The Enid Blyton Society
Summer Term at St Clare's
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Book Details...

First edition: 1943
Publisher: Methuen
Illustrator: W. Lindsay Cable
Category: St Clare's
Genre: School
Type: Novels/Novelettes

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Review by Terry Gustafson
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I can't imagine walking into Claridge's and seeing Carlotta enjoying a cup of tea with friends. After all, according to Prudence she was a Low-Down Circus Girl. The Low-Down Circus Girl attended a rather posh school though. It wasn't as posh as say — The Cheltenham Ladies' College but St Clare's has a pretty good record and has produced some fine young women. Mothers and fathers on the lower socio-economic scale will sometimes scrape up as much as they can in order to send their daughters or sons to an Upper-Class school for two reasons: 1. To give them the opportunities they were denied for themselves. 2. To raise their status amongst friends because it would be quite nice to tell the other ladies and gentlemen at the circus that "My girl attends St. Clare's College for Girls."

There are five new students in this 3rd book of the series and Carlotta is probably the most surprising ... in fact one chapter is labelled to that effect. Pat and Isabel return of course — but a week or so later than the others due to a quarantine. They'd almost caught the mumps.

You really need one or two not-very-nice pupils in the school environment because they add a lot of interest to the plot and Prudence plays her part very well. She is spiteful and a not-so-latent snob, and she's something else as well but I'll let the girls comment on that. She's not unlike a young lady called Gwendoline who attended another high-class college — Malory Towers.

Sadie from the States is another of the new girls and she's going to be very rich when she is given the key of the door. I can see Gwendoline, sorry — Prudence, hanging round and waiting for a few dollars to fall from her purse. It's in this book that Alison begins what could be called — her Period of Adjustment which is initially sparked by the American newcomer.

We meet Roberta Ellis who, like Georgina of Kirrin eminence, has a boy's name attached to her. Bobby is the ideal pal for Janet and that statement will speak for itself when Chapter #5 is reached. A Brain is introduced and she must be the envy of many girls — especially the dumb ones. Tests and affiliated exams are no problem at all for her ... she sails through them all and gets top marks even though she's about two years younger than anyone else in the class! Her name is Pamela Boardman.

Bobby and Carlotta provide the readers with a ton of fun and excitement. As there are five new girls, there is much scope for non-stop entertainment and related events in the Summer Term and once again poor Mam'zelle has a few trying experiences. A trick which may have originated from Ellisdons, (cf: EBSJ #17, P.15) is played on the ever-unsuspecting teacher and this causes much hilarity. There are some exciting tennis matches as well, and Prudence continues making her impression on the girls as only Prudence can. The book finishes with a thrilling and romantic episode which rounds everything off in true Enid Blyton fashion. These illustrations are hidden by default to ensure faster browsing. Loading the illustrations is recommended for high-speed internet users only.