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Beswitched Paperback – 1 Feb 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Publisher: Marion Lloyd Books; 1 edition (1 Feb. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1407108972
  • ISBN-13: 978-1407108971
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 556,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Magic… time travel… a school story which is both funny and touching… this book has it all. --Eva Ibbotson<br /><br />It was a joy to read from cover to cover. Exciting, inventive with a very pleasing twist. --Philip Ardargh

Just occasionally you read a children's book that sweeps you so entirely into its world that you leave your adult self behind... The only consolation about coming to the end of this warm, funny and touching novel is that surely there must be a sequel. --Sundaay Telegraph

One of the most enchanting, funny and suspenseful stories for 9+ to have been published for some time. Like Eva Ibbotson, Saunders has the gift for depicting benign, wildly eccentric adults and sensible, sympathetic children in plots that are almost plausible... Unlike other forays of this kind, Beswitched is less a St Trinian s-style send up than a joyous celebration of the conventional British girls public school and its passions, privations and enduring female friendships... Pure bliss. Don t miss it --The Times


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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By Sarah A. Brown VINE VOICE on 18 April 2010
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Paperback
I found a review for this book in "The Times" and on the strength of that I ordered it for my granddaughter. I read it first myself, though. I am glad I did - it was so funny that I had tears pouring down my face. I found the story very convincing and absorbing - a book you find yourself missing once it is finished. It was also very moving; I found the ending anything but trite - it was totally fascinating - and everything tied up neatly with no loose ends or unexplained details.

Not "great literature", of course - and I could have done without the few rude words - but all in all a very entertaining read.
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