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White Boots (Shoes #7)

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  2,681 Ratings  ·  143 Reviews
Harriet is told that she must take up ice-skating in order to improve her health. She isn't much good at it, until she meets Lalla, a young skating star. Now Harriet is getting better on the ice, and Lalla doesn't like it. Does Harriet want to save their friendship more than she wants to skate?
Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 5th 2001 by Collins (first published 1951)
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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
Oct 14, 2007 iamtedae rated it liked it  ·  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
The story of spider-like Harriet, recovering from illness, learning how to skate and becoming friends with Lalla Moore, who is destined to be a figure skating star, is one of my favorites. I probably read it for the first time in third grade and at least a dozen times since, including an unplanned reread today.

This is a great read on Boxing Day! Here is a link to my review:
Feb 15, 2010 Susann rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
I didn't care much for this book. I was interested to read it but found few of the events and characters engaging. There were too many situations and even phrases drawn from earlier books and too little actual explanation of what "brackets" or "edge work" was, for people like me who have never ice-skated (or rollerskated, come to that.) In the afterword, the author's son talks of the hours of painstaking research done at rinks--and yet none of that shows up in the text. It took me awhile to figu ...more
Dec 30, 2016 Isabel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this when I was younger hundreds of times, so it has to be one of my favourites :)
Zen Cho
Oct 11, 2013 Zen Cho rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 31, 2013 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is probably one of the best Streatfields. It was also one of my favorites growing up. It's probably because I had a better idea of what figure skating looked like than ballet, rather than the book actually being better, because Skating Shoes has a lot of familiar elements. Though they are very well done here; the Johnson family dynamic is great, and Harriet becoming a possibility through sheer coincidence and hard work is fun to read about.

It's interesting that Streatfield casually has wea
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
May 28, 2013 Jamie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Still working my way through the "shoe books" when I can find them (which can be tough).

Another lovely story that any little girl would love to read and reread.

Gosh I wish I had read these as a child... because “when you read a book as a child, it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does. And I've gotten carried away, haven't I?"

Sorry couldn't help the You've Got Mail reference. :)
Ananya Rubayat
Ballet shoes was one of my favorite books as a child. It gave a warm-blankety feeling to go back to Streatfeild after many years - a world where people from diverse social classes become friends, unexpected kind patrons help you discover your potential and fulfill your dreams, goodness is rewarded, and well, badness does not really exist. It felt nice. Nice is good.

Thinking of reading some Enid Blyton family adventures next.
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!
Nov 06, 2011 Avery rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I somehow missed this one during childhood. Not as precious as Ballet Shoes, but still an enjoyable read with all the Streatfeild hallmarks.
emma grace
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.
Jun 11, 2017 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like many children of the 1990s, I suspect, I was introduced to the "Shoes" books after my mom saw "You've Got Mail" and bought several of the books at the suggestion of Meg Ryan's character. It took some time, but I eventually fell in love with "Ballet Shoes" and then "Dancing Shoes"; I also came to enjoy "Theatre Shoes" and "Movie Shoes," though they didn't hold the same special place in my heart.

For me, "Skating Shoes" was more like the latter two books. Maybe it was because I took so long t
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.
Mar 07, 2017 Remus rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Love 'Ballet Shoes' but this didn't do much for me.
Ashley Coberly
Good story but pretty predictable. I didn't like it as much as Ballet Shoes
I love the "Shoes" books. Why oh why is this the only one my library has???
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
Sep 26, 2013 Irene rated it really liked it  ·  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.
Feb 27, 2017 Boweavil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another terrific book by Streatfeild that addresses an issue most children's books never face: what do you do when you really want something and have to work hard for it. As a child in the 1950s, I found the "Shoes" books inspiring and read them over and over.
Dec 30, 2016 Monica rated it really liked it
I spotted this book at a second hand bookshop that was closing down and decided to buy it because it's rare to find books about figure skating!

This was a really good too and an interesting look at the "old" days of skating where figures were actually really important and would make or break a skater planning to compete.

All the characters were very well written and I liked how they all had their backstories and motivations fleshed out.

I enjoyed reading about Harriet and Lalla and their friendship
Feb 18, 2011 Elinor rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
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
Mar 05, 2014 Jade rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 07, 2011 mstan rated it really liked it  ·  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
Jan 04, 2013 Becky rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: readin2013
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
Maria Thomas
Feb 15, 2017 Maria Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: clean, children
One more of the Shoe books ... I'm seeing a theme through the books. Poor children getting a chance in life by hard work combined with a wealthy benefactor. But in each case, the children did have to work hard to succeed and they all seem to have to go through a period of being puffed up by their success and finding out what it feels like to take a fall because of it. And then being the better for it. A good tween read.
Jul 17, 2007 Meghan rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Mar 31, 2015 Jomariem rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On the whole, this is a pretty enjoyable story about two young English girls. Harriet is the poor-but-nice girl from a loving family; Lalla is the pretty and talented, but also very lonely orphan who lives with her aunt and step-uncle. Despite her wealth, Lalla doesn't have much of a normal childhood because her aunt is determined that she's going to be a champion figure skater, and most of her time is either spent on the ice or learning her lessons with a tutor. The two girls differ in looks an ...more
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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

Shoes (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Ballet Shoes (Shoes, #1)
  • Tennis Shoes (Shoes, #2)
  • Circus Shoes (Shoes, #3)
  • Theater Shoes (Shoes, #4)
  • Party Shoes (Shoes, #5)
  • Movie Shoes (Shoes, #6)
  • Family Shoes (Shoes, #8)
  • Dancing Shoes (Shoes, #9)
  • New Shoes (Shoes, #10)
  • Traveling Shoes (Shoes, #11)

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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.” 8 likes
“Twelve shillings for your sister's skates, and two shillings for your dreams.” 0 likes
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