Wednesday, the 13th of April, and time for Shelf Control once again! 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!
For today’s pick, I’m back to one of my childhood favourite authors (in fact the staple of my childhood reading), and one who remains a favourite even today, though one does see different elements in her books now than earlier. The author is of course Enid Blyton, and the book, Mischief at St Rollo’s. English writer of children’s books, Enid Mary Blyton (1897-1968) was born in South London, the eldest of three children. She showed an early interest in music and reading, and went on to train as a kindergarten teacher. Her writing career began in the 1920s with stories and poem competitions in magazines, and in 1922, she published her first book, a collection of children’s poems under the title Child’s Whispers. A prolific writer (this seems rather an understatement), she went on to write 762 (according to Wikipedia) books. Even with all my childhood (and adult) reading, I think I still have hundreds of her books still to explore!
Today’s pick, Mischief at St Rollo’s (1943) is one of her school stories. Originally published under her pseudonym, Mary Pollock, this one is a standalone unlike her other school stories which include the St Clares series, Malory Towers, and the Naughtiest Girl series (a post that I did on all her school stories is here). Mischief at St Rollo’s opens with the usual Blyton scenario, where siblings Mike and Janet Fairley are being sent to school at St Rollo’s where they don’t wish to go. And also as per the usual scheme of things, when they get there–in fact right from when they get on the train–they begin to make friends and with them soon get up to plenty of mischief, alongside plenty of tuck and midnight feasts, of course. But there is a mystery boy, Hugh, whom everyone seems to avoid? Why?
From its description, this is of course, a typical Blyton school story, but Blyton school stories, typical or not, are always a great deal of fun, and I enjoyed reading them as a child and also my recent-ish revisits to the Malory Towers books (here). Also being the only one (at least from those of which I’m aware of) of her school stories that I haven’t read, I’m all the more keen to read it.
Have you read this one? How did you like it? Did you enjoy reading school stories as a child? Which were some of your favourites? Any ‘new’ ones that you’ve enjoyed lately? Looking forward to your thoughts and recommendations!
Lisa’s pick this week is Happy Doomsday by David Sosnowski, a coming of age story in the midst of an apocalypse!