'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Review: Alice-Miranda at School (10th Anniversary Edition)

Can you believe it has been ten years since Alice-Miranda started her first day at boarding school — ten years since the fun and adventure began?

Now with 18 books in the series (and another due out in June 2020), activity books, journals and a movie, Alice-Miranda is a worldwide phenomenon!

But let me take you back to where it all began: Alice-Miranda at School.

We are first introduced to Alice-Miranda Highton-Smith-Kennington-Jones outside her new boarding school — the Winchesterfield-Downsfordvale Academy for Proper Young Ladies.

Alice-Miranda is actually too young to start school (she’s only seven and one quarter), and her parents are extremely teary about the giant milestone.

But Alice-Miranda is confident and bold, and she wants to go to boarding school. She’s ready for bigger things, so she moves to the academy, excited for her new beginning. 

Unfortunately for Alice-Miranda, things at Winchesterfield-Downsfordvale Academy for Proper Young Ladies are not quite what she expected. The headmistress is continuously absent and not very well liked, a mean and spoilt girl is terrorising the school, mysterious and unexplained occurrences keep happening, and the school has some very strange rules.

Alice-Miranda wants boarding school to be splendid and amazing — and she also wants to figure out what's going on at the school — so she pulls up her socks and gets to work, because, well, she’s Alice-Miranda.

Positive and chirpy, Alice-Miranda always sees the good in people. She believes everyone is good, and everyone and everything has value. Sometimes this can-do attitude lands her in trouble, but time and time again Alice-Miranda proves that her way of thinking wins out over negativity. She brings warmth and joy to everything she touches. 

As for the 10-year anniversary edition, how can you go past the stunning hard cover with shiny gold embellishments? You’ll also be treated to a letter from Jacqueline at the start of the book.

This is a brilliant series for junior readers. And like I said, there are 18 books in the series (and another due out in June), so it’s definitely a series to become obsessed with (in the very best bookish way!).

As far as recommended reading age goes, that’s a tricky one. I've heard Jacqueline Harvey mention in several interviews that the Alice-Miranda readership spans from very junior readers all the way up to teens. I recommend that if you know a kid who loves a story filled with adventure, friendship, humour and mystery, they will likely be Alice-Miranda fans.

Bonus: Back in 2010, Jacqueline Harvey did a brilliant guest post on how she developed Alice-Miranda as a character. It’s brilliant, and if you’re an Alice-Miranda fan already, it’s a must read. Check it out here. You might also like our 12 Curly Questions with Jacqueline Harvey and our 2010 author interview with Jacqueline Harvey.

For reviews on other books in the Alice-Miranda series, check out: Alice-Miranda on Holiday and Alice-Miranda Takes the Lead.

Title: Alice-Miranda at School 10th Anniversary Edition
Author: Jacqueline Harvey
Publisher: Penguin Random House, $19.99
Publication Date: 4 February 2020
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781760896034
For ages: 7+
Type: Junior Fiction, Middle Grade Fiction



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