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Class: The secret diary of a teacher in turmoil Paperback – 18 Sep 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (18 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751540609
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751540604
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,060,320 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

I have been waiting twenty-five years for someone to write a bloody brilliant boarding school book, stuffed full of unforgettable characters, thrilling adventures and angst and here it is. Hurrah for Jane Beaton! (Lisa Jewell)

A wonderful first novel that had me in tears and fits of laughter. Definitely an A*! (Chris Manby)

I love this book! It's funny, page-turning and addictive... just like Malory Towers for grown-ups (Sophie Kinsella)

Aimed at fans of Malory Towers, this is a trashy, funny revisitation of the "best" years of your life: school (*** Red)

Book Description

The students in this school are in a class of their own . . . The first in a series of books set in Downeys school following the adventures of Maggie McAteer, who leaves a rough comprehensive school in Glasgow to teach at an exclusive boarding school in Cornwall.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By lisa atkinson-brown on 19 Oct 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Really wasn't sure whether to buy this - would it just be frothy chick lit? Would it poke fun at my beloved Mallory Towers and Chalet School books. I'm so glad that I did. Read it in one evening and loved every page.

Yes, it's a bit frothy. Yes, you know that in true boarding school style the shy girl will end up with cool friends, the naughty girl will realise the error of her ways and in the final chapter the entire class will give the underdog a jolly good cheer. However, in the books that I read and reread in my childhood the teachers didn't have private lives, the girls certainly didn't have any contact with boys and politically correct educational psychobabble had not yet been invented.

An excellent touch is that Mam'selle still says eveything in French and then handily repeats it in English. Sadly, there was no midnight feast (always the best bit of any boring school story) but as I have already added the second book to my wish list (not out until August 2009) maybe the girls will be smuggling in bagels, Green & Blacks mini bars and Innocent smoothies in that one.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By dreamteamgirl on 11 Sep 2008
Format: Paperback
Absolutely delightful book!!

I adored all the boarding school books I read as a young girl and yearned to go to a boarding school and play hockey and have midnight feasts and 'Class' lets me re-live all of that but with a decent 'grown up' angle to it.

Definately worth a read if you grew up on Mallory Towers and St Clares.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By H.P. on 29 Sep 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This title was recommended on the LoveReading website and sounded interesting so I sent for it. I was not disappointed. The author uses a risky strategy - combining adult and young teen viewpoints - but makes it work. The book, set in a private school, features a host of diverse and interesting characters - the formal head with a secret, the fiesty Maggie, looking for something different from teaching English in her Glasgow comp, the overweight, brainy Simone, anxious to please and convinced that she won't, as a scholarship girl,fit in.
'Class' is in the same genre as Miss Pym, Ladies' detective Agency books etc - gentle, predictable and safe. It's not a challenging read but it's a pleasant one to cosy up with as the evenings draw in.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jo D'Arcy TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 Oct 2008
Format: Paperback
If like me, (and the author) you loved the tales of Malory Towers, St Clare's and the scholastic thread of Harry Potter then this is the book for you. All those childhood days spent reading and dreaming what it was like to be at a boarding school; the midnight feasts, the teachers, the boys at the opposite school and the awful school dinners has been brought bang up to date in Jane Beaton's `Class'.

Beaton's debut novel sets the scene for Maggie Adair, a young new teacher to Downey House in Cornwall, who has spent her early teaching days back at her old comprehensive in the middle of Glasgow where it was a struggle to get more than ten minutes work out of the pupils if they turned up at all. Here Maggie faces the other end of the school spectrum at this all girl's boarding school and finds that the pupils whilst still have a reluctance to learn now and again, are also at the other end of the spectrum in terms of class, money and privileges. This books cleverly weaves the class and money issue in well, with the introduction of new pupils, Simone the scholarship girl and Fliss who was always going to attend Downey House.

The story progress through a complete school year and we see how the pupils, Fliss and Simone fit in as well the new teacher Maggie who is hundreds of miles away from home and her boyfriend, Stan. Unlike the childhood boarding school books we all love, this one manages to cut across the pupils and teachers effectively and we get to find out about both. Their background, their love lives and their secrets which could affect the school and how the pupils and parents perceive these educators of young minds. I was a little saddened that Dr Veronica Deveral, the headmistress' secret was not as exciting as I had imagined being.
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Format: Paperback
I approached this book with some trepidation, I don't often enter into the territory of an author I have never read before. What I discovered was delightful. Jane Beaton has created some very realistic characters and somehow managed to intertwine each of their storylines in a very easy to follow fashion. The book is full of giggles, and cringes as you recognise yourself and others in the people featured.

The story follows pupils and teachers for a term at a very posh boarding school. You get to witness the action from both student and mentor perspectives, which I thought might get a bit confusing, but somehow it doesn't. I was left pondering the characters and hungry to find out what happens next term as Jane has left some of the storylines hanging.....infuriatingly!

The book is lightweight, easy to read but very gripping, so probably best read when distractions are a minimum to save your nearest and dearest from getting snarled at for trying to start a converstion!

The most disappointing thing about this book? Well, where was the midnight feast? Surely the girls at boarding school always have at least one midnight feast in a school year!
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