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Thursday's Child (Margaret Thursday #1)

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  967 Ratings  ·  45 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)
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I finally got my hands on this favourite from my childhood. I didn't actually remember the plot, other than there being an orphan on a train with a basket containing her things, but I remembered being quite passionate about it when I was 8 or 9 or so. It's out of print now, and the library copy was missing for months after I put it on hold, then suddenly turned up. Lots of glorious details I'd forgotten - not only a plucky orphan, but also a terrible orphanage with an evil Matron, some kind and ...more
Hilary Woolf
Nov 27, 2016 Hilary Woolf rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers who love orphan stories and strong female characters
Shelves: orphan-stories
Margaret Thursday is an orphan who was found with three of everything of the best quality and had money left each year to keep and educate her. However one day this money runs out. Margaret is sent to an orphanage where she endures hardship, hunger, and punishment, but her ebullient personality triumphs. This is an un-put-downable book. So readable we discovered that we could walk our dog and read aloud at the same time ! Lovely descriptions of life on a barge and a travelling theatre. Learnt wh ...more
Dec 08, 2015 Morgan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Recommended for: All Ages, lovers of orphan stories

Rating: G

I've always loved orphan stories. Something about that nature of hard luck story, the hardships they endure, the adventure of running away, the "rags to riches" of some nature that so often follows, just grabs my imagination. Thursday's Child by Noel Streatfeild claims the title of my favorite orphan story. It has everything one could wish for in such a story: a spunky protagonist, intriguing secondary characters, a cruel orphanage Matr
Cleo Bannister
Aug 26, 2013 Cleo Bannister rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-books
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
Nov 01, 2008 Magda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 04, 2014 Miriam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: younger
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.
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
That's better.

Having just read and been crashingly disappointed in two different "Shoes" books, I was more than ready for this classic rags-to-riches tale of the not-quite orphans and the foundling who leads them home. Jane Eyre meets Oliver Twist and The Little Princess in this wishfulfillment tale of the fiesty young foundling who knows (like the Fossils before her) that she will have to make her own way in the world, and is determined to make it big. The Countess' attitude to her servants is
Jan 04, 2016 Deborah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this many times as a child, but returned to it reluctantly as an adult, because I dimly remembered it as wall-to-wall child cruelty and hardship. Well, it’s not quite that bad, and it has a cracking plot, but it’s not one for the faint-hearted.

A bit ridiculous but very Dickensian.
Jun 09, 2008 CLM rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful Christmas gift when I was ten
Dec 29, 2016 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have always loved Noel Streatfeild's books and as a child I got my library to ILL them for me or hunted through second hand book stores to find all of them. She tells the perfect "girls stories". I was always able to find one character in each book that was my favorite. They definitely stand up to re-reads.
Debbie Robinson
Jan 10, 2017 Debbie Robinson rated it it was amazing
I read this book as a child after watching a children's TV series which unfortunately hasn't been shown for a long time. It was the sort of book I loved with children going to an orphanage and then running away. Recently I brought the book again and re-read it
May 18, 2015 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘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
Dec 15, 2006 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Jane Irish Nelson
Re-read. An old favorite. Set towards the end of Victoria's reign, this is the story of Margaret Thursday, a foundling. The vicar who found her gave her that surname since she was found on Thursday. He also found her a home with two local spinster sisters. But now that they are growing older, and no money arrives for Margaret this year, new arrangements must be made. So she is sent to an orphanage, where she meets the Beresford family. Adventures ensue. The story is very much character-driven as ...more
Jun 08, 2008 Tatianna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
May 23, 2012 Claire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
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.
Oct 23, 2009 Shonda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 17, 2013 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
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.
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
Nov 16, 2011 Diane Christy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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!!
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.
Jul 08, 2012 Vicki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tween
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.
Sep 12, 2011 Jael rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Hannah Messler
Jul 12, 2010 Hannah Messler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
May 17, 2008 Deena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vintage-ya
This was great fun. The protagonist is a determined little thing with a strong sense of justice. The characters she meets are beautifully portrayed.
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.
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.
May 08, 2009 Nancy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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.
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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

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