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Thursday's Child (Margaret Thursday #1)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  775 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Story of irrepressible Margaret Thursday, an orphan determined to go far, and the friends she makes along the way.
Published September 6th 1999 by HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks (first published 1970)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,290)
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This is a plucky-and-reasonably-high-class-orphans-run-away-from-cruel-institution story, which is pretty much its own subgenre. I think I read it as a child (the part where they hide out on the canal boat seems really familiar) but didn't find it as memorable as her more famous "Shoes" books, even though she does work in some theater.
Cleo Bannister
Thursday’s Child by Noel Streatfeild was ‘my book’, I think I was initially drawn to it partly because I was born on a Thursday and secondly because I had loved Ballet Shoes. Thursdays Child tells the story of Margaret who was left on Church Steps in a basket with three of everything of the very best quality and a note

“This is Margaret whom I entrust to your care. Each year fifty-two pounds will be sent for her keep and schooling. She has not yet been christened”

The year Margaret turned ten the
There seemed to be plenty of stock issues in this book: the orphan who runs away from the mean orphanage-keeper, the long-lost orphans who are really aristocrats, the kind teacher / lady who fixes things. But that doesn't include the lovely interpolation (I think that's the word I mean) of Jem's family with his parents' boat and his aunt-and-uncle's theatrical troupe. His family and the adventures with him really made everything come quite alive, and kept the story going much longer than I thoug ...more

A bit ridiculous but very Dickensian.
‘Thursday’s Child’, set shortly after the start of the 20th century, is the story of ten-year-old Margaret, who was left on a vicarage doorstep as a baby. It was written in 1970 so is a historical rather than contemporary novel, and it paints a good picture of life in various contexts from the point of view of a child.

This isn’t a typical Streatfeild book: there are no highly gifted children, at least not until Margaret discovers a talent towards the end. There’s a somewhat unlikely coincidence
Maria Thomas
As a young girl I LOVED this book. No idea how many times I've read it. I never tired of rereading it. Margaret is delightful and I loved her spunk. Such fond memories of reading this book...
While the lead character was occasionally irritating, this book was a lyrical description of canal life at the turn of the (19th) century in England and for this reason I rate it highly.
Dec 15, 2006 Elizabeth rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kids and grown-up kids
My favorite book when I was a child. This is the story of a girl (Margaret) who runs a way from an orphanage in England in the early 1900s because they beat her and punish her. She works as a scullery maid until she can get her friend/(brother?) out. Then she works on a boat pushing the boats through the locks with her feet--I guess this was how they brought boats up and down channels--before becoming discovered and working as an actress in Little Lord Faunteroy. I remember this book vividly alt ...more
Tanya Tabone
This was in the dusty suitcase full of books in my grandparents house, under the single bed.
I foolishly assumed that just because this book was about the horrors of a turn-of-the-century orphanage & stuff that there wouldn't be any theatre or dancing involved...HAHAHA HOW WRONG I WAS. This is Streatfeild, people, and she won't let you forget it. (Not that I mind either of those things, but her attachment to them in amuses me.) Also, it's super predictable and the pacing is weird. But she has some good characters--yay Peter!--and I'm a sucker for orphanage/school s ...more
I bought this book used from the library when I was about eleven, and it's still one of my favorites. Set in Victorian England, it seems to have all the earmarks of a children's adventure story, right down to the part where the children discover they are really heirs to millions (that isn't what happens, but it's close). But the characters, especially Thursday's child herself, Margaret, are so real and so vibrant (with the possible exception of the evil orphanage Matron) that I would recommend t ...more
My grandchildren are too young for this yet but when they're older I hope that they'll love it as much as I do. It's a wonderful lesson in determination, self belief and loyalty but without preaching or pushing it down the reader's throat. It's also a terrible indictment of orphanage life in late Victorian times - not all were like that I'm sure but it must have been fairly accurate.
Thursday's Child might be full of cliched characters and plot, but the impact it had on me was the value of the self: every person in the world is worth something, even if he or she is just an orphan. We should be proud of ourselves, especially when we have done something we thought we could never do. Try reading this book again using that point of view.
Maureen E
Not at all like Streatfield’s “Shoes” series. This book tells the story of Margaret Thursday and the three Beresford children she makes friends with when they are all sent to an orphanage. Unfortunately, the orphanage is reminiscent of nothing so much as Lowood from Jane Eyre. A nice story with good characters. [June 2010]
Diane Christy
I remember reading this as a girl. I had the hard-back version and I was fascinated by the adventures of this little girl. I bought a used copy of this book a few years ago so I could re-read it. Haven't done that yet, but this is one of the most memorable books I've ever read. Not sure why. I just loved it though!!
My favourite, favourite when I was nine or ten. I managed to destroy a copy with excessive reading and had to be bought a hardback copy! ANd what is more, it stands rereading, strong characters, fast pace, multiple setting which appeal to the romantic notions of small girls - orphanage, canal boat, theatre. Vintage Stretfeild.
I adored this and Far to Go - typical Streatfeild of course, but there was something a little darker and less glossy about this mini-series.
Margaret an inventive orphan living with 2 sickly older ladies is sent off to live at an orphanage since they can no longer take care of her, where she meets Lavinia, Peter, Horatio who become his fast friends & full of mischief & mishap.
There was something about this one that just... didn't sit well with me. It was well-written, but the main character was really annoying thinking she was somebody so special and deserving of all kinds of attention.
I read this book a couple of times as a kid. Honestly, I don't remember too much about it except for the fact that I really liked it, and every now and again it pops back into my head.
I still love this book after all this time. Margaret makes a great heroine, and it's such a wonderful story. They sure don't write them like this any more.
Hannah  Messler
I don't think there was a ever a mother in the world better at recommending children's books than is my own. Five stars to this and to me loverly mum!
This was great fun. The protagonist is a determined little thing with a strong sense of justice. The characters she meets are beautifully portrayed.
What a heroine! I didn't want it to end. It was so "English." The canal folk were Hardyesque. A very enjoyable read.
Excellent understanding of people, as always by this author. The ending left too many loose ends for me.
You know the story, poor orphans find fame and family, all turns out well, good is rewarded, evil punished.
One of my favorite childhood books. When the library retired their copy, they kept it for me :)
I forget the exact edition, but I got this in a a paperback for mom a while ago.
An amazing book I read and re-read when in the fourth grade.
Not her best writing, but still very good and enjoyable.
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Mary Noel Streatfeild, known as Noel Streatfeild, was an author best known and loved for her children's books, including Ballet Shoes and Circus Shoes. She was born on Christmas Eve, 1895, the daughter of William Champion Streatfeild and Janet Venn and the second of six children to be born to the couple. Sister Ruth was the oldest, after Noel came Barbara, William ('Bill'), Joyce (who died of TB p ...more
More about Noel Streatfeild...

Other Books in the Series

Margaret Thursday (2 books)
  • Far to Go
Ballet Shoes (Shoes, #1) Theater Shoes (Shoes, #4) Dancing Shoes (Shoes, #9) Skating Shoes (Shoes, #7) Movie Shoes (Shoes, #6)

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