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Traveling Shoes

(Shoes #11)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  528 ratings  ·  38 reviews
The Forums (David and Polly, and the children Myra, Sebastian, Wolfgang and Ethel) live in a house called Apple Bough, and are a very musical family. David is a pianist, and considered one of the best accompanists in the country. Polly had been training to be a professional singer before her marriage: after her marriage she gave up training, and became an artist.

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Paperback, 208 pages
Published September 1st 1984 by Yearling (first published January 1st 1962)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  528 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Sebastian is a child prodigy violinist and being too young to legally tour in England the family sell their home to tour abroad and further his career. The other children are dragged along with him with and give up all their own friends and interests as mum does not want to split the family up. The parents love this jet setting life but not suprisingly the children want a home and a life of their own. A long winded plan is hatched by grandparents to make them see sense. I don't think this story ...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
When I first started this book I thought, oh dear, a rewrite of Movie Shoes with a touch of Dancing/Ballet Shoes. We have the piano-playing brother, the obnoxious conceited little brother like the one in White Boots, and the misunderstood, talentless sister, Myra. We also have the weird names again, particularly little Wolfie, the self-absorbed brat. ("Forum" as a surname? Seriously?) Posey Fossil is mentioned as "the best dancer in the world" and we hear again of Madame and her Academy. ...more
lucy  black
Jan 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-fiction
This story doesn't really have any plot and of course you know everything will turn out okay cos this is a Noel Streatfeild novel, but still wanted to read to the end. I love the family in this book and I want to be them with all their love, talents and privilages. I want there confidence, their looks, their staff. These books are like comfort food to me, especially the descriptions of their comfort foods. I want to come home from a hard day of being the best at everything and be fed a 'tea' ...more
Mar 14, 2007 rated it liked it
Not one of my most favorites--everyone seems to whine a lot, Wolfgang is one of her more insufferable characters, Ethel is just a copy of Posy Fossil, Sebastian is "sensitive" (and suffers from "exhaustion"), and Myra is too good to be true.
And of course as usual the servants are much more sensible and responsible than the parents. Oh, and those hilarious foreigners! They just get so overemotional!
Still, it's never dull, and before you know it you've read the whole thing in one go.
Dec 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mg-fiction
I loved this so much. So so so much! It's now my 2nd-favorite Noel Streatfeild book, very closely following Ballet Shoes - which says a LOT, since Ballet Shoes is one of my favorite books in the world! Oh wow, was Noel Streatfeild an amazing writer.

(I read this book, btw, under its original title, APPLE BOUGH, in the lovely 2nd-hand edition I was given for Christmas - but I think that, at least in America, it was retitled TRAVELING SHOES, if you're having trouble finding it under the title APPLE
May 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens

5/13/2012 update: Goodreads now has a book cover available!

It is just so sad that Noel Streatfeild's books are hard to find: to purchase or to borrow at the library. Notice the book cover for this book isn't even available on Goodreads. Such a shame!

If you have read and enjoyed Ballet Shoes or Theater Shoes (and you can get your hands on a copy of this book) I am pretty sure you'll like this one just as much. Noel sticks to the same plot and character ideas in all her books.

This time around it
Dec 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: CLM
The gifted Forum children--Myra, Sebastian, Wolfgang and Ettie--to their clueless parents' surprise are weary of traveling around accompanying violinist Sebastian, and finally find a home of their own. Myra is the most appealing character: she doesn't think she has any gifts, but she's the glue that holds the family together. Also known as _Traveling Shoes_. Fans of Hilary McKay's stories about the Casson family (beginning with _Saffy's Angel_) will like this.
Possibly my all time favourite children's book. I've never connected with a character as much as I have Myra who felt the same longing for a settled family home as I did (my father was in the army so we were constantly moving) The book still means a huge amount to me but I can't decide whether or not I wish more people had read it - part of me likes feeling like it's this wonderful secret!
Oct 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not one I read as a child, but worth the wait. NS really excels at sibling relationships and they run brilliantly through this story. Myra - quiet, unassuming, steady - is the real heroine here, the heart and the home, and the ending just had me in floods.

