Elfrida Vipont, a well-written book about a sensitive, imperfect girl with family troubles and a great talent and an interesting Quaker background. This was the first time I'd read anything by Vipont. I had read Irene Hunt's work before, but was moved by Across Five Aprils which told the story of the American civil war from the point of view of one boy and his family. Based on the authoress's family history, it was thought provoking about the impact of war and on the complexities of civil wars.

First Class Murder by Robin Stevens was another chance to enjoy Wells and Wong, detectives and schoolgirls, solve a mystery. I'm looking forward to the next book, which I believe takes them back to school, but I do like that they are growing up and the impact of what they've experienced is part of their characterisation. I equally liked I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley, a Flavia de Luce mystery, where an even younger detective solves a murder, although the story was more about her sad, troubled family life. Death on the Cherwell by Mabel Doriel Hay involved female undergraduates helping to solve a murder, and the depiction of university life was of particular interest.

While Magic for Marigold by L.M. Montgomery is not among her best, it's still better than most (like 'Daddy Long-Legs', I associate the book with the day trip on which I read it, on the train and in cafes. They were different trips.) The Flash Children by Mabel Esther Allan was written for primary school age children, but features her usual strengths, while Pauline M. James's A Challenge to Caroline was another book with an interest in children, well, girls' characters. I didn't pick it up because of the author as I did with the last two mentioned - although I vaguely remembered the name - but because it was clearly a girls own book. If I had remembered who James was, I might not have bought it, because I didn't like the other book by her that I'd read as much, and that would have been a shame.

I also posted about a couple of films, one of which was the wonderful The BFG. I should admit that I also saw one film that I very nearly reviewed here, The Queen of Katwe, based on the real story of a girl in an African slum who learned how to play chess, which had a lot to commend it even if you're not a chess afficionado.

I read books by EJO, EBD and Angela Brazil (the latter being the weakest) and am reading a collection of Dimsie short stories by the other member of the Big Four. A recurring plot in a lot of girls own books I read, not all of which did I review, was about the successes and failures of a middle girl who was called upon to be the captain/prefect of the lower school, sometimes having to deal with a weak senior prefect or a rival or determined lawbreaker.
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