feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
Audrey – A New Girl: Joanna Lloyd Blackie

The focus of the book is, indeed, on Audrey, who is a new girl at Read more... )
feather_ghyll: (1950s green outfit)
Abbey Turns the Tables: Eric Leyland, Nelson 1959

I bought this thinking it would be about a mixed-gender school, but, set at a boys’ boarding school, it’s solely a boys own adventure. I see I’ve never written a review of a boys own book before, but then I haven’t read many and most of those involved Billy Bunter. When I see boys own books in shops, I tend to wish they were girls own and move on.

The most striking feature of this book is Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Close-up of white flower aganst dark background (Black and white flower)
Angela Has Wings: Peter Ling and Sheilah Ward, A Girl novel, Longacre Press, 1960.

I had to look up to see whether Angela Wells was Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Lavendar flowers against white background (Beautiful flower (lavender))
The Camp Fire Girls at Hillside: Margaret Love Sanderson Reilly & Britten 1913

Following Pam Plays Doubles, this is another example of an interesting girls own subgenre, well, two, I suppose. First of all, it’s an American boarding school story (a small subgenre in my experience, but think What Katy Did at School and Jean Webster’s books). Granted, Miss Belaire’s Academy, located in Hillside, New England, in the teens of the twentieth century, is more of a boarding tertiary college for young ladies whose fathers wanted them to continue their education. But although our heroines are between 16 and 19, in many ways they feel about as young as English fourth formers who seem to range from 13 to 16. They’re girls, not quite young women.

It’s also a Camp Fire story, and while it bears a lot of similarities with Guide stories, there are some differences.

There were girls in pink linen and blue; girls in white duck and purple crash; girls in frilly lingerie waists, and girls in stiff tailormade’. (page 22 – I have no idea what type of outfits ‘white duck’ on are referring to).

Read more... )
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
I've read several children's books over the past few weeks, but I'm not in a position to type up full reviews at present, so here are some one-sentence responses. The Potato Riddle by Agnes and Norman Furlong was a boys' story, a change for me, and definitely operating by a different set of rules to the one I'm used to, which may have been a factor in how entertaining I found it i.e. novelty. Pamela at Peters' by Edna Lake flubs its central mystery horribly, ignoring the gun in the first act rule, but is otherwise a tight story with a new girl and a secret society fighting for a school's honour. Dimsie, Head Girl by DFB is the real deal though. Yes, the title makes the first half mildly irritating as you wait for the story to catch up and for Dimsie to step into the biggest shoes a schoolgirl heroine can, all to save the Jane Willard Foundation from drift - actually, there's a thematic sympathy between those last two books.

Then I read Plough Penny Mystery by Lavinia L. Davis, which features younger characters over a summer, and offers a genuinely perceptive character study in the shadow of the second world war. Catrin in Wales by Mabel Esther Allen is what you'd expect from MAE, first person narrative, coming of age story with romance amidst friendships, good on local detail - although there was something in there about a play about a Welsh valley being drowned performed in Liverpool that the sixties (Tryweryn) rendered a howler.

Finally, there was something in the news a few days ago about land girls and lumberjills (a term I'd never come across before) finally getting recognised for their war work by the UK Government. How? Badges. How very Blue Peter. (I'm not sure how tongue in cheek I feel about this).
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
Yesterday, I told myself that I really needed to cool down on the book-buying front, as I have piles of unread titles to go through. I came home with four purchased books and one borrowed book. Oops. One of them was a children’s book, two of them were books I already have copies of – one of those purchases were intentional, I wanted a better copy of an Austen, in the other case, I wasn’t entirely sure if I’d bought a copy or not, and 65p was worth the risk.

Over the weekend, I read the last of the ‘Hay haul’, a book I bought in April:

The Saturday Club: Elizabeth Leitch. Blackie.

This is going to be an overview, not a full-blown review. Read more... )

Meanwhile, what on earth is going on in tennis?
feather_ghyll: Book shop store front, text reading 'wear the old coat, buy the new book.' (Book not coat)
French page dedicated to Eric Leyland. It states that Leyland was a friend of Captain W. Johns - author of the Biggles books - and also wrote under the pseudonym of Elizabeth Tarrant (I didn't know this, I have one of 'her' books!). There's a full looking bibiliography - though they warn that it isn't necessarily complete, due to the numerous pseuds that he used - with pictures of covers. This suggests that there is a series of Stanton's books (I wonder if they are about Statnon's in its incarnation before 'Stanton's comes of Age' or after?
This
would suggest that it's after.)

Details on the casting for the new Ballet Shoes adaptation. My reaction. ) Also, I really need to reread the book.

The Fossil Cupboard - a message board to discuss Streatfeild's books.

And for Ransome fans, on lj, there's [livejournal.com profile] ransomefans. (I saw a Swallows and Amazons mug of the classic cover, which I had a bit of a struggle over, but couldn't justify buying it right now, 15 % opening weekend discount or no. This was at the new Borders.

P'raps I can engineer a mug-related accident...

Wikipedia offers this list of fictional works invented by EBD (it hurts me a little that they are not chronologically ordered).

[livejournal.com profile] astralis on new girls, honour and girls who don't fit in in girls school stories.

News of two Famous Five productions. Am I the only one who sees the major flaw in looking at the characters' lives decades later? Read more... ). Fan Lucy Mangan weighs in on the subject.

The Series Fic yahoo group - dedicated to exploring British children's series fiction of the 20th and 21st century.
feather_ghyll: Girl reading a book that is resting on her knees (Default)
Stanton's Comes of Age: Sylvia Little, Stanmore Press 1947

This was the first Sylvia Little book I've read since finding out that Sylvia Little = Eric Leyland, who also used the name Nesta Grant, so, I was hyper-aware of any mention of gender, often in the form of authorial 'asides' about boys' and girls' natures. I hadn't ever suspected that the author was really a man, although I had noticed that boys did tread into the hallowed school grounds in Little's books. I've come across very few mixed boarding school a la Hogwarts. Following the real-life culture, older children's books and their fictional schools were strictly divided. I can think of one Mabel Esther Allan, there's the school that Blyton's Naughtiest Girl goes to, and there may be others, but I don't recall them, except for at least one school (Castle School, I think) that Little has written about. I think that in the other Little book I own, Queen's has a close relationship with a boys school (?), which is the case between the girls' school in Stanton's Comes of Age, the Trebizon books (set much later, though) and By Honour Bound link by Bessie Marchant and Sally at School. You know, the sort of school where the heroines' brothers go to. The language is of being chums rather than girlfriends and boyfriends (hi, Trebizon). This type of arrangement is still pretty rare in most of the girls' boarding schools I've read. Boys are for Christmas hols, mainly.

As for the book itself Read more... )

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