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The Little Village School [Hardcover]

Gervase Phinn
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
RRP: 18.99
Price: 18.90 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition 5.49  
Hardcover, Large Print 18.27  
Hardcover, 7 July 2011 18.90  
Paperback 7.03  
Audio, CD, Abridged, Audiobook, CD 13.59  
Audio Download, Unabridged 14.85 or Free with 30-day free trial

Book Description

7 July 2011 Little Village School

She was wearing red shoes! With silver heels!

Elisabeth Devine causes quite a stir on her arrival in the village. No one can understand why the head of a big inner city school would want to come to sleepy little Barton-in-the-Dale, to a primary with more problems than school dinners.

And that's not even counting the challenges the mysterious Elisabeth herself will face: a bitter former head teacher, a grumpy caretaker and a duplicitous chair of governors, to name but a few.

Then there's the gossip. After all, a woman who would wear red shoes to an interview is obviously capable of anything . . .

Warm, funny and poignant, Gervase Phinn's first novel for adults creates a fictional world that's as real as can be. It will delight all his fans, and win him many more.

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The Little Village School + Trouble at the Little Village School: A Little Village School Novel
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (7 July 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444705571
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444705577
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 16.5 x 24.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 301,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gervase Phinn is a teacher, freelance lecturer, author, poet, school inspector, educational consultant and visiting professor of education - but none of these is more important than his family.

For fourteen years he taught in a range of schools, then acted as General Adviser for Language Development in Rotherham before moving on to North Yorkshire, where he spent ten years as a school inspector. He holds five fellowships, honorary doctorates from Hull, Leicester and Sheffield Hallam universities, and is a patron of a number of children's charities and educational organizations.

Gervase lives with his family in Doncaster.

Product Description


this heartwarming tale makes ideal holiday reading (News of the World)

As Yorkshire's favourite school inspector turns to fiction you can enjoy memorable characters and turns of phrase. (Choice)

written with all the humour and warmth one has come to expect from this master storyteller. (Countryman)

Book Description

First novel by bestselling author of the Dales series, Gervase Phinn. A warm, funny, moving and romantic tale of life in a village primary school when a new headmistress arrives . . .

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Change is on the way for the sleepy village of Barton-on-the-Dale when the new head teacher arrives at the primary school. Elisabeth Devine is a breath of fresh air: energetic, vivacious (she scandalises the school board by wearing red shoes and lacy stockings to the interview) and full of ideas to improve the school. Villages are small communities, though, and not all the villagers are happy with the changes to their settled lives that Elisabeth's arrival brings. As she makes new friends Elisabeth also has to fight for what she believes in, as she realises just how much her new life means to her.

This debut novel for adults from Gervase Phinn is an entertaining tale peopled with believable characters and full of funny and touching incidents, written with all the humour and warmth one has come to expect from this master storyteller.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem 16 July 2011
By bumble
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have always enjoyed Gervaise Phinn's writng. He brings humour and thought provoking stories to the reader, without preaching and patronising text. The latest book 'The Village School' is no exception I couldn't put it down despite the tears in some chapters, (mine not the books) but the laughter in others.A must for anyone who enjoys a good book without sex violence and other nasties. Please continue with this new series it is just a gem
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By E. Heckingbottom TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read the start, and was hooked! The pictures it presented in my mind of a small, country primary school, struggling to achieve the results that were expected was just too much. I HAD to buy it! I couldn't wait for it to come out in paperback, bringing the Kindle price down.

Typical of Gervase Phinn's writing, the characters are alive and vibrant. ypu can hear them speaking - you can even see them in your minds eye. This is an amazing book, drwing from his real experiences as a dreaded Schools Inspector in North Yorkshore

There is just one problem with this book, and that's to do with the price listing, not the book. I think it's very unfair to set a price comparison with an edition that isn't even published yet; and I rather wish that Amazon wouldn't state the paperback price until the book is actually available in paperback; it makes us all feel as though we are being diddled, and sets off a lot of unfair reviews.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice read ... 28 Aug 2011
Having read most of his previous books I was pleased to see another offering but one which didn't recreate stories from previous books. As others have said some of the characters are predictable as is the storyline in some parts, but I, too, shed a tear in parts and laughed in others. A thoroughly enjoyable read and I hope to see a follow-up on the bookshelves soon.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars unfair 24 Aug 2011
By tdk
Format:Kindle Edition
I think that it is unfair of the other reviewers to award this book only one star because of the cost. Surely you actually have to read a book before you review it!
I have read it and it was as I expected it to be, a fun, light read.
Despite being a novel the book contains many of the same ingredients as Gervase Phinn's previous books. It is a warm, comforting mainly lighthearted book, although there was one section where I had a little sob!
The story relates the arrival of a new headteacher at a school which has had a very poor OFSTED report. She is so completely different from the previous inadequate and rather nasty headteacher, that she initially makes some enemies. However, when her ideas prove successful she gains some surprising allies.
Although there are the stock comic characters such as the shopkeeper who knows the business of the entire village, there are also characters who have a greater depth. As usual for Gervase Phinn the children are the most intriguing characters - I particularly liked the precocious pupil who could probably have run the school unaided!
As a teacher I do have a few quibbles about the accuracy of the portrayal of current education. At times I felt that some of the actions and ideas were rather outdated. I do not know of any teacher who would apply for a post without looking at the latest OFSTED report. Neither, would a headteacher consider complaining to their union or the education authority because they had enrolled a difficult child. Also in more than twenty years of teaching I have never heard a teacher use the word 'expelled', it is always 'excluded'.
These small moans did not detract from my enjoyment of the story and if this book proves to be the beginnintg of a series I would certainly read the next episode.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new term starts with a new series.... 26 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
A Yorkshire village, everyone knows what goes on in their own lives (obviously) but also that of the other residents and even those in neighbouring villages. When a newcomer arrives they are always going to cause a stir.

In this case the newcomer Elisabeth Devine, with her red shoes with silver heels of all things is going to really cause a stir. Elisabeth is the new headteacher at The Little Village School. She is something a mysterious character, in fact she has some secrets of her own and coming from an inner city school, she assumes that no one is that interested in her or her life.

All she wants to do is the best for the pupils that are in her care. The trouble is the school that she has become head of is facing many problems. The previous headmistress was something of a tartar, who rarely left her office and left the school as soon as the bell went. The deputy head cannot simply control the children in her care and they are not learning anything. There has been a failing inspection report to deal with, the other teachers are on temporary contracts and the parents are taking the pupils out of the school. It seems that Elisabeth has made the wrong move when she came to the school.

However, slowly things start to change, Elisabeth has a determination that none of the other villagers have ever seen before. It has a marked effect on her fellow teachers, especially when she splits up the groups and actually teaches herself. The pupils seem to be gaining in confidence and she knows who needs help, when and how. After school clubs are growing and even the Deputy Head seems to have found a new lease of life and has finally stepped out of the shadow of the previous head teacher and even her own mother.
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