Childhood favourites (Was Oh the horror!)

Charles Butler hannibal at
Wed Feb 12 07:11:12 EST 2003

> Enid Blyton, The Noddy books when I was very young, then the The Faraway
> Tree books (a teacher read them aloud to us and then I borrowed them)

When I teach CL I usually get my students to name their favourite book from
childhood as a way of breaking the ice in the first seminar. There's always
a lot of Roahl Dahl, but the runaway winner over the years has been Blyton's
Magic Faraway Tree. (These are students born, on average, between 1980 and
1985). Whenever one person mentions that book the eyes of all the rest glaze
over in nostalgic stupefaction...

> There were two fantasy or maybe 'magic realism' books that I read when I
> in Grade 6 and about 12 that I've never been able to find again. One was
> called The White Room and might have been by Elizabeth Beresford (but that
> doesn't sound right). It was about an unhappy woman who gets trapped in
> snowstorm and has a transformative experience (and probably not really a
> fantasy book).

Could it be this one by Elizabeth Coatsworth?
"The White Room: An Incredible Tale (1958): The real and the imagined become
indistinguishable. Novel set on a hilltop on the Maine coast. A woman fights
for control of herself her family from the loneliness of the land and the
strong will of her husband's sister."

I can't remember either the title or the author of the other
> book, but know that it was about a strange family, whose deep and dark
> secret ends up being that they are really partidges. If anyone can
> eithe rof these books, BTW, I will be eternally grateful to them!

I do remember a programme called The Partridge Family from the early 1970's,
and my memory is that one of them had dark secret too - he was really David


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