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4.5 out of 5 stars28
4.5 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 18 April 2010
Like another reviewer I ordered this book on the strength of a good review in the Times - I thought my daughter (10) who loves Enid Blyton and Cathy Cassidy would really enjoy it. She did, and so did I. Many older readers will be reminded of earlier novels such as `Tom's Midnight Garden' and `Charlotte Sometimes' but `Beswitched' is really excellent in its own right. It's absorbing, funny, charming and genuinely moving. The period detail seemed authentic - like other reviewers I was reminded of earlier stories, in particular the Chalet School series and also the Dimsie books - and the whole thing was so confident and assured that the odd possible inauthenticity simply didn't matter. Saunders' depiction of a Noughties girl in a 1930s school is quite subtle. Flora finds some things hard but excels at others. Sometimes she chafes at the constrictions but is also aware of unexpected freedoms. The 1930s girls don't have the career opportunities of their modern counterparts - but they are a good deal less, well, `girly' than most girls of my daughter's age.

I do hope Kate Saunders is planning another novel in which we learn exactly how the 1930s Flora coped in her progressive modern boarding school while her counterpart was coming to term with life at St Winifred's.
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on 3 May 2010
I have been reading this book to my two daughters (aged 11 and 7) over the past week, and by the time I finished it, we all had lumps in our throats. This is a book of such warmth and charm, and of such mystery and magic, that I am worried that any other book I read to them will simply fail to measure up. Kate Saunders has reworked the classics of school fiction to such delightful effect that she has created a whole new one herself.
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on 4 November 2014
This is a wonderful, funny and basically joyous book. I would recommend it for any 9-13 year old girl, particularly if they have enjoyed other boarding school stories or magical stories. It is a step-up (and a world away) from Malory Towers, as it is more detailed, longer and with more believable alive characters. It would be a brilliant next book for the girl who has enjoyed Enid Blyton, but needs something more grown-up in terms of complexity of story and characterisation. . It would also go down well with young Harry Potter fan, or as a natural progression from younger magical books (maybe even those vile fairy series!) As an adult who enjoyed (well, enjoys really!) boarding school stories this is my favourite of the lot. I can't recommend it highly enough. The gradual unfolding of the story with the unexpected surprises along the way is sublime, and this book is interesting enough for an adult reading aloud to be thoroughly entertained, even those non-boarding school afficionados out there!
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HALL OF FAMEon 28 January 2010
If you have a 9+ year old girl who loves stories about boarding schools and magic, this is the perfect read. Flora is a typical spoilt, sulky modern girl who is sent away to a liberal boarding school for a term. On the train, she finds she has slipped back to 1935 and a Chalet School type existence. How can she bear the Latin, the History, the hideous clothes, heavy food and strict teachers? Why is she there? How can she get home?
What makes it all bearable are of course the girls in her dorm who become her friends - but only after the usual sneaks and bullies have had their way. Beswitched is both a new classic tale about a boarding school and a homage to all those Mallory Towers/Chalet School books about female friendship and education. The plot, both magical and historical, ticks along nicely because of course even in an English boarding school, apprehensions about what the Germans are up to start to grow.

Like Eva Ibbotson, who gave a rare quote on the cover, Saunders is brilliant at depicting wildly eccentric adults whose affections and affectations try the young. She writes beauitfully, with perfect comic timing, and both children and grandparents will love reading this aloud.
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on 6 June 2010
My 10 year old daughter, and the rest of the family, absolutely loved this book. Fantastic characters, great details about life in 1935 and a brilliant twist at the end. I would recommend it to anyone.
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on 28 January 2010
On the cover of this fantastic book is a quote from Eva Ibbotson that reads: "Magic, time travel, a funny and touching story. This book has it all!" and I couldn't agree with her more. I got sucked into this story in the same way that the protagonist, Flora Fox, gets sucked through time to 1935. It's Malory Towers and Chalet School but a 21st Century gal actually gets to go there! I was able to live out all of my boarding school fantasies through Flora's adventures. Besides the gripping plot, it is also side-splittingly funny and had me roaring with laughter (even when I was reading it on the train - bit embarrassing). The twist at the end is phenomenal and I certainly didn't see it coming. 8+ girls will be totally delighted with BESWITCHED. I can't wait to read whatever Kate Saunders writes next.
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on 10 November 2013
I absolutely loved this book. It was funny, entertaining, had some great characters. I felt that Flora was a great character, as you could really relate to her, and I liked how she was really spoilt at first, but as the story went on, she turned into an asset to St Winifred's. I also loved the friendship between the girls, and how brave Flora was. It kind of inspires you to be a better person. Loved the twist at the end. It turns it into a mystery which just makes you want to keep turning the pages and keep reading. I would say it's perfect for girls aged about 9-13ish, and also for anyone who liked Enid Blyton boarding school books, as it is very similar to one of those. All in all, a very good story and the kind of book you'll want to read again and again. :)
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on 17 February 2016
Beswitched is about a girl called Flora who goes on a train to boarding school and finds herself back in 1935. In the story she had to adjust to a completely different way of life without any of the luxuries of the modern day world.

My favourite part of the book was when flora got sent back in time. Her character is funny as well.

The story kept me guessing and had me very interested but I love reading anyway.
The only thing that I didn’t like about the story was that sometimes it didn’t make sense, especially in the part where Flora said “Stop calling me Daphne and only a bit!” But that part did make me laugh.

I’d say that the story is probably for seven or six + because it has a lot of words younger children might not understand.
I’d give this book 7 out of ten. It’s a good book but it can be a little confusing.

Review by Rat Girl Age 11.
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on 14 February 2013
a book you won't want to put down once you start reading. Even the cover art here is fantastic to look at. Fiona Fox is a modern 21st century teen who doesn't realize how spoiled she is until her parents plans to ship her off to boarding school while her parents take care of her injured grandma. On the way to school however Fiona makes a unexpected stop in 1930s when Pete and her three dormmates cast a summoning spell that brought her into the past. Now with no lap top, computer and having to learn Latin and to sew her own socks Fiona deals with bullies and makes the three best friends she could ever image. Friends to the point that she'll hate to say goodbye if her friends can find the spell to return her to her own time. She swears that no matter what Pete and her friends look like she'll find them again in the future if she can ever find a way to return that is.
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on 18 September 2010
I bought this book after the name and the cover attracted me. Started off really good, funny and very realistic to a 9 year old and it just kept getting better and better. I would denfinately reccomend this book and is a must have for children this summer.Beswitched
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