Sunday, 20 June 2010

The Chalet School Series by Elinor M Brent Dyer

This is a series that many adults now read and loved in their childhood, along with many other boarding school books. Unfortunately, now the series is out of print and copies of some of the books are quite rare and expensive. Luckily, my mum started to collect her collection again (after they were given away when she left home) when they were published for a time by Harper Collins and my school librarian's mother kindly gave me all the books that she had two copies of.

The School at the chalet:

 Madge Bettany's plan to start a school in the Austrian mountains seems very exciting to her younger sister, Joey for she is to be the first pupil. Neither of them is able to imagine how such a small idea will change their lives so completely.
Amazon description:

When Joey Bettany's sister Madge sets up a school in the Austrian Tirol, Joey is among the first pupils. From its small beginnings it grows rapidly, enjoying all sorts of exciting adventures and mishaps. Joey, effectively an only child because Madge is twelve years her senior, is always ill during the English winter. Madge's solution to Joey's health problems is to start a school in the Austrian Tirol. At first there are only a handful of pupils, but soon the numbers grow, with children coming from all over the world. Joey is always the central character, in this as in many of the other 60-odd books in the series. There are alarms and excursions in which she takes part with interest, wonderful descriptions of the spectacular local scenery, hilarious antics of one sort or another, and plenty of near disasters in the mountains. The School at the Chalet is the first book in an ever-popular series that was first published in 1925.
The first book, The School at the Chalet is about Madge Bettany and her younger sister Joey as they go out to the Austrian Tirol to start an English school. It is set in the heart of the Tirol pass, surrounded by many mountains in which clusters of chalets can be found by the lake, where the Tyrolean people live. With the help of the kindly families who live near the school, they start the term with a few pupils, some native to the country and others friends of the Bettany's who came out with them.

The series is all about the school life and the thrilling adventures and difficult scrapes that they find themselves in. Each of the girls has a distinct personality but one of the main characters is Joey Bettany, a wild and impulsive girl who has a big and warm heart inside.

The books were written and set a long time ago and the story is very quaint and innocent with unforgettable characters that have me hooked on the books! I think that although the story uses somewhat old fashion phrases and languages, the stories are just as captivating and charming as they were when they were first publishing. Some may say that young girls today won't enjoy them but I love them and think that it would be great if the series were published today and adult fans were able to introduce their girls to the series.

The plots are full of fun, mischief, danger and mystery and of the 8 or so books I have read out of the total 62, the plots are never repetitive or dull.

I reccommend the first book for anyone to try for if you like it, you will be hooked on the rest of the series!!!!!

There is even a Facebook group page specially for fans of the Chalet school! Take a look:

 The Robin and Joey  Bettany with the Menches for Christmas (Left)


  1. I've also heard AMAZING things about this series, but haven't had the chance to give it a go yet ... Hopefully soon, but I'd definitely love to!

  2. I hope that they will be re published again one day if more people start reading them. I'm sure that you'll love them when you get round to reading them!

  3. Do you know where someone could find a copy of one of this series? It sounds really nice and my Mum has said how she loved them and I want to give them a go.

  4. Hey Amy,
    The books aren't published anymore but there are lots of copies that you can buy on Amazon UK, ebay or you could try a second hand bookshop. The first books in the series are cheaper and easier to get so give them a try first and see if you like them :)

  5. These books were amongst my favourites when I was little (which seems like forever ago now). Loved all the boarding school type books at the time. I especially loved Malory Towers and the St Claire series. Read those over and over and over.

    My all time favourite by Enid was Island of Adventure and I still have my old hardback copy with the illustrated yellow cloth cover tucked away on my bookcase. I still take it out and dip into it every now and then :)

  6. Anonymous04:24:00

    I LOVE this series! My Mum has been collecting them since she was a teenager so I've read all of them, and I do think they are one of my favourite series ever. I would recommend them to anyone, and I guarantee that if you read one, you'll be completely hooked!

  7. Anonymous04:59:00

    hi I'm twelve years old and live in kent (england)
    and I LOVE the chalet school books and have read 38 of them


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