Polly of the Hospital Staff (by Emma C Dowd)

I'd never heard of Emma C Dowd. I can't even find any websites about her, although apparently she wrote several books for children about a hundred years ago. I only came across this particular book because I found it in a list of free e-books for my Kindle.

I hadn't realised when I downloaded 'Polly of the Hospital Staff' (which was recommended to me by Amazon) that it's a book for children, or that it was written in 1912. However it didn't take long to realise that it is not contemporary fiction for Adults...

The book features a young girl called Polly who has been on a convalescent ward for a while, and is very helpful to the staff. She reads to the other children and invents games for them, and is generally rather too good to be true - but likeable nonetheless. She reminded me a bit of 'Pollyanna' or even 'Annie'.

Polly is an orphan who usually lives with her Aunt Jane but does not enjoy being at home. So she does not look forward to recovering completely from her accident and going home again. When she's offered a temporary 'job' working at the hospital she is deilghted.

The book follows the stories several patients, including some who are really very sick, and various other people whom Polly meets and befriends. It's obviously dated - these days parents stay in hospital with their children, after all, and convalescence happens at home if possible - but it's a pleasant enough light read.

Some of the Kindle formatting is rather poor, but it's free in various places, and can also be downloaded or read online at Project Gutenberg and elsewhere. Links given are to paperback editions, since it is evidently popular on both sides of the Atlantic, and is still in print.

Review copyright Sue's Book Reviews, 4th July 2011

1 comment:

Sunday Smith said...

I have a hard copy of this book printed almost 100 years ago. I picked it up because I was looking for other books which I believe were part of a series I had read when I was a child. The book I read was called Polly at the Boarding School or something of that nature.

I really enjoyed the Boarding school story but it was an older girl in that story and I am not at all sure they are of the same series.