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Atalanta - A Community for Fans of Girls Fiction

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[04 Aug 2006|07:12am]

Apologies, I'm being slack in the announcements department. These titles were announced on Tuesday and will be published before the end of the year:

Joey and Co in Tyrol by Elinor Brent-Dyer

Jo to the Rescue by Elinor Brent-Dyer

Evelyn Finds Herself by Josephine Elder (Fun in the Fourth)

The School on the Moor by Dorita Fairlie Bruce

The House of the Paladin by Violet Needham

Jen of the Abbey School by Elsie J Oxenham

They are all in Price A and will soon be up on the website. *goes off to count pennies*
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More titles from GGB [25 Jul 2006|01:09pm]

[ mood | headachy ]

The following titles have just been announced. They will be up on the website in the next few days:

Juliet of the Chalet School by Caroline German (new fill-in by the author of Chalet School and Robin)

The Nightbird by Monica Edwards

Seven White Gates by Malcolm Saville

Black Banner Abroad by Geoffrey Trease

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Admin Post - Please Help! [21 Jul 2006|09:42am]

To begin with, sorry for the break - it's been a really busy time of the year for your maintainers.

We're looking for specific articles for the next few weeks, beginning the 31st July. If you feel you can help with one of these, please comment!

Without help from you, New Atalanta will be unable to stay alive. You don't need to write a lot - anything from 100 words onwards would be great. If you offer to help, we will organise posting access for you.

Articles etc we're looking for
-A review of A Great and Terrible Beauty
-A review of any of the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants books
-A review of any Noel Streatfield book
-A review of any Jean Ure book

-An introduction to the Chalet School books
-An introduction to the Naughtiest Girl books
-An introduction to the Baby-Sitters Club
-An introduction to the Gymnast books
-An introduction to the Anne of Green Gables books
-An introduction to any Sweet Valley series

-A character study of Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield
-A character study of any Baby-Sitter's Club Character
-A character study of any Chalet School Character
-A character study of the Fossil sisters

-A review of a girls' book/series from your country/area (eg. the Robin Klein 'All in Blue Unclouded Weather' books from Australia or the American Girls books)

-An artice/review/introduction of your own choice

Please comment if you can help with any of these. At the moment we'll go with one article a week unless there's a lot of offers.

Thanks in advance!
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[08 Jul 2006|12:25pm]

[ mood | busy ]

Two new titles have been announced by Girls Gone By: The New Girl at Melling by Margaret Biggs and Althea Joins the Chalet School by Elinor Brent-Dyer. Both are now available to order on their website. (The most recent Topsy-Turvy newsletter stated that A Challenge for the Chalet School will be published soon by Girls Gone By, however these titles can, so far, only be ordered from Topsy-Turvy.)

In addition, Bettany Press have advised that Two Chalet School Girls in India by Priyadarshini Narendra will be available later this year and can be ordered from them now.

Finally, Fidra Books have also put out a new catalogue which includes books by authors such as Mabel Esther Allen, M. Pardoe and Elinor Lyon.

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Statements to Debate - Number 1 [03 Jul 2006|09:26am]

As I mentioned last week, we're throwing around our format a little this week. I'm going to post three statements, which I hope will prompt some discussion and debate.

The Basic Rules of Discussion/Debate

-Be nice. Debate is great, unless it is abusive or mean. Mods maintain the right to delete comments that go beyond the boundaries of good taste/politeness.

-Make clear which statement you're discussing/debating

-If you want to discuss/debate more than one statement, please make separate comments - it'll make it easier for everyone.

The Statements

1. Sally would have made a better head girl of Malory Towers than Darrell

2. Jessica Wakefield did not deserve the amount of loyalty Elizabeth constantly gave her

3. School stories are old fashioned and irrelevant in the twenty-first century
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Admin Update [29 Jun 2006|09:23pm]

Apologies to all of you for not getting my article to you - real life is wrestling with me at the moment.


Just to shake things up, we're going to play with a different format next week. If it's successful we may extend it further.

You can help now by offering statements which might provoke debate about different books, characters and series. For example - Karen Brewer is a spoiled brat or June should have been expelled from Malory Towers

By offering statements or ideas for debate, you will allow us to have a more vigerous debate (just don't debate them now! Wait for Monday!) So please comment with your ideas.
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Character Study: Karen Brewer [28 Jun 2006|08:23pm]

Character Study: Karen Brewer

I was introduced to the Baby-Sitters Club through the Little Sister series. I was in one of those three-books-in-the-mail-each-month clubs, I constantly borrowed them from the library and I gradually memorised which number corresponded to each title (and once made my mum test me). So, once I graduated to the Baby-Sitters Club, I was completely used to Karen Brewer. In fact, she was one of my preferred clients since I always felt that I knew her better than any of the other kids.

