Friday, 23 April 2010

School Friends: Success at Silver Spires by Ann Bryant

March 2010, Usborne
160 pages, Paperback
Review Copy

Children's, 9+, school story

Cushions: 1
Smiles: 5
Nayuleska's recommended rating:♥♥♥♥♥

Summary from Usborne

Sasha loves her life at Silver Spires, but hasn’t quite found her special passion yet. While all the other girls are pursuing their dream hobbies, Sasha begins to wonder if she isn’t getting left behind. But all that changes when she begins sculling at the local water sports club. Balance; agility; speed; concentration; Sasha has it all and she is thrilled to have finally discovered her true talent – and with it, a newfound confidence. But Holly, a student with previous sculling experience, soon makes it clear that she’s keen to thwart any competition on the water. In fact, Holly is determined to come out on top…even if that means pushing both herself and Sasha to their ultimate limits. Can Sasha rise to the challenge and gain success at Silver Spires?

I beamed widely at the book when I started reading it. This is exactly what I have been looking for. It's a modern school series aimed primarily at girls. It deals with the ups and downs of growing up. Boarding school stories are a timeless concept. I always wanted to go to boarding school, but for various reasons I didn't. It was books like these which kept me going when I was younger. I longed for midnight feasts and having fun with friends. Strangely, I found all of that at university.

Anyway, the reason I love Silver Spires so much is because it is a clean read. There's barely any mention of boys or relationships with them, which is present in older school series' books. It's very suitable for the intended age group. I'm already passing this one onto a friend's daughter, to try and get her loving books.

It was fun to watch Sasha grow as a person, for her to discover something she was naturally talented at. I felt the jealousy which arose from her proficiency was a realistic portrayal. The spiteful emotion can make people do crazy things. Also Sasha's tale goes to show that just because someone isn't friendly, doesn't mean that you don't have anything in common with them, or that you can't get on with them.

Sasha also learns that to reach a goal, you have to work hard. Success takes time. It isn't guaranteed. And, if you want to get a bit philosophical, what is success? True success, as Sasha learns, isn't necessarily being the best. It is the lessons she learns along the way to reach her goals as a rower that will stay with her. Little beats team spirit, the thrill of working together and achieving success with the help of other people.

Success at Silver Spires will make you want to reach for the sky!

Find out what Ann Bryant is getting up to on her website.

Be sure to check out Dreams at Silver Spires.


Lauren said...

This sounds so cute! I always wanted to go to boarding school too, although I would probably have been terribly homesick. This is the kind of book I'd definitely have loved as a nine year old - it's great to hear that this kind of series is still around.

Nayuleska said...

And the best bit - there are so many in this series! I aim to collect them all :)