White Boots by Noel Streatfeild – 20 Books of Summer 2021

 White Boots  cover

White Boots by Noel Streatfeild was first published in 1951. The Johnson family live in London, Harriet has been ill, her brothers think she looks like a big daddy-long-legs as she’s all hair and eyes and although she isn’t so ill now she still isn’t well enough to go to school, her legs feel like cotton wool. Her father George Johnson has a shop which is stocked by the produce that his elder brother sends to him for sale. George’s brother inherited the family estate, but he keeps all the best produce for himself, and sends George vegetables that are really poor quality and nobody wants to buy, and animals that have been shot or trapped and are long past being used for food. They’re really poverty stricken and can’t afford the good food that Harriet needs to get her strength back.

The doctor thinks that maybe taking up ice-skating will help to strengthen Harriet’s legs and at the ice rink she comes into contact with Lalla who also doesn’t go to school. She is taught at home by Miss Goldthorpe, a successful teacher who wants a change from teaching in schools, but most of Lalla’s time is spent at the ice rink. Her parents are dead and she’s being brought up by an aunt who is obsessed with turning Lalla into a champion ice skater – just like her father was. Lalla’s famous father died when she was a baby.

Harriet and Lalla strike up a friendship but it’s in jeapordy when Lalla’s tendency to be a ‘proper little madam’ almost ruins things.

This was a good read, with lots of common-sense and morality in the storyline. Lalla, having been brought up by her ambitious, snooty and self-important aunt needs some lessons in real life, which her old nanny does her best to instil in her.

The Johnson family, including Harriet’s three brothers and her mother also add a lot to the story. I wish I had read these books first when I was a youngster myself.

4 thoughts on “White Boots by Noel Streatfeild – 20 Books of Summer 2021

  1. Guzzle guzzle quack quack! This is one of my favorite Streatfeilds! It introduced me to Boxing Day and although Lalla is spoiled, I enjoy the contrast between her and Harriet.
    I think the Johnson parents are sweet and add a lot to the story, showing Lalla what it is like to be part of a family, albeit hard up.

    • Constance,
      LOL (as they say). I think it’s my favourite – so far. I agree, the Johnson family is lovely, especially the mother who had such a hard time feeding her family, but still seemed so calm. I think I would have paid Uncle Guzzler a visit if I were her!

    • Sandra,
      I still haven’t read that one as whenever I see a copy I always think I have it at home already. I’ve just bought it online so will get around to it sometime soonish.

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