Today, I’m taking part in Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by Jana, and for the back to school freebie post today, I’ve decided to talk about books set in boarding schools as I usually love that as a setting! Onto the post!
The Murder Most Unladylike series– this is my favourite middle grade series at the moment (and has been for quite a long time), and it’s absolutely brilliant. The mysteries are superb, the character development over the books so far has been phenomenal, and I love everything about thema lot. I’m so excited for Death in the Spotlight come autumn!
The Children of Castle Rock– this is my joint favourite book of the year, and I feel like it’s the book I’ve wanted to read forever without knowing it. It’s set in a boarding school in Scotland and tells the story of the friendship that develops between three of the pupils and the orienteering trip they take that doesn’t go at all to plan. The boarding school is amazing, the writing is utterly gorgeous, I couldn’t have loved the characters more if I tried and I can’t believe how few people I’ve seen reading it.
The Malory Towers series– this was probably the first boarding school series I ever read, and it’s my favourite of Enid Blyton’s school stories by far. I like that most have a mystery in them somewhere, and just the plots/stories themselves. I also like that msin character Darrell isn’t at all perfect, and neither are any of the characters really. The Pamela Cox continuations are even better as well, and I have very special memories of almost all of them.
The Harry Potter series– I think it’s pretty fair to say Hogwarts is the most famous literary boarding school of all time, isn’t it? It’s such a magical, wonderful place and I think it’s the perfect main setting for these books. I love discovering it and learning more about it with each book, and I also love the teachers who populate it a lot. Well, most of them (I’m looking at you in particular, Snape)
Girlhood– this is (interestingly) the only YA on this, which I think is because I prefer cosy boarding school settings and they’re often my favourites, but even though there are some scary elements to this book, that feeling is still sort of there due to the fab friendships, It’s about a girl called Harper, who is at boarding school and still coming to terms with the death of her sister, and what happens when a new girl arrives and enters their friend group. And as you might expect from Cat Clarke, it’s pretty creepy and the mystery kept me turning pages very quickly.
Max and the Millions- this is one I read recently, and it’s about two boys who discover a miniature civilisation created by the school caretaker, and they have to help them with their crisis. It’s a really enjoyable story, has a lovely message about not judging people based on initial assumptions and the hearing aid representation meant a lot to me.
Gangster School– Blaggard’s isn’t your average boarding school, but instead a boarding school for criminals in training. I thought the way typical tropes of boarding school settings were twisted was really clever, and the main characters (especially Milly) were so quick thinking. I also loved the animals; Gruffles and Wolfie!
The Pony Club Rivals series– the Stacy Gregg series you’ll have heard me talking loads about is Pony Club Secrets, but she also wrote this series before swapping to her standalones. I don’t love it just as much for a number of reasons (both of the live interests being awful after how much I loved Aidan and even Dan and Marcus in Pony Club Secrets…), but it’s set in a boarding school for equestrian superstars intraiming, and I LOVE the setting so much. There are brilliant and eeccentric instructors, lots of traditions and the combination of normal school stuff/learning about horses is brilliant. It also prominently features Tara Kelly, a recurring character from Pony Club Secrets who I thought was AMAZING.
The St Grizzle’s series-St Grizzle’s was an average boarding school, but when we arrive with main character Dani, things have went a bit bonkers. It’s a lot of fun, and while I don’t think I’d personally like such a laidback approach to education it’s brilliant to read about! Becka Moor’s fab illustrations complement Karen’s hilarious text perfectly too.
The Royal Ballet School series– this was a series I absolutely adored when I was younger; they’re set in the Royal Ballet School, and each book focuses on a different girl, but they all live in the same dorm. They’re really interesting and taught me a lot (about ballet, of course, but they were also the first time I ever heard of MS or OCD), and I used to reread them all the time.
What are your favourite books set in boarding schools? Are you a fan of any I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @GoldenBooksGirl!