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White Boots (Shoes #7)

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  2,042 ratings  ·  101 reviews
It's a stroke of great luck when Harriet Johnson’s doctor prescribes skating after an illness that has left her feeling frail and listless. For on her very first day at the rink, Harriet meets orphaned Lalla Moore, who is being brought up by her wealthy aunt Claudia to be a skating champion. Although they have little in common, the girls form a fast friendship. Harriet is ...more
Paperback, 216 pages
Published 1963 by Puffin Books (first published 1951)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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nancy
Top Nine Reasons I Love Skating Shoes & Am Grateful I Read It Again:

1) It was one of my favorite books as a child and it still holds up.

2) It has lines like this: “During the last six months the little girl Harriet, without her noticing it, had disappeared and a new Harriet had taken her place. A Harriet who looked much the same outside, but was more of a person inside.”

3) I had totally forgotten that the book took place in England. (Not sure if this is a testament to my terrible memory, o
...more
Susann
Feb 15, 2010 Susann rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Susann by: my sister (technically it's her copy on my shelves)
Why did Uncle David stay with Aunt Claudia? Surely he could have done better.

Update: One of my favorites of the 'Shoes' books. With this re-read, I was amazed by the number of adults that conspired to help both Lalla and Harriet. This is also one of the few Streatfeild books that focuses more on friendship than on family relationships. It certainly contains one of my favorite Streatfeild Nanas: "She did not hold with ice, nasty, damp stuff, but she defied any ice to give a chill to a child who
...more
iamtedae
Oct 14, 2007 iamtedae rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young fans of historical fiction
Shelves: favorites
This is by the author of the memorable "Shoes" books, an old favorite. It is, oddly enough, one of the two books not in the "Shoes" line named after footwear. Trivia, for those of you interested in such. Like the "Shoes" books, it focuses on a young, underprivileged heroine fortuitously encountering a greatly privileged counterpart and forging a friendship that benefits and develops both lives, surviving jealousy, etc.

However, this particular story isn't up to Ms. Streatfeild's own level of achi
...more
Rachel Brand
What a lovely story! First published in 1951, this is a story for young girls about a spoilt only child who is destined to become the next skating star who receieves her comeuppance when she makes friends with a poor, ill child who is prescribed to take up skating to improve the strength in her legs. White Boots explores the friendship between the two girls, their winnings and failures as amateur skaters and the lifestyles of the two very different families. Streatfeild can write very humorously ...more
Lynn
For a number of years I've watched "You've Got Mail" and thought "I should check out the Shoe books by Noel Streatfield". Just recently one crossed my path: The Skating Shoes.

I have to say I did really enjoy this book. It takes you back to a different era, much like The Secret Garden. By today's standards it is fairly predictable and moralistic, but it holds up.

Here's what this book conveys:

* Friendships are friendships; they should be important in our decisions.
* People are more than their s
...more
Jessica
One of my favorite books as a kid! The story of two girls who become friends as they train together in figure skating, the one because she is the daughter of a famous skater, the other as a way to recuperate from a long illness. I loved everything about this book, the descriptions of the moves they were learning, their clothes, the dialogue . . . and what little girl hasn't dreamed of being an ice skater?! An utterly charming book!
Jade
White Boots is a lovely story about a young girl called Harriet who has been ill and is recommended by her doctor to take up skating to help strengthen her legs. It sounds like an unusual cure for a little girl but it makes more sense when you read it. Although she does not want to go skating she begins to enjoy skating after meeting a future world champion Lalla Moore.

I really enjoyed the story and how it was told so well. The scenes often left me feeling many emotions, whether sad for Harriet
...more
Ella
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Violet
A great Noel Streatfeild; one of my new favorites!!!!

Ballet Shoes, Dancing Shoes, and Theater Shoes were and actually still are my favorites by Noel S., but I enjoy them all.
Nicola Mansfield
Reason for Reading: This book is published under the Essential Modern Classics list. This is a list of books chosen by the publisher's UK house and is a collection of outstanding books for children. From looking at the titles I'd say the age range varies anywhere from 8 to 15. I think the authors chosen present a unique collection for North American readers to discover. I intend to be keeping up-to-date with ESM as well as digging into their backlist.

