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The Head Girl of the Chalet School (The Chalet School #4)

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  310 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
It was a big experiment making Grizel Head Girl. Though she hated to do anything and fail, Grizel didn't like the sound of the school motto - "school first, self last". However, there are plenty of opportunities to test her when there is a kidnapping and a difficult new pupil.
Paperback, 160 pages
Published September 1st 1998 by Armada (first published 1928)
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Jul 20, 2014 Shawne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On the whole, Elinor M. Brent-Dyer was at the peak of her authorial powers when she first created the Chalet School series. In the Tyrol, everything about this quaint, reassuring, wonderful universe was still fresh - it could get a bit outlandish, in the style of school stories with a healthy dollop of adventure thrown in, but the characters were real and the setting quite glorious. And so, The Head Girl Of The Chalet School is very much a great installment in the series, focused this time on er ...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Very much of its time (1928), this boarding school could be anywhere in England if they didn't insist on calling lunch "Mittagessen" and dinner "Abendessen"--as if English weren't insisted on at all times, which it is. However all the girls seem to learn to chatter away in German, French and Italian as well! The tropes for the series are firmly in place by this fourth installment: Someone gets hurt, someone gets sick, someone runs away from the school and gets lost/hurt. Someone spends two or mo ...more
Jun 07, 2015 Deborah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first original Chalet in which Madge isn't head - although you'd scarcely know it for the first half of the story, as she seems to nip up and down the Sonnalpe every other day. After that she's 'busy'.

In this book, EBD solves the problem of the new girl who isn't a decent sort by having her kidnapped by a madman and discover some salt mines. Apart from this, there is lots of Chaletish stuff going on - old girls get betrothed, staff get married, it snows, it's very hot (there's a reason EBD d
LH Johnson
It always fascinates me how early this series shifts things; how early things change. The status quo of the first few books is already being changed at this point. Head girls have been and gone (my beloved Bette Rincini has not had her moment in the sun but this is addressed by Helen McClelland's excellent Visitors for the Chalet School) and now it is Grizel's turn. Grizel is a complicated beast, one of the most intriguing characters ever to walk the stage of the Chalet School, and coupled with ...more
Burgundy Rose
Frankly not her best, though I really enjoyed the descriptions of the Tyrol and all the oher places they visit. The Chalet School series is really as much a travelogue as an adventure series and it adds real depth to the novels. That being said, Grizel and Cornelia were poorly drawn and the general kidnapping plot was beyond unrealistic. What is the most disturbing part of the book is really the sexism constantly thrown at the girls by various men, society at large and even female members of sta ...more
Katherine Bruce
Jan 26, 2016 Katherine Bruce rated it really liked it
It's interesting to begin a book with a girl running - but not away, rather to something. Of course, it's a place she isn't meant to go and this shadow could be seen as the shadow that haunts a lot of Grizel's actions for the first half of this book. Her attempts to do well are the reason she has a run-in with a fellow prefect (another aspect that is not common in EBD's titles - her prefects are generally a pretty united body) and nearly cause her death. It is noteworthy that, unlike earlier boo ...more
Sep 21, 2009 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fourth in the Chalet School series for teenagers, set in the Austrian Tyrol. In this book, Grizel Cochrane is made head girl for two terms. The staff are not sure that she will cope, particularly when her temper makes her do something irresponsible shortly before she takes up her new role.

However, Grizel determines to succeed. Her two terms as head girl are enlivened by a revengeful prefect, a snow fight which turns nasty, various weddings, an abduction, a trip to Salzburg that has an unpleasant
Feb 28, 2008 Celia rated it liked it
Book 4 - Grizel stuffs up in the beginning, but then generally acts like an exemplary head girl. There's a kidnapping incident with the Robin, a marriage (and a bit of a speech to Grizel about how marriage is a woman's true destiny, etc), and a snow ball fight. Cornelia Flower is introduced, and is American and terrible for a little while, before reforming. Madge and Jem's have their first baby, despite absolutely no mention of Madge's pregnancy, which is rather funny, and Grizel readies herself ...more
Donna Boultwood
Jan 16, 2014 Donna Boultwood rated it it was amazing
Not one of my favourites, although I've still given it 5*, as they are such cute stories. I thought Grizel was a strange choice for head girl given her history, still, she proved us all wrong and made the best of it. I like the way the author puts in little familiar references, Frau Berlin appears in the fire! Also funny that the only reference to Madge's pregnancy is that a walk is too much for her, then we're told she's given birth!
Jan 19, 2011 Carolynne rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Abigail, Gundula
Grizel Cochrane, the reluctant school girl of _The School at the Chalet_ has unexpectedly become Head Girl, a bold move on the part of the school administration. Can she live up to the responsibility of her position? Can she follow the motto, "School First, Self Last"? when Cornelia is captured by a deranged tramp Grizel's mettle is tested. Grizel is a flawed character, thus more interesting than some of the more virtous characters in the Chalet School books.
Jan 12, 2010 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grizel's just been appointed head girl in this book, a task which she is not looking forward to, because she knows that she'll have to put the school first and herself last. She's put through many tests, from a fire in the hotel when a group of them are staying for the holidays, to a revengeful girl in school, but comes through with flying colours.
Sarah Adamson
Jun 09, 2014 Sarah Adamson rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
This is the fourth in the Chalet girl series.
It's not my favourite as it focuses on Grizel who is not my favourite character. She goes through trials in order to become head girl and then has to show everyone she was the right choice.
Just finished rereading, as part of a very slow series reread. I'm biased, because this is one of my favourite authors. I think everyone should read at least one chalet school title, if not all!
Feb 14, 2015 Margaret rated it liked it
First read of the unabridged text with the new Girls Gone By edition. Interesting as usual to see what the paperback edition omitted.
Jane Shaw
Mar 21, 2014 Jane Shaw rated it liked it
Reminded me of reading Enid Blyton school stories when younger. Rather old fashioned now as written in 1928, but a relaxing easy read.
Jul 17, 2007 Pooja rated it really liked it
I love these books!! They were my favourite when I was growing up and I loved reading the stories...:)
Jo Carter
Jo Carter rated it really liked it
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Paula Bird rated it it was amazing
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Elinor M. Brent-Dyer was born as Gladys Eleanor May Dyer on 6th April 1894, in South Shields in the industrial northeast of England, and grew up in a terraced house which had no garden or inside toilet. She was the only daughter of Eleanor Watson Rutherford and Charles Morris Brent Dyer. Her father, who had been married before, left home when she was three years old. In 1912, her brother Henzell d ...more
More about Elinor M. Brent-Dyer...

Other Books in the Series

The Chalet School (1 - 10 of 58 books)
  • The School at the Chalet (The Chalet School, #1)
  • Jo of the Chalet School (The Chalet School, #2)
  • The Princess of the Chalet School (The Chalet School, #3)
  • Rivals of the Chalet School (The Chalet School, #5)
  • Eustacia Goes to the Chalet School (The Chalet School, #6)
  • The Chalet School and Jo (The Chalet School, #7)
  • The Chalet Girls in Camp (The Chalet School, #8)
  • Exploits of the Chalet Girls (The Chalet School, #9)
  • The Chalet School and the Lintons (The Chalet School, #10)
  • The New House at the Chalet School (The Chalet School, #12)

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