Lots of NS's books are about searching for a home, and what makes a true home. This is the one where she does it the best.
Jul 13, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Now that I think about it, The Penderwicks in Spring has a storyline that feels like an outgrowth of part of Traveling Shoes. This is not a good book, by the way. But it's got some moments that do ring true.
Hannah Garden
Apr 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this on accident on the 48 cent carts when I was picking some books to mail to Mom, and then when I was in Florida she leant it to me and it was fanTASTic!
May 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vintage-ya
This is another Streatfeild that I reread regularly. One day I will have to track down a hard cover edition, as my pb is failing.
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable read for children of all ages, if a bit far-fetched at times
Dec 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, favourites
I was a big fan of this book as a child. The descriptions of the garden at Apple Bough and visiting the grandparents in Devon were so vivid it almost felt as if I was there. I thought the "there's no place like home" sentiment was beautifully done, especially as they travelled all over the world but always longed for Apple Bough.
I liked how each child had their own individual talent and that their parents encouraged their dreams, and I loved the happy ending, the way that you were expecting it
A typical Streatfeild family, with a highly gifted 12-year-old violinist, have been travelling around the world for a couple of years. However the other children long for a permanent home. There's a talented ballet dancer, a potential popular song writer who also likes to recite, and a very nicely drawn big sister who doesn't think she has any real talent at all.

It's a lovely book set in the middle of the 20th century, featuring family values and relationships. There's some mild humour and
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You couldn't not like anything she wrote, but the older I get, the more I ache for the "normal" rubbish untalented one she always puts in. Young girls reading these books think they're Posy Fossil, or at a push Pauline, or here they might be the equivalent of any of the precocious ones, but I, of course, like most of us, am dull cranky Petrova, and I'm worrywart Myra, whose only identified talent is "being a good sister". I did hurt for the poor thing, as her siblings capered and showed off ...more
Kate H
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
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.
The American title, 'Traveling Shoes', makes a lot of sense here (as opposed to just being a desperate attempt to give it a 'Shoe' title!). Quite liked this one, though I wasn't as keen on any of the kids, really. Except perhaps one of the girls.
Although I liked all of the books in this series I will admit there was some comfort in their formulaic set-up and nice, neat endings.
Mar 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrensbooks
I wasn't sure I would like this book as well as "Theatre Shoes" but I did and do. Similar themes in her books, but this one was very satisfying to me by the end.
Laura Daly
Jan 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite childhood (age 7) book a wonderful story.
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
This is one of my favourite books from my childhood. I just love the story and how she portrays the different personalities of the children.
Dec 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
I read this under the title Apple Bough. one of her best.
Starting reading on Thursday, finished today. Written in a fairly simple style but a pleasure nonetheless.
Sep 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Might be my favorite one so far.....
All the ingredients of a classic Noel Streatfeild novel here: the family of talented kids, one of whom is conspicuous for having no talent whatsoever, the parents that are physically or mentally absent, the nanny or home help who acts as the voice of common sense, and the grandparents who help save the day... the only ingredient missing is that the Forums are not grindingly poor, at least not after Sebastian earns a fortune as a violin prodigy.
For all that, there are things that - from a
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A story about a family that has spent years travelling the world in the wake of one of the chilren, Sebastian, who is a musical prodigy. All the children are tired of their nomadic lifestyle, and would like to have a settled home. However, their parents are revelling in the travelling lifestyle, and the children don't want to prick their bubble by telling them how they feel. I liked the way the parents are drawn, particularly Sally. Thank goodness that the children have two sets of loving and ...more
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lovely story. Similar to Noel Streatfeild's other books- there's the famous child, the dancer and the actor but among them, there's also a want for a true home and that's the true message of the story.
The one thing I really didn't like though...- Polly. She REALLY infuriated me as a character as she was a mother who was just so ANNOYING!! She was selfish and couldn't even see that her children were miserable. She just assumed they were happy as she was. AGH so annoying!!
(But seriously, read
I didn’t love this one like I loved her other books. It felt like a long, dry narrative. Thus it took me several months to read it through to the end. Sigh. Guess now I know why it wasn’t one of her more popular novels.

I could not connect with the parents and their irresponsible attitudes towards parenting and settling their family into a secure environment. It’s amazing the kids were as adjusted as they were. Thankfully the grandparents intervened and things turned out alright in the end.
Jessica Gilmore
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Classic Streatfeild - genius children, a sensible housekeeper, a dog, wise grandparents and the power of home. I've always loved Apple Bough and this reread, possibly because it's Christmas, or more likely because I have had a nasty fluey virus and feel very emotional, brought me to tears.
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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 ...more

Other books in the series

Shoes (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Ballet Shoes
  • Tennis Shoes (Shoes, #2)
  • Circus Shoes (Shoes, #3)
  • Theater Shoes (Shoes, #4)
  • Party Shoes (Shoes, #5)
  • Movie Shoes (Shoes, #6)
  • Skating Shoes (Shoes, #7)
  • Family Shoes (Shoes, #8)
  • Dancing Shoes
  • New Shoes (Shoes, #10)