As part of the Essential Modern Classics seri
...more
Elinor
After my last heavy read, I really needed something to clear the palette, so I of course turned to children's literature!

White Boots (or Skating Shoes) is a story set in London not long after WWII has ended. Harriet is our first main character who has been ill (of what, we don't know) and is in need of physical activity to strengthen her "cotton-woolish" legs. Her doctor, with the help of her brothers, has figured out a way to get her onto a local skating rink for free, which is important since
...more
Irene
Sep 26, 2013 Irene rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Irene by: Elementary school aged girls
Shelves: children
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Connie
I love this book. When I was a kid, I literally read our copy to pieces. It fell apart. I taped it together, but that didn't keep.

So I was thrilled to see it back in print with a spiffy new cover! Look at that!

I'm reading it to my just-turned-seven year old niece right now. I'm surprised at how much she's taken to it, given that it's really a fairly old-fashioned book (and British besides!), with long, complex sentences; time taken to introspect the grownups; and mentions of weird things like pr
...more
Megan
I am in love with the "shoe" books. Noel Streatfeild is a genius when it comes to writing for little girls. His books are full of whimsy and everlasting friendships. The Skating Shoes is another fabulous installment of the very popular shoes books. This book will grab the readers right away and keep them coming back for more. I grew up reading the "shoe" books and I started to take ballet because of them. I also tried skating. These books help girls dive into a deeper discussion about what is ou ...more
Becky
I really loved reading Noel Streatfeild's Skating Shoes. Harriet Johnson is recovering from an illness. Part of her recovery involves daily exercise. At first, this involved tedious, dreary walks. But after visiting her doctor again (well, the doctor visits her), he prescribes something much different. Wouldn't it be wonderful if she could skate daily?! He's happy to make arrangements with the owner of the rink, but her family will have to cover the cost of renting ice skates six days a week. On ...more
P.d.r. Lindsay


Classic quality children's fiction. This is a delightful story to read with, read to or just give to children reading comfortably on their own. Noel Streatfeild wrote so many excellent books for children. What I have always enjoyed about her books is that the children find ways to succeed without blaming adults, each other or their life situation. The books teach - without any tub thumping - tolerance and acceptance. But also show how it's up to individuals to take up opportunities and make thei
...more
mstan
Feb 05, 2012 mstan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All girls below the age of 14... ah heck, all females, of any age
So precious! I wish I had read this as a child. I like how Streatfeild understands the female pre-teen's psyche so well. Looking at the cover, you'd think that everything's a bed of roses for her characters, but her children feel ugly emotions too, and for rather sustained periods - resentment, envy, overweening pride.

I am starting to see a pattern here though, after having read Ballet Shoes recently. There's always a character who lets fame and public attention get to her pretty little head, an
...more
Meghan
May 28, 2012 Meghan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Girls, Skaters
Recommended to Meghan by: Me
I just re-read this book and it has all the charm and wonder as when I first read it. I hadn't intended on reading it in one day, but once I opened the pages, I couldn't put it down. Would Lalla pass her tests and be the skating champion her Aunt dreamed of? Would Harriet become a skater, and if so, what would happen to her friendship with Lalla? And could I ever be a mother like Olivia (and shouldn't even little girl have a mother like her. She is just equisite. Although I would very much like ...more
Zen Cho
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lenny Husen
This was a gem. It was written in 1951 by a of woman born in 1895 in England, who became an actress and later a writer of children's books. This is the first one I've read, and I wish I'd discovered her as a child. I would have read the entire series, which seem all to have "shoes" in the title, such as "Dancing Shoes" and "Ballet Shoes." This book was wonderfully well written and charming. What make it unique was the attention paid to the adult characters, many of whom were developed, likable, ...more
Elen Caldecott
I bought this for a train journey. I knew it would be a long and dull journey and I was looking for a book that was like a woolly blanket that I could snuggle down under.
White Boots is lovely. It's the story of two very different girls and their families who are thrown together by skating. Harriett is recovering from an illness and needs exercise to stop being so 'cotton-woolish'. Lalla is well on her way to being a child star of the rink. As the girls get to know each other, they also develop a
...more
Christy
Michelle’s review of “Ballet Shoes” reminded me of this series. I first read “Skating Shoes” when I was about ten, and was thoroughly enchanted. Thin little “ginger-haired” Harriet is made to take up ice skating to strengthen her legs, after a long illness has left them spindly. She becomes a companion to rich little pampered little Lalla, who has been skating since she was three. Lalla’s ambitious aunt is pushing her up through the ranks to make her a gold-level skater at the earliest possible ...more
Katharine
I haven't read Skating Shoes since my childhood, when I devoured everything by Noel Streatfeild I could get my hands on. I expected this to suffer from viewing with adult eyes, but it stands up surprisingly well. It's dated, of course, but in a charming way, and the characterizations here are actually stronger than some of her other books. She manages to avoid the stereotyped "spoiled rich girl" who appears in so many of her books, by giving the character of Lalla a smidge of complexity and emo ...more
Caranna
Another charmer from Noel Streatfeild.

