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Rivals of the Chalet School (The Chalet School #5)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  328 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
When another school opens on the other side of the lake, it seems there will be a rival for the Chalet School. But will the girls of St Scholastica's be friends or foes? There are misunderstandings and practical jokes between the girls and soon the two schools are at daggers drawn.
Paperback, 300 pages
Published July 1st 1998 by HarperCollins UK (first published 1929)
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Mar 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: reviewed
This is exactly as terrible as I remembered. It's full of catastrophes - repeated ones, at that! - and it's got too much of Joey being glib and irresponsible and almost dying - and it's casually racist to boot. I don't even know how to address the students considering reading about the KKK (!) to plan their schoolgirl revenge. Geography is a poor excuse - ignorance is a poor excuse - their "shock" at reading about the KKK is poorly done ("Only we can't go round beating people or sticking up coff ...more
Re-read on 27/10/2011. This book is simply marvellous!! I'd quite forgotten how hilarious it really was - one of my favourites, perhaps. I don't know, I'd have to read ALL of them over again to determine which are actual favourites and which I just remember the most fondly... I didn't think this one would be so up there because the girls were not really my favourites - my 'era' is that of Bride Bettany and I never loved Joey as much as you're meant to, and the Robin just annoys me. But this book ...more
Donna Boultwood
Dec 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Another lovely book. Some funny stories with the rival school. Sad there's less of Joey and Madge in the stories now though. I couldn't stop laughing about the corn flour in the hair!! Hilarious.
Utterly classic Chalet School/EBD.

The underlying theme of this book is that a new English school opens across the lake from the Chalet School and an almost deadly rivalry springs up.

There are the usual mix of escapades and pranks, life-threatening illnesses, physically tough adventures and casual racism, all told in inimitable EBD style.

Please don't misunderstand me: I loved this series as a child and am loving them on adult re-read, but I can't avoid applying adult critical thinking.

There is an
Mixed feelings about this one - in some ways it's classic CS, with alarums and excursions in every other chapter, and Joey having a (very close) brush with death. The introduction of another school across the lake is a bit of a clumsy plot device and the casual racism from its pupils is.... well, very much of its time I suppose.

I'm not someone who is particularly offended by books reflecting the period in which they were written (this might seem a strange thing to say, but there are, amazingly,
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
This is one of those books where I laughed very hard, in all the wrong places. Oh dear oh my. It's one of the shortest in terms of the timeframe it occupies, only the autumn term. The Chalet School has competition from "outsiders"! Someone has had the face to come and open another school on the opposite side of the lake--and not only that, they have transplanted an existing English school wholesale! Not a single "foreign" (ie national) student! To top it off, they have "appropriated" the name of ...more
Jul 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Winter terms at the Chalet School are always filled with incidents. There's just something about snow, frost and ice that lend themselves particularly well to disaster, and we all know how much Elinor M. Brent-Dyer loves to land her characters in disaster - from which, of course, they will always recover, little the worse for wear. She takes the threat of winter to its most ridiculously and enjoyably extreme in Rivals Of The Chalet School: a book which not only sees the girls deal with snow bliz ...more
Jan 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Yet another Chalet School book that I now own in hardback. Fifth in the lengthy series, which I first read in my teens. It's more than ten years since I last read this - perhaps nearer twenty - and I'd pretty much forgotten it.

I knew the overall plot was about a rival girls' school that opens at the other end of the lake, and the rivalry that develops between the two schools. However the many sub-plots seemed new to me, and as ever the characterisation is very good. There was one chapter where I
Feb 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chalet-school
Um, I actually teared up while reading this today. Yes, I am pre-menstrual. And also pathetic.


A new school of English girls, St Scholastika's, is opened on the other side of the lake, and the girls from both schools enter into a rivalry. An ice skating incident results in Joey almost dying, and everyone staggers around weeping for a few chapters (hence my prickling eyes mentioned above).

We get to see a little bit of Madge's parenting skills, in which she gently exerts the discipline she uses
Aug 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
One of the more entertaining Chalet School books, featuring Joey and her pals Frieda and Marie. A new English school is established, right there on the Tiernsee! What nerve! Naturally there are hijinks and rivalry that lead to a near-disaster (as always). The most interesting aspect is the way the girls of St. Scholastika are developed, especially open-minded Gipsy and the evil Elaine. Turns out, Elaine just needed to join Girl Guides for everything to come out all right in the end!

2016 Re-read:
Very much a story of growing-up; the transition between school-girlish pranks and the beginnings of responsible adulthood.

Just reading a few Chalet School books is more than enough to form an opinion that EMBD was obsessed with storylines of infectious diseases. In this book it's chicken pox. But there again, in EMBD was writing in an age where microbiology as a science was in its infancy, and antibiotics unknown. Something that's too easy for us to take for granted today.
Jane Irish Nelson
Apr 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Although I've read this many times through the years, this is the first time I've read the original unabridged version.

The pupils at the Chalet School ought to be thrilled to hear that another school is opening on the shores of the Tiernsee, finally they will have opponents to play hockey, cricket, tennis, and more against. But instead they resent the newcomers. And the bad blood between the two schools quickly escalates. Will it end before a terrible tragedy occurs?
Sarah Adamson
Mar 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
This was one of my favourite books as a child and I enjoyed it again as an adult. It is so easy to feel the emotions of both sides - Elinor does such a great job at making sure you know who is in the right and who is in the wrong whilst not hating anyone too much so it can all (mostly) turn out all right in the end.
Apr 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
It was good to read this as an Unabridged version and I really liked it. I realised that the edition I have missed out a lot.

The plot centres around the fact that another school has moved into the area and that the new schools pupils think that they are better than the Chalet School. Interesting how things work out and the changes that happen to a number of the pupils in both schools.
Nov 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best Chalets, and one that gets a lot of references in subsequent books. There's not much of a plot (a rival school opens nearby and the two schools don't get on) but it's packed with incident, and EBD's characters are at their brightest and best.

Rosemary Carroll
I have read this so many times I really love this book
Chris Upton
rated it it was amazing
Aug 31, 2014
Jacqui Liddell
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Aug 02, 2014
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Jan 20, 2015
Mihika Badjate
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Mar 16, 2018
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Jul 26, 2011
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Apr 26, 2015
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Jan 25, 2012
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Nov 09, 2012
Amanda Low
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Aug 21, 2013
Angela Williams
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Apr 14, 2013
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Aug 06, 2009
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Oct 16, 2014
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Mar 12, 2011
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Elinor M. Brent-Dyer was born as Gladys Eleanor May Dyer on 6th April 1894, in South Shields in the industrial northeast of England, and grew up in a terraced house which had no garden or inside toilet. She was the only daughter of Eleanor Watson Rutherford and Charles Morris Brent Dyer. Her father, who had been married before, left home when she was three years old. In 1912, her brother Henzell d ...more
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Other books in the series

The Chalet School (1 - 10 of 58 books)
  • The School at the Chalet (The Chalet School, #1)
  • Jo of the Chalet School (The Chalet School, #2)
  • The Princess of the Chalet School (The Chalet School, #3)
  • The Head Girl of the Chalet School (The Chalet School, #4)
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