July Books 26) Last Term at Malory Towers, by Enid Blyton
I had never read a single one of these books before, and swiped this off my sister-in-law's bookcase in a moment of experimentation. While it was probably not a great idea to start with the last of the series, I found it wholesome stuff about building character and learning to get along with other people, in the all-female environment of Malory Towers boarding school, the tough life lessons - and there are several - leavened by the fun of bullying the French teacher by removing her hair pins magnetically (but she is not English so it doesn't matter). I understand that part of the thrill of earlier books in the sequence is waiting to see when Darrell loses her temper, and was a little sorry to discover that she manages to keep her composure in this last volume. The only men who get much of a mention are fathers; little talk even of brothers and no talk of boyfriends. However I think it does no harm to sample a setting where there are a variety of female role models to choose from. When my nieces are old enough to appreciate these books, I think they may start appearing in Christmas presents from us.