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Thursday's Child

(Margaret Thursday #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  1,225 ratings  ·  67 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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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,225 ratings  ·  67 reviews

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Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers who love orphan stories and strong female characters
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 ...more
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
Michael Fitzgerald
Streatfeild seems always to drift to her strengths - quasi-orphans, kindly adults, and kids on the stage - but she does it so absolutely beautifully.

Having just finished Pratchett's I Shall Wear Midnight, I was struck to find "rough music" in this one too.
Oct 04, 2014 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.
Cleopatra  Pullen
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 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
Emer (A Little Haze)
10/05/2020 DNF

Was always interested to read a Noel Streatfeild book since the Ballet Shoes series was mentioned in the film You’ve Got Mail. I don’t know why this is an author that I never read as a child; I guess my then local library just didn’t stock her books.
Anyway found this one when I was perusing through my current library’s eCatalogue and thought I’d give it a shot. It’s all written rather nicely and I can most definitely see the appeal. But it reads too young for my taste...yes I kno
Sep 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Long. Too much of the other family of children, not enough of Margaret, and nearly nothing of the other orphans... no effort to being concise and therefore not much well-explored. A fair bit of time was spent with other adults, but then they're all dropped, discarded. Abrupt ending, but despite that I have no interest in the sequel.

I don't recall any other other wicked orphanage head being punished, even any other orphans being rescued after the hero makes good her escape, so that bit was satisf
Jun 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It gives your memory a strange jolt to see books from when you were 8,9,10.
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
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
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrensnovels
An interesting story about eleven-year-old Margaret who is sent to an orphanage and has adventures with friends she meets there. Has a happy ending that I enjoyed.
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Highly improbable, but good escapist fun.
Jan 04, 2016 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.
Jul 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful Christmas gift when I was ten
Jul 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jolly-good

A bit ridiculous but very Dickensian.
Jul 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this as a child many years ago, but it wasn't one of my favourite Streatfeild books. Because of that, I didn't remember anything about the story at all as I came back to it, so everything felt new which was nice. Margaret is one of those insufferable children who overdramatises everything, and yet at the same time you know she is an abandoned orphan and so you have sympathy for her. And whilst she's sometimes a pain, she's also incredibly loyal, and her willingness to take punishment to p ...more
May 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Noel Streatfield is the author of such beloved classics as Ballet Shoes, one of my all time favourites. I love the way thwt the abandoned babies in her books seem to end up on the doorstep of kind, yet slightly muddled adults which allows rhe child/ren to develop great depth of character anf sense of self.. Thursday's Child features yet another baby abandoned on a doorstep. Margaret Thursday (named after the day she was found) was found in a basket with 3 of the best of everything and a an annua ...more
Aug 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2020
I’ve somehow never heard of Noel Streatfeild before but I feel I’ve certainly been missing out! What a beautifully written “rags to riches” style story set in turn-of-the-century Britain - just my type! I absolutely love Margaret Thursday and her steadfast personality; an inspiration for girls everywhere. The repetition of “found on a Thursday on the church steps, with three of everything, all of the very best quality” is probably my favourite aspect of this story and I loved how it carried on t ...more
Clover White
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a re-read of a childhood favorite. I went hunting for a copy of it because I thought I remembered it being thrilling, and thought my kids would enjoy it as a read aloud. Well, I couldn't wait long enough to read it to my kids. Rereading it as an adult, I found the plot a little more thin than I remembered, but it was a fantastic soap opera for kids. Mean orphanages, children with mysterious births, coincidences-- it has it all! It is definitely a product of its time, in that children of ...more
I read a number of Noel Streatfeild’s books when I was a child (and enjoyed them). I can’t remember if I read Thursday’s Child. It is the story of Margaret Thursday, who is sent to an orphanage at the tender age of 11.

I liked Margaret a lot. She stood up for what she thought was right, and looked after her friends. I enjoyed the story, it was entertaining and the happy ending was satisfying. The story is, of course, slightly old fashioned, having been written some time ago. However, it is charmi
Janet Brown
Apr 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a child I adored Streatfield's Ballet Shoes and read it over and over, but her 1970 novel Thursday's Child had totally passed me by. The book follows spirited heroine Margaret Thursday, abandoned as a baby and subsequently sent to an orphanage straight out of Dickens, and the three Beresford siblings she meets at said orphanage. It's a delightful, undemanding and heartwarming read, and exactly what I needed in the current circumstances. It will appeal to readers aged 8-12, especially fans of ...more
Nov 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a good story. The parallel between the Beresford children and Little Lord Fauntleroy was pretty engaging. I feel like Streatfeild really missed a chance to tell us the most interesting story of all: the mystery behind Margaret's "three of everything of the best quality" and the fifty-two pounds every Christmas in the garden. I wonder if those questions get addressed in a sequel, though I'm not sure I was captured enough to go look.
Superb narration by Lucy Scott ensures I will listen to book two in this series too, at some stage.
This audiobook became available as a library download - I loved orphan stories that ended with hope as a young girl; and, remembered seeing a few episodes of the T.V series Thursday’s Child, back in the day, but had never read the book/s - time to download the book and catch up on Noel
Streatfield’s orphans tale.
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a treat this was. Set in the early part of the 20th Century, the story of several children who are sent to an orphanage and how they make their escape. A wonderful book to read aloud if you can do character voices!
Apr 01, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1929-to-1939-ad
Well, the Atmosphere of this book reminds me of plenty of others... it's a good tie-in to Burnett's books, so it's interesting to have her play be part of the story. Otherwise, though it would be closer to several other books, it makes me think much more of The Diddakoi.
Tracey the Bookworm
Being a Thursday child myself I loved this book when I read it as a girl.
It started out really good but about halfway through went downhill. Skimmed to end. Meh.
Daisy H
Such a sweet book where so much happens. An absolute treasure.
May 21, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the audio book.
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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

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Margaret Thursday (2 books)
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