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The School at the Chalet (The Chalet School #1)

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  2,027 ratings  ·  41 reviews
When Madge Bettany sets up a school in the Austrian Tyrol, her sister Joey is among the first pupils. From small beginnings, it grows rapidly, enjoying all sorts of exciting adventures and mishaps.
Paperback, 160 pages
Published March 1st 2001 by HarperCollins (UK) (first published 1925)
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Community Reviews

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Lisa Vegan
This is a well written, well paced, and engaging story, the first of many in a long series about a boarding school in the Austrian Tyrol. I’m really glad that I got an unabridged copy, a facsimile reproduction of the original edition.

I was interested in the characters and one of my favorite things about them and the story was how the girls of all nationalities had read English boarding school stories and had ideas about how their new school should comply. As a fan of orphan and quasi-orphan boo
Loved these when I was growing up and they are still as magical as ever.
Tara Calaby
(2.5 stars)

From the opening pages of this novel, there's no escaping that it was written in the 1920s. The slang is an instant giveaway, and the ongoing casual racism throughout the book ensures that you never forget that this is children's fiction written for a now-distant generation of children. The page about the Romany people is particularly gasp-worthy. Enid Blyton's gypsies have nothing on Brent-Dyer's "religious" superstition!

The School at the Chalet suffers from first book in a series sy
“… condemmed to sitting and sewing name-tapes onto new stockings and gloves …” (p.12) brought back memories galore; though my stitching was onto articles such as gym shirts and hockey socks. I sometimes wonder if the harmless fun of certain schoolgirl pranks such as (p.148) vaselining the blackboards (or whatever is the best equivalent is on a whiteboard) ought to be positively encouraged nowadays, as a way of teaching what limits can be tested but must never be breached.

I’m horrified to read on
Roseanne Wright
I think I must have read every one of these stories when I was young. I just loved the fact that it was set in a foreign country and the pupils had to speak different languages depending on the day of the week. I wanted so badly to be a pupil there!
Ruby Rose Scarlett
Good and entertaining - though I'd prefer if more of the classes and school itself were shown (as opposed to whatever happens in the area around the school), I really enjoyed this, especially the fact that Brent-Dyer focuses as much on the staff as she does the students. The premise is quite original since we see the founding of the school and the number of girls is quite small in this first book. That being said, all the characters seem exactly the same to me and the author's use of racial ster ...more
The first, and possibly the best, in the Chalet School series by the prolific Elinor Brent-Dyer. In this book, in order to make a living for herself and her delicate little sister Jo, Madge Bettanyt establishes a new school in the heart of the Austrian Tyrol. Despite their tenuous financial status, she is able to acquire a Tyrolean chalet capacious enough to house a small school without much difficulty. Despite this unlikely setup, the descriptions of the formation of the new school are detailed ...more
Just re-read this book after many, many years. Still a good read! Rather dated in content, of course - attitudes to girls' capabilities, for instance - although they were probably quite liberated at the time. Madge is clearly a well educated, well travelled, highly motivated and independent woman despite her brother's concern for her managing without a man. Although there is some condescension towards the 'peasants,' everyone behaves politely or is brought to see the error of their ways. Obvious ...more
May 13, 2008 Jody rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: if you want to reminisce about girlhood (international boarding school not required)
It is about a new boarding school in a remote (at the time) area of Austria. A British woman and her sister need a means to live off of (without going to India with their brother) and had fond memories from traveling to this area. The younger sister is still of school age, so they decide to start a school for girls in the area. Students quickly trickle in from everywhere. Then the rest of the story is simply about the various girls interactions with each other. Little adventures, if you will. I ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
The first in a long-running popular series of stories centered on an English girls school in the Alps. Plenty of drama and fun characters to keep modern young readers interested, I think, with a Nancy Drew-like feel. 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read.
Now these books were old when I was a kid, but, i loved them so much and can only wish that my children would read them too, but they won't. Of all my childhood books, this series is one of the few that I've kept.
Sarah Adamson
This is the first book in the famous Chalet School series featuring Joey and Madge Bettany and lots of friends.
Yes the series is now seen as dated and there are some inappropriate stories with girls running off to climb mountains and so on but I will always love this series. It's a fun and entertaining read and provides some really thought provoking morals and lessons.
This is the first book which explores Joey and Madge Bettany moving to Austria to set up a new school to be run along English s
I adored these books when I was a little girl, and I used to wish I could attend the Chalet School. It sounded like a dream, a boarding school for girls, studying in a foreign country, and plenty of outdoor fun.

