Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Noel Streatfeild

All right. Can we talk about books some more? I was a big nerd and reallllly loved my Noel Streatfeild. And no, I am not spelling her name wrong, it is spelled like that! So, I already talked about probably the best book, Ballet Shoes and the second best, Movie Shoes. So now I am here to talk about the ones that I can't even say are the third and fourth best- I have to say they tie for first place, because I loved them so much.

Let's start with Theatre Shoes. Oh my gosh. I was in love with this book! I can't tell you how many plays I forced my sister and our agreeable friend Erin into performing after reading this book. It was written in 1944, but that was fine by me, I was into the older times as a kid. The three children in the book, Sorrel, Mark and Holly are orphaned in some way because of the war, and they are sent to live with their retired actress grandmother in London. She sends them to the most frickin awesome school ever, The Children's Academy for Dancing and Stage Training. The kids were like, "say what?" - they didn't want to go. I wanted to go!

But as they get into it, they realize it is in their blood! They all end up having some sort of stage talent and excelling. Sorrel, the main character, performs the part of Ariel in Shakespeare's The Tempest. It made me want to read Shakespeare in seventh grade- and that is saying a lot my friends. These books also made me interested in learning French, which I tried to do on my own time in my room at like, twelve or thirteen. Nerd Alert! Or so says my sister, who was still dry humping that Bon Jovi poster and smoking cigarettes.

So then I got this one: Tennis Shoes. And yes, it made me want to play tennis, which I now do.
I think I loved this cover most of all- and this is a horrible, unclear shot, but at least you can kind of see how cute it is. It is mostly about the youngest girl in a family of four named Nicky and her tennis training. I adored it!

Dude. Dancing Shoes was GREAT! Two sisters named Rachel and Hilary Lennox have to go live with their bratty cousin Dulcie after they are orphaned. And if you are wondering if all kids are orphaned in these books, I would say that like, a third of them are. Okay, so the girls want to go to this royal ballet school, but they are kind of forced into this campy school that their aunt runs. It is not a serious dance school, it is more for pantomimes and tumbling and that sort of thing.

Traveling Shoes is about a kid named Sebastian who is a prodigy on the violin. His three siblings have to travel the world with him and are getting sick of it. It isn't as awesome as the other ones, but I liked this cover so I had to include the picture.
I have wonderful memories of reading these books, over and over. Noel Streatfeild won the Carnegie Medal for Outstanding Children's Fiction in Britain- she is really more of a British author, but sometimes I run into people over here in America who read her books as girls. When I do, I automatically like them =)