Skating Shoes

by Noel Streatfeild

I have a new friend—she’s nine years old and her name is Sydney Armstrong.  She loves to read (of course—how could I ever have a friend who didn’t love to read?).  She told me (and her teacher) that she sometimes hid the books she was reading inside her math book!  I used to do the same thing when I was nine (and ten and eleven and so on).  We discovered that we loved many of the same books, and we’re planning to get together to discuss a book that we’re both reading: The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate.  I’m looking forward to it.  I asked Sydney if she’d like to do a blog post about one of her favorite books, and she agreed.  Here’s what she wrote:

Guest Blog
by Sydney Armstrong

Noel Streatfeild wrote many “shoes” books, like Circus Shoes, Party Shoes, Theatre Shoes, and Movie Shoes.  One of the best books that she wrote was Skating Shoes.  It is a very touching friendship story.  Harriet Johnson is told to start skating by her doctor, after a long illness from influenza.  At the rink she is taught by Lalla Moore, the spoiled orphan being brought up as a skating champion by her rich Aunt Claudia.  Eventually, the two girls form a close relationship; and best of all, Aunt Claudia pays for skating lessons for Harriet with Lalla.  But, as the girls grow older, Lalla’s everlasting interest in skating stops, and Harriet begins to realize her talent. 

The friendship between the two is a bit hard to understand, for Lalla has a habit of acting spoiled and selfish.  But I think the reason is because they both understand each other, and are always there for each other.  Definitely, a book that you must read!



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9 responses to “Skating Shoes

  1. Golda

    Oh wow, I didn’t realize Skating Shoes was back in print! It is one of my favorites.

    • Nancy Pearl

      And now I’m about to start Streatfeild’s adult novel, The Saplings, which I’d never even heard of before – I hope it’s good.

  2. Those friendships across age lines bless both people.

  3. I absolutely *adored* The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate! I hope you and Sydney do too!

  4. misha

    I really need to read some of Streatfeild’s beloved children’s books–I have heard such great things! I did recently read the Persephone Books reprint of her novel for adults “Saplings”–which is also about children during the war. Maybe you can read it when you’re older…

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