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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Written with all the humour and warmth one has come to expect from this master storyteller.
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...
Published on 28 Sep 2011 by Country Publications

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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment
I did not think that this book came up to the standard I have come to expect from Gervais Phinn. Whilst the book was pleasent enough to read, the storyline was predictable and the characters rather stereotyped. The book lacked the livliness and interest of the author's previous books . Mr. Phinn seems to be much better at writng autobiographical books than fiction. I was...
Published on 1 Aug 2011 by Pamela


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Written with all the humour and warmth one has come to expect from this master storyteller., 28 Sep 2011
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 (norfolk uk) - See all my reviews
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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
Bumble.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Having read the start, I couldn't wait till July 2012!, 24 Nov 2011
By 
E. Heckingbottom "elaineheck143" (U.K.) - See all my reviews
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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
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
By 
Jo D'Arcy (Portsmouth, UK) - See all my reviews
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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.

There are some though who are suspicious and Elisabeth has to deal with some parents who feel that their child is being victimised. A board of governors who are split about the school and a local council and education department who are determined that this little village school will be affected by the cutbacks. The strength of feeling in the village is strong and suddenly the lady who swept in with her red shoes is making an impact that ripples out to many.

This is a wonderful story if you like school tales, it is a wonderful story if you like village tales. It combines the most innocent things that children say, the tragedies that many encounter in life and give it a good dose of true Britishness. Yes it might seem all rose-tinted to many but the humour is so very British and the characters although seem parodies of themselves are no doubt spot on. You have the lady that runs the village store and post office, who of course knows everything that is going on and is not one to gossip. She is trying to palm off the Viennese biscuit selection she has. The caretaker with the perpetual bad back who suddenly has a miraculous recovery when the local doctor says it is time for the operation. The vicar and his wife, two very different people. The local farmer and his rights of way for his herd. And so it goes on.
Gervase Phinn captures the innocence of everything and weaves a really good old fashioned tale, which has tragedy and heartache and made me weep a couple of times, with sheer will and determination that can show you how much one person can improve something and how it can inspire and please so many. Even the characters names reflect the characters themselves. You can imagine what Miss Sowerbutts is like from her name, the images that is conjures up is wonderful.

I look forward to reading the next instalment.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read, 28 Nov 2012
By 
lyndydaisy (Sussex England) - See all my reviews
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I am a retired headteacher and this is why I decided to try one of Gervase Phinn's stories. As a teacher it really made me smile, there were so many wonderfully funny truths in it. I also enjoy country life/village stories a lot and this book delivers on that level too. Yes.....an enjoyable read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LITTLE VILLAGE SCHOOL, 1 Sep 2011
Very "unputdownable" I hope Gervaise writes more "Barton in the Dale" novels. It was different - I was used to looking for the students (childrens) "views' in his novels but this book gave an insight into the adult(teachers) "views". Loved the charactors especially the shop owner.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 17 July 2011
Yet another fantastic book by Gervase Phinn. I could not put this book down, it's a must read this summer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good holiday read., 15 Oct 2013
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Having read all five of the Dales series and found them very enjoyable I was very happy to find another set to read.
Although I am not a regular reader I found this hard to leave for long.
An excellent easy read.
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The Little Village School: A Little Village School Novel
The Little Village School: A Little Village School Novel by Gervase Phinn (Paperback - 7 Jun 2012)
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