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Boarding school stories for DD(9 yo) who had devoured Malory Towers, Trebizon etc?

62 replies

runningLou · 24/03/2017 12:36

DD is a huge fan of boarding school fiction and has read all the Enid Blyton series (Malory Towers, St Clare's, Naughtiest Girl etc), including the modern additions by other authors.
She's currently on book 10 of Trebizon - I need to order the last 4 for her. She reads quite fast and is getting through a book a week, so I need to have something else lined up for when she finishes.
Are there any other good boarding school series out there?
She's 9 but happy to read about older girls and the teenage years.
Alternatively, what else could I switch her on to that has similar aspects? She's read Harry Potter but didn't like the fantasy element.
Also keen on WW1 and WW2 stories e.g. Charlotte Sometimes and When Hitler stole pink rabbit - are there more of them?

OP posts:
QueQueQue · 24/03/2017 12:41

Chalet School?

randomsabreuse · 24/03/2017 12:41

Chalet School would be suitable I think - there's about 60 of them - am assuming they're still in print.

Antonia Fraser had a series as well.

Not actually school based but similar in style - Arthur Ransome.

sunbird17 · 24/03/2017 13:27

At the time that I was reading the books you have listed, I was reading The Sleepover Club. Is she interested in moving on to the Famous Five or Blyton's Adventure Books (Island of Adventure, etc)? The kids all go to boarding school although the adventures take place in the holidays.

sunbird17 · 24/03/2017 13:30

War books: Carrie's War, Guests of War Trilogy, Goodnight Mr Tom.

AndKnowItsSeven · 24/03/2017 13:32

I loved Jennings as a child.

Notthisnotthat · 24/03/2017 13:32

After Enid Blyton I started reading the babysitter club series of books they are still around I think.

AndKnowItsSeven · 24/03/2017 13:33

Also Dimsie.

MirandaWest · 24/03/2017 13:34

Chalet school - there's a lot to get through Smile

Antonia Forest's books are great - have told DD she can wait until she's a bit older for them as I'd like her to appreciate them properly (she's 11).

DorotheaBeale · 24/03/2017 13:44

The Chalet School covers WW2, especially in 'CS in Exile'. If you can read them in order up to 'Exile', it will have even more of an impact.

She's probably a little young for Eva Ibbotson, but she also covers the War. You could try her with 'The Dragonfly Pool', which is a children's book which has a boarding school and the War.

Another war one, again for slightly older children ( the heroine is fifteen), is Hester Burton's 'In Spite of All Terror'.

NotCitrus · 24/03/2017 13:44

Chalet School for sure, especially the ones before they end up in Switzerland and the author went a bit odd! If they are a hit then can go back further in time to Angela Brazil, and even Dimsie, Abbey Girls.

Antonia Forest's Kingscote ones are excellent and have amazing depth of characters - there are 4 school ones but the latter two make much more sense if you've read some of the holiday ones.

What about Anne of Green Gables? Or A Little Princess?
Worst Witch is also a boarding school and less demanding.

I worked my way through all of Blyton and then through Nancy Drew.

ThroughThickAndThin01 · 24/03/2017 13:46

I second Jennings & Darbyshire. I loved those books as a child. Set in a boys prep school. Really good fun.

justanotheryoungmother · 24/03/2017 13:47

Loved the Twins at St Claire's at that age Smile

justanotheryoungmother · 24/03/2017 13:47

Oops I've just seen that she's read it Smile

runningLou · 24/03/2017 14:15

Thank you - some great suggestions that I read when I was little but had forgotten, like Carrie's War and the Dimsie series. I read an Antonia Forest Kingscote one myself recently and thought it was a bit old for DD.
She has read the first book of Anne of GG but didn't want to continue with the rest of the series, and she's read A Little Princess, Famous Five etc.
When you say the author of Chalet School 'went a bit odd' after Switzerland, which books are worth reading - the first 15 or so?
Babysitter's Club is a great idea - I used to really like those and DD likes stuff set in the US too.

OP posts:
HelenaJustina · 24/03/2017 14:21

If you manage to get hold of Chalet school at a decent price anywhere, please post a link! My girls would love them but as they are out of print I find them hard to source. Desperately waiting for my 17yr old Dsis to give up her collection!

PetraStrorm · 24/03/2017 14:22

"Beswitched" by Kate Saunders is great. It's a one-off novel as far as I know. Modern-day girl goes off to boarding school and ends up travelling back in time to an old-fashioned boarding school.

CancellyMcChequeface · 24/03/2017 14:26

She might like Beswitched by Kate Saunders! A modern girl time-travels to a 1930s school.
Possibly also Anstey's Vice Versa - it was written in the 1880s and is set in a school in the 1860s, so a little bit of understanding of historical context is necessary, but it's very funny. Pompous Victorian father switches bodies with his son.
Not set in a school, but how about Little Women or What Katy Did?

onemouseplace · 24/03/2017 14:34

Witch Week is set in a boarding school isn't it? Dianne Wynne Jones anyway - and then she might like some of her other books.

Actually, I've just re-read your post and she's not fond of the fantasy element, so maybe scrap that! I'll leave it up though in case anyone else is looking for similar books.

What Katy Did At School was my favourite of the What Katy Did books.

Wandastartup · 24/03/2017 14:38

Murder most unladylike series also set in boarding school and are modern. My 9 year old loved them

MargotsDevil · 24/03/2017 14:41

@HelenaJustina - eBay or Amazon should help you out there.

Another recommendation for the Chalet School though - all of them!

DorotheaBeale · 24/03/2017 16:18

When you say the author of Chalet School 'went a bit odd' after Switzerland, which books are worth reading - the first 15 or so?

Lou, the character who was central to the earlier books became OTT in the later books, when she was an adult, and the quality of the writing did decline, as the author aged.

But a young reader would probably still enjoy them, it's really only on re-reading as an adult that the decline becomes evident.

NotCitrus · 24/03/2017 16:52

Chalet School - the first 40! The others are worth it, just unintentionally hilarious (see long-running Chalet threads here...)

The central character Jo gets to middle age, her eldest girls (triplets!) are hitting the sixth form and she keeps interfering (or offering her amazing insight, aka stating the bleeding obvious), has more babies, and when after 11 kids the author clearly thought that was sufficient, starts adopting pretty much any new girl that appears, most of whom turn out to be long-lost relatives of other characters (some of which you may never have heard of...)
The one with guns and drugs and kidnappers who carefully leave a drugged teenager with a valid train ticket in her pocket is a particular highlight!

Thesunrising · 24/03/2017 17:01

Not boarding school, but Alan Davidson wrote a trrrific series of books about Annabel Fidelity Bunce and her adventures at St Willoughbys. A couple of the titles were 'Just Like Annabel' and 'a friend like Annabel". He also wrote a fab mystery book called the Bewitching of Alison Albright.

MirandaWest · 24/03/2017 17:53

Have asked 11 year old DD her opinion. She thinks Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson would be a good one. And that if she doesn't mind murder the Murder most unladylike books are good. Although they are a bit gruesome she thinks

Witchend · 24/03/2017 18:21

Antonia Forest's are good too.

The second in the Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit series is good too, "Bombs over Aunt Dainty" (?) but the third, which is set just after her mum has had a suicide attempt because her partner isn't doing what she wants is a little dark for a child.

Anne Frank (although dd2 did ask if there was a sequel) might interest

Ds loves the Lone Pine series which start in WWII-they're mystery rather than school though.

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