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The Seven Magpies

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  81 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Young adult novel set just after Britain declared war on Germany. Maureen Frazer's father has been sent to the front, her mother is helping with the war effort, and Maureen is shipped off to the Logan Academy for Young Ladies, a remote but safe boarding school in Scotland. There she finds that the girls have a secret society, called the Seven Magpies. When Maureen herself ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published June 26th 1998 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1996)
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Another find (which brought my to-read list down under 700 books! At last!). The Seven Magpies finds a girl sent from St. Andrews to the west of Scotland during WWII: her father's away at war, and her mother is busy with war efforts, and the west seems safer than the east anyway. Never mind that Maureen doesn't want to go to boarding school; never mind that her new form-mates aren't happy to have a newcomer in their tight-knit midst.

It's quite a mild story, all told. One of the less
Anna Hepworth
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've read a lot of Hughes' works - I even own 13 of them - and I think of her as a SF writer. Thus I was a little surprised when this book turned out to be a historical one, set at the beginning of World War II, in a Scots boarding school. Some nice, subtle mysticism, a small mystery, a coterie of nasty school-girls persecuting the new girl, and everything turns out fine. Nothing earth shattering, nothing particularly unexpected, and very subtle shading of the horrors of war. ...more
Cupof Tea
It took a few pages to get into this book, but once the setting was revealed as a place I am familiar with I could picture every scene.

In the first chapter our heroine Maureen must leave her home in Saint Andrews and travel across the country to a boarding school near Oban for the Duration. She discovers she must change trains in Dunblane, and since I have a special connection to that particular station I could really feel myself transported through the story from that point on.

It's a short stor
Jan 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Beautiful detail in the descriptions of Scottish landscapes and folklore, but this book follows a very well-worn formula:

Girl goes (unwillingly) to boarding school
Girl is smarter than rest of kids
Girl likes to read
Girl meets mean girl
Girl meets nice girl
Girl finds herself in extraordinary circumstances and thus discovers that she herself is extraordinary
Girl solves mystery
Mean girl apologizes and is nice to Girl
Girl is forever changed/improved by the experience

Though the plot was formulaic, the
Thoroughly enjoying this old-fashioned feeling story of a young girl in early World War 2 Scotland. I must ask the question, though: Why, oh why, does anyone send their children to those boarding schools? In literature, the kids always behave so hideously to one another and all of the adults are oblivious.
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Monica Hughes was a very popular writer for young people, and has won numerous prizes. Her books have been published in the United States, Poland, Spain, Japan, France, Scandinavia, England, and Germany. She has twice received the Canada Council Prize for Children's Literature, and was runner-up for the Guardian Award.

She is the author of Keeper of the Isis Light, an American Library Association B

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