Oh dear, I was no more impressed by these than I was by the Pamela Cox Malory Towers books. Maybe I’d have loved them if I’d read them when I was about 7, but I’m not convinced. Alison O’Sullivan (whom I always liked) being followed about by a girl from a lower form, OK, and an aristocratic girl pretending to be a commoner, OK, but an Irish girl turning up at the school, talking in a comedy Irish accent and bringing her pet goat with her was a step too far! Seriously, a pet goat? I suppose we should be relieved that it wasn’t a pet pig. And as if Miss Theobald would have allowed someone to bring a goat to school.
And they just didn’t sync with the original books. The books are set in the 1940s. No-one in Britain in the 1940s went around talking about “the guys at school”, and upper middle class girls in Britain in the 1940s did not refer to their parents as “Mum and Dad”.
Maybe the idea was to make the books “accessible”, but I never get the “accessible” argument. When I was reading school stories at the age of 8 or so, no-one in my world went to schools like the Chalet School, with its glorious mountain scenery, or Malory Towers, with its seawater-fed swimming pool, or indeed to any boarding school at all, but that was what made the books attractive. I didn’t want to read about kids like me, living on housing estates, going to schools with gravel playgrounds at the side of busy main roads – I wanted something a lot more exotic! And what’s “accessible” about inappropriate language? Would you show characters in a book in the 1940s using mobile phones and watching films on Netflix?!
I didn’t find them very well-written, either. Everything was just a bit wooden.
On the plus side, they were light reading, and entertaining in their way. But some fill-ins/sequels written by different authors stand up quite well by comparison to the original books, and these, unfortunately, don’t. There’s better Enid Blyton fanfic available online.