TOP 5 FRIDAY: Boarding Schools
To an eternal day-school girl, boarding schools are glamorous, thrilling and scary – the friendships! The adventures! The midnight feasts! I was jealous and awed by my boarding contemporaries, their grown-up independent polish and knack for excitement. But it’s not all jolly hockey-sticks, of course (and, if I’m honest, I wouldn’t exchange home comforts for dorm and prep in a million years) …
1. Culver Creek Preparatory High School in Looking for Alaska by John Green
‘I go to seek a Great Perhaps’ quotes Miles (dubbed ‘Pudge’ in the grand tradition of boarding-school nicknames). Instead, he finds excitement, love, friendship … and tragedy (this is a John Green novel, after all). It’s proper heart-wringing, soul-baring stuff.
Knight’s Haddon is the ultimate romantic boarding school. Set in sweeping parkland and turreted within an inch of its life, it’s a bonafide castle, complete with gothic windows, ivy and – of course – mysterious secrets …
Umfraville Hall, Skola Island, Arse-End-Of-Nowhere, Wales. McKay’s isolated boarding school is shiveringly remote – and the existence of an Assassin’s Guild among the boarders isn’t exactly encouraging …
4. Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
It’s a magical boarding school – and besides, we don’t do Top Fives without mentioning Harry Potter. Period.
5. Malory Towers in the series by Enid Blyton
As a child, I DEVOURED Blyton’s stories, especially the saga following Darrell’s journey from first form to upper sixth. Comparatively quaint, Malory Towers is somehow a tremendously exciting school, crammed full of pranks and scrapes. A true classic.
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