Friday 5: Childhood Books

Friday again already, and still no result of any kind from yesterday’s General Election.

Today’s topic is childhood books, so here is my list:

1.         The Chalet School Series by Elinor M Brent Dyer.  I was a big fan of boarding school stories as a child, and this series totally captured my imagination.  There were somewhere in the region of 60 books, written between 1925 and 1970, and I just loved them.  I still have all the books, and will one day re-read them all.

2.         Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild.  I remember reading this book over and over and over – it was first published in 1936 and is the story of three orphaned girls – Pauline, Petrova and Posy –  who get jobs working the theatre while they’re still very young. 

3.         The “Jill” series by Ruby Ferguson.  Being somewhat horse-mad as a child, these books were regularly in and out of my bookcase.  There were nine in total, starting with Jill’s Gymkhana, all about Jill and her two ponies, Black Boy & Rapide.

4.         A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett – loved loved LOVED this book!  A riches to rags to riches again story, written in 1904, it tells the story of Sara Crewe who is sent to a boarding school in London run by the vile Miss Minchin.

5.         The Sue Barton Nurse series by Helen Dore Boylston.  The wonderful tool that is Wiki has just informed me that these books were written in the 1930s/40s – I see something of a theme in my chosen literature as a child!  This series of seven books followed Sue Barton through her nursing career until she married and was expecting her first baby. 

Am really enjoying doing these Friday 5 posts (and discussing them on Twitter).  To see more, visit Kat, Holly and Laura.


17 thoughts on “Friday 5: Childhood Books

  1. I *totally* forgot about the Jill books! I was sooooooooooooo obsessed by them. Was it Jill’s Pony Trek where they go off on a hack and they get lost and find some remote cottage where a woman had fallen down the stairs? That was my favourite one – wasn’t there a really haughty (American?) girl on the trek with a really unmanageable horse…or something (was the horse called American Pride?). I wish I could remember. Loved those books!


    • Have just checked with my Mum, and I only have five of the Jill books at her house, none of which is JIll’s Pony Trek (wouldn’t you know it!)

  2. I love to read and did as a child, my youngerst Son Ashley still read but alas my other two have no interest. I read a few Jill books will have to try to remember them and maybe “borrow” your idea for a blog Dawn : )

    • You’re more than welcome to join in, Dawn. Next week’s topic for Friday 5 is Embarrassing Moments, if you’re up for that? x

  3. I really loved series books too, especially Point Horror (lamest horror stories EVER).

    The Chalet School books sound awesome, I might have to track those down!

    • William was talking about Point Horror books the other day, Holly. I’d never heard of them before. Must look out for them.

  4. I had all the Jill books too, and quite a few of the Jinny at Finmory series (girl with a wild arab horse in scotland). In fact I had tons of horse books as I had a horse.

    Think I read the Chalet series. And, hey, I was having this conversation with a friend who mentioned Ballet Shoes as being her favourite and I picked it up while out thrifting to read recently.

    Sue Barton was my Mums fave series. She often told me how she wanted to be a nurse after reading about Sue.

    • Blimey, Sharie – you’ve made me feel really old now, saying Sue Barton’s was your mum’s fave!! Not heard of Jinny at Finmory, but they sound good. x

      • LOL, the Sue Barton books have been classics ever since they were published – generations have enyoyed them.
        The Jinny books are a bit spooky as well as horsey. I found a blog once that was all about a woman’s mission to read all the horsey books she’d read as a child and the ones she’d missed as well. Then she reviewed each one. I think her horse mad daughters had ‘spurred’ her on to do it.

  5. OOh I love children’s books! I loved Famous Five and Secret Seven but most of all I adored the Mallory Towers ones (all by Enid Blyton of course). And Anne of Green Gables, and Swallows & Amazons (was gutted when DD just didn’t “get” it at all when I tried to read her Winter Holiday!). When I was much younger I adored Milly Molly Mandy. Especially the illustrations!
    I can’t remember any more 😦

  6. I also loved the Chalet School books – didn’t you find they always made you want to have coffee and cake mid-morning too? I re-read one recently and was most amused when Jo Bettany was told to take a cigarette and go and calm down (advice to a 17 year old you wouldn’t hear often these days I’m thinking)!

    • Yeah, very un-PC – you wouldn’t get Harry Potter & Hermione having a quick ciggie, would you!!

  7. Have not read any of those – they don’t ring a bell. I didn’t read much as a child (not compared to my kids) but did the whole Enid Blyton route.
    Incidentally, over here, you can go to most libraries and the Children’s Librarians have never heard of Enid Blyton. At all. I know in our are, you can do a search on available books for Enid and there is just one copy – in Russian!
    Did you see the BBC program about her a few months ago? Fascinating – she really was a bit of a nutter!

    • Hi Teresa – you’re more than welcome to join in, too. This Friday’s topic is embarrassing moments! Have posted your blog swap parcel out to you today. x

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