Wednesday, the 29th of December, and time for Shelf Control once again–the last one of 2021 if one can believe it! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies, and celebrates the books waiting to be read on your TBR piles/mountains. To participate, all you do is pick a book from your TBR pile, and write a post about it–what its about, why you want to read it, when you got it, and such. If you participate, don’t forget to link back to Lisa’s page, and do also leave your links in the comments below as I’d love to check out your picks as well!
Today my pick is from a series of school stories that I haven’t ever read, though I seem to have almost always known of them. The Chalet School series by Elinor Brent-Dyer is a series of 58 books, published between 1925 and 1970 by English author Elinor Brent-Dyer. Born in South Shields, she was educated at a small private school in South Shields itself to which she returned after training at Leeds Training College. She had a teaching career in state and private schools which spanned 36 years. In the 1920s, inspired by a holiday in the Austrian Tyrol, she created the Chalet School. Over the course of the books, the school changes location from Austria to Guernsey (after the Nazi invasion), then Herefordshire and a fictional island, and finally Switzerland.
The Rivals of the Chalet School (1929) is book 5 in the series. This one sees a rival school, St Scholastica open on the opposite side of the lake to the Chalet School. What does this mean for the school? Will the girls in the two schools be friends or foes? Pretty obviously the latter, for there are misunderstandings and practical jokes aplenty, and soon students from the two are at daggers drawn!
As a child I enjoyed reading school stories, and even recently revisited the Malory Towers books by Enid Blyton; I like the school setting, and one is presented with students with different traits, in a way, a microcosm of the wider world–while also enjoying the usual classes, activities, and treats. The Chalet series is one I’ve known of from (it would seem) forever, but somehow never got the chance to read, and this is something I want to remedy soon. So this one’s definitely finding its way on my 2022 reads!
Have you read this one or any others of the Chalet books? How did you like it? Any other school stories that you particularly enjoyed and would like to recommend? Looking forward to your thoughts!
Lisa has her 300th Shelf Control post up today, and her pick is Deep Secret by Diana Wynne Jones, another author I really need to get to soon!