A Rebel at the Chalet School

From time to time, I like to sit down with a few of my childhood favourites, and sooner or later will indulge myself in re-reading some of the Chalet School series by the prolific author Elinor M Brent-Dyer.

Since I had just finished reading 'The Chalet School and the Lintons', in Armada, which - confusingly - is in fact only the first half of the original with the same title, I thought I'd better follow it with the second half, 'A Rebel at the Chalet School'.

This book is primarily about Joyce Linton, struggling to gain popularity in the Chalet School, and resorting to mischief with fairly dire results. She's rebellious, but the author clearly shows her to have a sense of integrity and honesty, contrasting strongly with that of another, older girl, who thinks nothing of resorting to lies and revenge. Joyce's older sister, Gillian, is much more responsible and generally likeable.

There's a rather dull section in the middle of this book, describing in some detail the annual Chalet School fair in aid of charity. But on the whole it's pleasant light reading for anyone who enjoys teenage fiction from time to time; it would probably stand alone, but is best to be read after the first part of the book.

Despite having been written and published in the first half of last century, these books still sparkle since the people are very believable, even if much of the language and slang used seems distinctly dated.

Recommended in a low-key kind of way to anyone who likes this kind of light teenage fiction. Not currently in print, but fairly widely available second-hand.

Review copyright Sue's Book Reviews, 6th November 2010

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