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Rules: Things are Changing at the Little School by the Sea: Are Made to Be Broken - Further Adventures of a Teacher in Turmoil (Maggie Adair) Paperback – 18 Mar 2010
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It's drama ahoy at this posh boarding school and it's not just the pupils who are up to no good. The teachers are at it, too (**** HEAT)
With plenty of humour and childhood escapades to counterbalance the angst, Rules is escapist, amusing, and top of the class' NEWS OF THE WORLD ('Things get complicated in this bubbly novel')
**** HOT STARS (OK! Magazine)
The second book in the fantastic Downey school series, following the adventures of Maggie Adair, who leaves a rough comprehensive in Glasgow to teach at an exclusive boarding school in Cornwall.See all Product description
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Maggie Adair for those who did not read Class: The Secret Diary of a Teacher in Turmoil (Maggie Adair 1), is a teacher of English and starts her second year at Downey House, a private boarding school for girls set at the coast in Cornwall. She is determined to make this a better year for herself and also her pupils, but life has a habit of getting in the way of Maggie's plans.
Now engaged to Stan, who stays in Glasgow. Maggie suddenly realises there is more to life than nights spent drinking in the pub and returning for an unsatisfied drunken fumble. Maggie's eyes have been opened by David, fellow English teacher at the neighbouring Downey School for Boys. But for some reason she keeps clinging on to Stan. However why is the enthusiasm for her wedding not there? It is merely being organised around her. Beaton creates a situation which made me as a reader scream at Maggie "Stan is no good for you"; "David will give you so much more". Although David appears weak around his ex fiancé, he has many attributes which Maggie relates even more so since she became a teacher at Downey House. A skill of a good writer to keep her audience guessing and wanting more!
However, it is just not us as readers who are aware of the frisson between Maggie and David. Maggie's girls are also aware and there is plenty of teenage angst amongst them all. They hold on to what they know and use it at the right opportunity when being a teenager is not fair amongst the punishment given by Maggie.
Fliss has fallen for Will a local lad to her at home, now resident at the boy's school. Will only has eyes for Alice, Fliss' friend. So Fliss buoyed by watching new girl Zelda take Fliss' other friend Simone under her wing and transform her. Fliss undergoes her own makeover with disastrous results. Why didn't Maggie spot this happening to her own girls, her responsibility earlier? Maggie's faith in her ability is tested as she deals with the aftermath. Perhaps Maggie should go back to Glasgow, become a wife and mother and fit the stereotype that she seems desperate not to be.
A successful end of academic year for Maggie's pupils and perhaps a successful year personally as the train draws out of Truro station taking Maggie to her new future or her old past?
I would recommend this book for the older teen/young adult readership - a book to move forward reading from Enid Blyton school tales. Something had it been available when I was that age I would have read and enjoyed, a transition to adult fiction, albeit for some reason stuck in the "chick-lit" genre. A good second novel, but with plenty of room for improvement providing the dedication is there by the author to continue.
A few new characters, and Simone the scholarship girl is pleased to be taken under the wing of the texan girl...
I felt the love story with Maggie, David - the teacher at the boys school over the cliff as it where, and Stan - good reliable, boring and no prospects - BORING - and twoards the end, i was willing Maggie to stop the train - but it seems, that Jane Beaton has not yet bothered to have the sequel to this book published, and by the time it is, i fear that i will have lost interest in the characters....
I’m not particularly interested in school-based stories so I wasn’t sure I would like this at first. However it is a well written book that makes the plot interesting and kept my attention. The ending was left open and this keeps you guessing. I understand that further books in the series were planned – maybe five years later we will get them and continue the story! I would though have liked to have found out more about Claire and wished she had been a bigger part of the book.
But by far the biggest surprise for me was finding out that Jane Beaton is a nom de plume of Jenny Colgan. I did enjoy Amanda’s Wedding and Talking to Addison but they were years ago and I felt some of the books I had read recently were juvenile – in fact I read one directly before this - and that Jenny had lost the plot. The quality of this book proves what a good author she actually is. Really enjoyed it and I do hope there are more in the series.
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