Friday, February 6, 2015

Winter Reading 2015 Ms. Rapscott's Girls


Mary Poppins, Nanny McPhee, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle - there is a proud tradition of stories about adults who teach children lessons in unusual ways. Ms. Rapscott has now joined this group with her odd boarding school for girls of busy parents. She does things in such strange ways, like sending packing boxes* in which the students are shipped to school, feeding the girls birthday cake and ice cream every morning, or deliberately trying to have bad luck. And her students are all bewildered by life away from home. The girls' parents are professional exercisers, singing chefs, bloggers, raising two sets of octuplets, or prominent cosmetic surgeons. They are all much too busy to pay attention to their daughters. Receiving a notice that their girls have been accepted to a school with "a unique curriculum designed solely for" them must seem wonderfully convenient. The girls arrive with some very bad habits, but Ms. Rapscott takes it all in stride, even when one of the girls is lost from her box during shipment. And the lessons she teaches range from poaching an egg to how to cross the street without getting squashed. During the course there are disagreements and rivalries among the girls, terrible weather, thank-you notes, and exploring Less Traveled Road. 

The characters are amusing, the action is adventurous, and I wouldn't mind signing up for a semester at Rapscott's School myself. Who wouldn't want to live for a while in a big lighthouse with two corgis who can keep checklists, tie rain bonnets, and make tea? (And they look rather dashing in their fisherman's sweaters.) I hope there is another book to follow the girls into the next semester.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.

* One of the boxes for parent to ship their daughters to the school.

  The author's office, with her dog's bed in the corner.

  Her studio

Boxes the books shipped in.

  Ms. Rapscott with her sidekick from the original draft, a parrot named Hillary.

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