The Bell Family
Noel Streatfeild
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The Bell Family (Bell Family #1)

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  206 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Published 2008 (first published 1954)
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Kate Beeden
As a child I loved Noel Streatfeild's most famous work Ballet Shoes. I had dreams of being a ballerina (which were never to materialise, although I did do a few dance exams) which were pretty much exclusively because of that book. Yet for some reason I never read any more of Streatfeild's books, until now.

Vintage Classics published this edition of The Bell Family this spring. Originally a radio series in the 1950s, the Bell's are a typical post-war family struggling to make ends meet. They have...more
This version is a reprint in the Vintage Children's Classics series and it's interesting to see what the editors have decided need to be explained for twenty-first century children in the additions at the end of the book: 'Make do and mend...'; words like 'ermine', 'perambulator' and 'verger'. There's a brief biography of Noel Streatfeild, an explanation of the background to the book (it was originally a radio serial) and a couple of quizzes. There is also, for no reason that I can discern, a 'W...more
It's always nice to acquire and read another Noel Streatfeild, and this is a nice edition with a brief biography and glossary in the back, intended for modern children who don't know much about the 1950s. This particular novel is a little unusual in that it started out as a series of radio plays.

It features the Bell family, who bear several striking resemblances to the author's own family, as portrayed in her autobiography 'The Vicarage Family'. As ever, there are some talented children: Paul w...more
Robin Stevens
Utterly adorable. It's incredibly dated, of course, but that in no way diminishes its appeal.

It's always a good sign when I think to myself 'if X or Y does not happen to a character I am LITERALLY (not literally) going to SET MYSELF ON FIRE'. While I was reading this book I knew with utter certainty that if Jane didn't get to go to ballet school or Paul gave up his dream of becoming a doctor I was going to LITERALLY (not literally) SET MYSELF ON FIRE. Good thing everything always turns out OK i...more
Feb 29, 2008 Sam rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Noel Straetfeild fans...
I liked this one quite a bit...not as much as "Ballet Shoes", but quite alot. :) Though, I have to say, I didn't care for Ginnie, the 2nd girl. I normally like the high-spirited children, who do get into trouble. They seem more realistic to me. But Ginnie went beyond. She was a perfect brat, in my opinion. Not at all sorry when she did wrong, and even thinking she was in the right, and she was being treated unfairly. Made me want to give her a good long shake. lol. But Jane I did love. :)
The Bell Family were far posher than our family; I was fascinated at the thought of having a maid, and didn't have a clue what brawn was - but I enjoyed the book so much that I read it umpteen times.
Typical of Streatfeild, the roles of good and evil are clearly defined. The minister's family featured here are strapped for cash and the children are impossibly angelic. Nonetheless, it was an absorbing read.
Maureen E
Unfortunately, nowhere near as charming as her more well known books. One of the characters drove me up a wall–and I think I was supposed to be sympathetic to her. [Feb. 2010]
Meghan Krogh
While some of the characters from Tennis Shoes seem to have been reincarnated into the younger Bell children, this book was sweet and funny.
Karen marked it as to-read
Jul 16, 2014
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Mary Noel Streatfeild, known as Noel Streatfeild, is 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 pr...more
More about Noel Streatfeild...
Ballet Shoes (Shoes, #1) Dancing Shoes (Shoes, #9) Theater Shoes (Shoes, #4) Skating Shoes (Shoes, #7) Movie Shoes (Shoes, #6)

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