I decided to re-read my collection this year, and even though I'm much older now, I still enjoy them. In this first book, Madge Bettany decides to open a boarding school for girls in Austria. Her younger sister, Joey, is her first pupil, and the Chalet School soon grows rapidly.

This book
Celia Powell
The first book in the Chalet School series (which comprises an incredible 60 volumes). I decided to re-read the series this year - or what books I can get hold of, as many of them are out of print - and do it in order.

In School at the Chalet we meet English sisters Madge (in her early twenties) and Joey Bettany (a twelve year old). Madge has decided to start a boarding school in Austria, in a small chalet in the mountains, with Joey as her first pupil. The school develops in leaps and bounds in
Have loved these books for years and now I'm going back and re-reading them in order
This book is the first of the long-running and ever-popular Chalet School series. I love the Chalet School books and read a lot of them when I was younger. I was really looking forward to revisiting this one - but I'm not sure I've ever read it before!

(The edition here isn't correct - my copy is hardback, though has this cover. I think it's a Chambers reprint.)
Katie Marriott
Loved this series when I was younger. Amazing boarding school stories.
Aug 16, 2007 Shawne rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: CS & boarding school story fans
One of the cornerstones of my childhood. I've probably reread this at least ten times, to the point that when I recently read the unabridged version (yes, several of the paperbacks that aren't GGBP are abridged, wtf is that right!), I knew exactly which parts/lines were new. Scary. Not necessarily one of the BEST books of the series, but because it kicked off the longest boarding school series ever in such a fantastic way (oh, to live at the Tiernsee!), it's worthy of a 5-star rating.
A lovely book which is about a quintessentially British boarding school in Austria. It is full of lively characters and captures childhood in the beginning of the 20th century when children would always be outside and playing pranks on eachother. If you are fan of Enid Blyton you will enjoy this. The main difference between this and Blyton apart from the setting is that it isn't quite so middle class and includes people from all over the world.
I've read this many times, both in hardback and paperback. Having recently acquired a hardback version for myself, I re-read it for the first time in over ten years, and very much enjoyed it. It's the first in a series of over 60 books, and introduces us to Madge, who starts a school for girls in Austria, and her young sister Joey. Seems quite dated now, yet the personalities of the people are realistic and the story quite exciting in places.
LH Johnson
I love the Chalet School. It's my big book crush of my life. Something about it is just so perfect and undying to me. This is one of the best books - and it's worth trying to hunt out an unabridged version if you can. Even if it's just to read the full scene of the Yorkshire man hitting on Madge in the train, it's worth it for that.
Sa Toya
Amazing what all girl's should read at some point in their lives. I wish more young people got into classics more or this genre. I say that like I'm an oldie but this is writing at it's best.

I'm currently trying to best my teen years by finishing the entire series....
The epitome of the English school story for girls (though the wonderful Chalet School is in Austria). What other author could make you believe speaking three different languages on alternating days sounded like so much fun?!
Laura Bird
The start of my collection, I think I only have 2 or 3 left of 162 to get! I loved them and they helped me become the truly amazing person I am! ha ha. For the family who know it reminds me of Sammy the seagull:)
I've been a Chalet School fan since I was 12 and found Highland Twins in a church library. I've read them all; own them all (I think) in various formats. Definitely one of my comfort reads.
Beautifully written, charming and enjoyable all throughout! The language of the characters is so realistic and all their own, and the descriptions too. Can't wait to read the next
An old boarding school series that is set before the second world war. A very cool quick read with a lot of action and friendship and some nifty historical facts
I read the whole series of Chalet School books when I was about 9 or 10 - couldn't get enough of them! It would be interesting to go back and reread one of them now.
One of my favourite books from childhood and a definite comfort read...I've read (and own) more than half the book in the series countless times...
Devina Dutta
Found it at the library and was hooked on from Page one. Loved it as a child and would recommend it any lover of boarding school stories
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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)
  • Jo of the Chalet School (The Chalet School, #2)
  • The Princess of the Chalet School (The Chalet School, #3)
  • The Head Girl of the Chalet School (The Chalet School, #4)
  • 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)
Jo of the Chalet School (The Chalet School, #2) The Chalet School and Jo (The Chalet School, #7) The Princess of the Chalet School (The Chalet School, #3) The Head Girl of the Chalet School (The Chalet School, #4) The Chalet School in Exile (The Chalet School, #16)

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