I've come around on the appeal of these "Naughtiest Girl" books, and here's why. My first reaction was sort of negative. Naughty Elizabeth is a bit over the top, the situations she gets into seem too antic and manufactured, and the resolutions are rather pat. There are lots of kids characters and they are quicksilver in their "like you - hate you - we're best friends - we're enemies" snap judgments. There's a lot of "I like the cut of your jib" and "she's O.K. 'cause she's made of the right stuff" judging going on. It all seems rather brisk and snappish and rather shallow. But, and this is an important "but", I started to think about the current books available to young, mostly girl, readers. You have Judy Moody, Junie B. Jones, Ramona, and an almost endless list of thoughtless shallow drama queens, whose exploits are meant to be amusing but seem to occur in some sort of behavior vacuum. For older readers, you have an infinite variety of gossipy-mean-rich-twinkly girl gangs loaded with frenemies and slippery characters of dubious appeal.
When weighing one against the other I began to see the appeal of the Naughtiest Girl and of other more old fashioned girl heroine books. (Pollyhanna, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, Heidi, and any girl from any size House on thePrairie would eat these modern girls up and spit them out.) In the Naughtiest Girl books Elizabeth makes mistakes and howlingly bad decisions. She then recognizes her errors or has them pointed out to her by supportive friends or patient, understanding adults. She tries to do better - as a friend, as a classmate, and as a person. She does actually have the "right stuff" and she soldiers on determined to be a worthy friend and person. It may be a little pat and there is a lot of judging going on, but there is gentle instruction and guidance on offer here along with the school daze silliness.
So, I don't think I'd read all ten Naughtiest Girl books in a row, but I'm not a nine or ten year old girl dying to find out what kind of scrape Elizabeth will get into next. Many of these books came out in weekly serial form, and that explains the ebb and flow of the chapters, and the ups and downs of the plots once they were turned into books. There is energy here, and good humor, and common sense, and a lot more girrrlll power than their 1940's origins would suggest. I'm a convert.
I think the only way of reviewing this book is to treat it as a historical novel with an interesting story line. Even then, Elizabeth Allen who is a selfish and spoilt little brat sent to a progressive boarding school changes far too rapidly into a Mother Teresa lookalike within weeks. In the real social media world of today's adolescents, a child like this would either have been bullied into self harm or an eating disorder or welcomed into the anti-establishment gang with open arms. The english language is a bit clunky at times, as indeed I have always found with EB, but at heart this is a nice little book with a happy ending for all who come into contact with Elizabeth.
I loved everything by Enid Blyton when I was little so I introduced my 7 year old to this book. She is a great reader and started the book herself however it didn't seem to grab her like it had me and I was disappointed, she preferred diary of a wimpy kid. I decided to try again but this time with me reading it to her. This meant I could enjoy the story too. Well it did work and she loved the story. I think the story flowed more when I read it as the language is dated. We both looked forward to bedtime and read it over a couple of nights. She now wants the other books. I would recommend this to the 7 to 10 age group a timeless classic which although dated has lost non of its charm.
Super book I love boarding school stories these were different from Malory towers and trebizon she becomes nice a bit too quickly for my liking but enjoyable all the same as I said in the book she becomes nice too quickly I am wondering what all the other books will be about maybe the title should be the girl who's naughty and nice. Recommended to all girls that like learning about some people are unluckier than you ad luckier. Hope you like my comment and it was helpful. From a book lover
The Faraway Tree and the Naughtiest Girl series were the only Enid Blyton books I'd ever enjoyed as a child and felt like a comfy read when I discovered these books were still available - and to my surprise, being read by a new generation! I admit that I had few hopes when I got this book to read on Kindle. After all, ENID BLYTON????! However, I enjoyed it. The book is beautifully written and although it's out of date and probably politcally incorrect, I still liked reading it.
One niggle was that the modern editing was faulty - eg, the girls are apparently allowed to go to the pictures once a week, but on TWO POUNDS a week pocket money?? Also, Poor Elizabeth hands over her term's money, totalling eight quid but will get £2 a week back and she's bitterly disapointed! They should take more care with this kind of thing!
All in all, a big nostalgic hit for me. I imagine that modern children will enjoy it, too - although quite how they could possibly relate to a ten-year-old going away to school is a mystery.