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Friday, 9 August 2013

Second Term at L'Etoile (School for Stars) by Holly and Kelly Willoughby

Second Term at L'Etoile - School for Stars

Christmas is over and Molly, Maria and Pippa are back for their second term at L'Etoile, the exclusive School for Stars. Molly, Maria and Pippa are reunited for another term full of fun and surprises. A midnight mystery, a precious lost rose, centenary celebrations, a playful puppy with a twinkle in its eyes, and a royal visit are just some of the things that make them friends for ever.

This is the second book in the new series by sisters Holly and Kelly Willoughby. I have previously reviewed First Term at L'Etoile. The series is set in a boarding school for children gifted in the arts, L'Etoile, School for Stars, ran by Madame Ruby. The main characters are twin sisters Molly and Maria Fitzfoster, who along with their best friend and room mate Pippa Burrows.

Returning to school following their Christmas break the L'Etoilettes are excited by the news that at the end of February. the school will be celebrating their 100th Founders Day. The day will be marked by an event which will be attended by an entertainment industry figure Mr Fuller (any relation to Simon Fuller, creator of The Spice Girls and friend to Simon Cowell??) and, more excitingly, a member of the Royal Family. Each year are asked to audition acts to be a part of the event and the first years decide to go with a song written by their own Pippa Burrows and performed by themselves. But will they make the grade? Who will the mystery royal be? And as they learn about the history of L'Etoile, what is The Lost Rose of L'Etoile and is it still hidden in the grounds?

This book has a bit of everything for readers: a good, school based story, with good, strong friendships being a important quality which is valued by all; an exciting event, with mystery concerning the royal guest; and a mystery to solve, under the cover of darkness. The award ceremony also shows that hard work, and dedication reaps reward and the impossible can become possible through hard work.

Throughout the story, there are interruptions throughout the story from the Storyteller, like an inner voice it adds clarity or gives idea for further thought which I think adds to the story and encourages readers to live the story alongside the characters. I know that my daughter struggled a little at school with interpreting what she was reading I think that this Storyteller helps develop this skill.

Although this book has a famous name on the cover, unlike some screen stars who have turned their hand to writing books, it is a really good read, one which I am sure that girls aged 9+ will really enjoy. It would suit younger children too but would probably be one to read alongside a peer or to have as a bedtime story, a chapter a night. 

As I said in my previous review, this series has a similarity to Enid Blyton's popular school series: Malory Towers and St Clares, and I still stand by this comment, they are a great read and I am sure that this series will continue to gain in popularity. I know that I, for one, are looking forward to the next book in the series, although there are exams ahead during the third term for the first year L'Etoille's.

Definitely a great read for children aged 9+, one I would recommend for children over the summer holidays.

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