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Irs the second year at Malory Towers boarding school for Darrel Rivers, who just can't wait to get back to school after her eight long weeks on holiday . She simply can't wait to catch up with her best friend Sally, and with all her other classmates - sharp tongued Alicia, timid buy loyal Mary-Lou, scatterbrained Irene, and everyone else .
She's looking forward to seeing what surprises the new school year will bring after the adventures of her first year there - and excited to meet the new girls Belinda, Ellen, and Daphne. Belinda is instantly accepted into school life, just as scatter brained as Irene the two become instant friends . Ellen , a scholarship girl is studious and stressed, and Daphne - well, she's just a spoilt little rich girl - or at least she seems to be .
As the term progresses, Ellen the new girl starts acting strangely, sneaking about at all hours of the night and poking into places she shouldn't . Meanwhile, things are going missing - purses, money, and jewellery are stolen, and all eyes turn the to the most likely suspect .
But, are they blaming the right person ? Is Ellen really a thief, or is somebody altogether different to blame for the petty thefts ? And will Darrels temper once again get her into trouble ?
In comparison the the first book in this series , this book is a lot more action packed and fast flowing, I imagine because by this time the majority of the characters are already well known to the reader (assuming of course that you've read the first book.). We already know that Darrels main flaw is her temper, that Sally is calm and self possessed, the Alicia has a sharp tongue, and that Gwendoline is a spoilt pain in the bum . We know what the teachers are like, which ones are fair, which are hot tempered - so the only new characters we need to get to know are the three new girls, each of which is very distinct in personality and attitude.
The story is great -lots of little twists and turns that, while admittedly a little bit predictable to me, having read all the Blyton books as a child, would actually I imagine be quite exciting for the younger viewer . As always in a Blyton book, many of the characters have bad sides balanced out by good sides, I like that nobody is all perfect, and no one is all bad. Aside from the main story, there are plenty of interesting mini stories in the books, pranks played on teachers and little dorm dramas that help to keep things interesting, and the whole book is interesting and flows easily .
My copy I picked up from a charity shop, and is an old edition - the illustrations were simple line drawings that helped illustrate key points in the story . I'm afraid I can't comment on the illustrations in newer editions, but judging from the front cover of the newer versions, I imagine they will be vastly different, but certainly more modern . I'm also aware that in some modern versions the content has been edited a little, with slaps replaced by shakes and such like .
This is a great book for young girls, and I imagine most children would be easily able to read this by about age 8 or 9 . This book costs 3.37 from amazon.co.uk.
As I said in my other Malory Towers book review, the Malory Towers collection is a perfect set of books for a young girl, as a child I used to love these books and I hope that young girls go on reading them for many more generations, you will find many interesting adventures and mischievous plans in these books that will get a young child's imagination working!
After reading the first Malory Towers book, I am sure that anyone would want to read the second one. There are many new girls in the second book including Belinda, a scatterbrain that always forgets everything, just like Irene, that has a special talent for drawing, Daphne, a millionaire's daughter, (that is what she says anyway) with a lovely smile and a pretty face and the scholarship girl called Ellen, Ellen has worked hard to get into Malory Towers and doesn't want anything to stop her getting bad grades...
This second year many more tricks are played on the teachers and now Darrel and Sally are best friends, Sally is now head of the second form and Alicia immediately gets jealous.
But this year not everything is jolly... because somebody has been stealing!
This is a great book to follow the first one, it is just as exciting and for only 3.49 on the amazon website!