I love how Streatfeild addresses financial hardship, and family sacrifice. Her characters are all so well written, with plenty of complexity and depth. She weaves together intricate layers to create a beautiful story that is detailed but at the same time sweet, simplistic and innocent.

I just cannot get over the charm and allure of these books!

My favorite quote from Skating Shoes:
“During the last six months the little girl Harriet, without her noticing it,
...more
Jeanne
After a long illness leaves Harriet Johnson weak and listless, her doctor prescribes ice skating to rebuild the strength in her legs. Unsure of skating, Harriet changes her mind when she meets Lalla Moore at the rink. Lalla is adorable, fun, and an accomplished skater. Their friendship grows and blossoms on the ice. The girls are good for each other.

But our story takes a turn when Harriet turns out to have more promise as a skater. Can the girls stay friends with such competition between them? O
...more
Minli
Reading Skating Shoes gave me a really fuzzy feeling inside. I read this book as an adult, but it felt like it could have been part of my childhood. I used to figure skate competitively, but quit before I got into heavy training, though I didn't really recognize much (aside from skating dresses!). Figures had been abolished by that time!

Still, I got a vivid picture of life in postwar England, and felt the poverty and sacrifice of Harriet's family contrasted with Lalla's: making ends meet, dreams
...more
Keren
This was not my favorite Shoes book as a child, but rereading them now, I definitely like this one the best. (So take my 5 stars to mean best-of-the-shoes-books, not best-ever-books.)
Ami
I absolutely adore Noel Streatfeild. Her writing is simplistic but extremely charming. I love her old-fashioned stories about children discovering who they are while they develop artistic abilities and talents. Whenever I read Streatfeild's novels, I immediately want to be a ten year old girl who goes to a London school for dancing, music, and theater in the 1940's, she's that powerful as a writer.
"Skating Shoes" is a slightly different slant from her other 'shoe' books, but I enjoyed it. While
...more
Miss Carman
This is a story about two girls; Lalla is the daughter of a champion skater and is raised by her rich aunt to become the next skating champion in memory of Lalla's father who has passed away, and Harriet has been sick and starts skating because she needs to get strength back in her legs. These two girls become friends quickly and each helps the other. But Lalla starts to get bored of skating while Harriet gets more talented.

This is a really interesting story because of how real the girls' charac
...more
Sarah
This blurb doesn't do the book justice.

This book has the perfect balance of seriousness and fun, enjoyable characters that still have flaws while remaining well liked by the reader, and an interesting and unique plotline.

This is the kind of book that I love to read when I'm sick; it's the perfect novel that you can just sit down with a cup of tea and read to your heart's content.

With Noel Streatfeild's distinctive and well-written voice, this book is a definite recommendation.
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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...
Ballet Shoes (Shoes, #1) Theater Shoes (Shoes, #4) Dancing Shoes (Shoes, #9) Movie Shoes (Shoes, #6) Thursday's Child

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“During the last six months the little girl Harriet, without her noticing it, had disappeared and a new Harriet had taken her place. A Harriet who looked much the same outside, but was more of a person inside.” 7 likes
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