When I started rereading all my Baby-Sitters Club books and getting into internet discussions, I discovered that the general consensus among many BSC fans was that Karen is an annoying brat. People had many reasons, good reasons, for disliking her. In fact, they were so good that I reassessed my opinion of Karen and decided that she really was quite irritating and I no longer liked her very much.

However, once again, I’ve decided to reassess my view of Karen. In this article, I’ll be discussing different aspects of Karen’s personality as conveyed through the Baby-Sitters Club and Little Sister books, including the various spin-offs. I’m not going to make any conclusions, but I’m going to try and provide as much fuel for discussion as possible. So… is Karen bratty or cute? Annoying or loveable? investigativeness ensuesCollapse )
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Mary-Lou - The Defence [21 Jun 2006|09:00pm]


Mary-Lou – The Defence


“The girls who are leaders can make or mar a school.  Thank God, so far all our leaders have led the right way; but, apart from Joey herself, Mary-Lou most of all.” (Theodora and the Chalet School p107)


Mary-Lou is a character that seems to be universally hated; a champion ‘butter-in’; a cheeky brat; a know-all; a goody two-shoes; interfering; pi; all these epithets and many more have been applied to her. Many people say that they have a liking for her when she appears in ‘Three Go to the Chalet School’ and during most of her junior days and then grow to dislike her as she becomes more and more the ‘Perfect Chalet Girl’ that we see held up as an example in books such as ‘Ruey Richardson – Chaletian’.  However, I think she has a defence, one based internally, that is on events within the books rather than externally i.e. saying that Brent-Dyer intended her to be loved and respected.


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Admin - The Coming Week [19 Jun 2006|07:08am]

Coming later today - my article from last week . . . if I don't get 'blue screen of death' again *g*

Also this week, carolynp is bringing us a defense of Mary Lou from the Chalet School books.

we have a spot that's opened up this week and I'm particularly looking for a review or a 'what this book/series means to me' article like the wonderful Trixie Belden one from last week.

We're also looking for articles for the week beginning 3rd July - check out our Wish List over here
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Trixe Belden was my first fandom [13 Jun 2006|02:14pm]

*I apologize for being a day late. I had a bad reaction after donating blood yesterday afternoon and it put me out of commission for the rest of the day.

Trixie Belden was my first fandom. My love for the series sparked my need to collect books, and may even have been responsible for some of my childhood crushes.
In the summer of 1982, I was becoming a voracious reader. I was going into third grade, and the town library was across the street from my house. The librarian had a limit on the number of books a child could check out, and she began making an exception for me, if only to keep me from making more than one trip to the library in a day.
My mother bought two chapter books for me, a series about a girl detective. The books were “The Haunted Mansion” and “The Red Trailer Mystery.”
Being a horse crazy girl myself, I immediately empathized with Trixie’s yearning to learn to ride and be around horses. Trixie seemed so real to me; she was impatient, resourceful, loyal and brave. Trixie’s quick thinking when her brother Bobby was bitten by a copperhead enthralled me. My reaction would have been more similar to Honey’s.
After reading and then re-reading the first two books, I set out to get more. The town I lived was too small to have a bookstore, but I could sometimes find Trixie Belden books in neighboring communities. I saved up my allowance to purchase them, or would list them on my birthday and Christmas wish lists.
I loved how the friendship developed between Trixie and Honey, and how their personalities complemented one another. There was something about each character in the Bob-Whites that made them come alive for me. Like Trixie, who disliked math, didn’t like doing her chores and often made false assumptions, none of them was perfect. From Jim’s quick temper, Dianna’s shyness, Honey’s phobias, Mart’s teasing Trixie and being a know-it-all at times, or the way Dan (a sadly neglected character) seemed to brood, the characters seemed so real. As for Brian, I can’t remember any faults for him.
I tried and developed a taste for strawberry soda after reading the book where Trixie arranged to have Mr. Lytell carry it at his store. I’ve tried a number of times to make a burger the way the books described “Moms” making them. When Trixie and company explored the land around their homes, it reminded me of my own adventures exploring my grandparents’ dairy farm, and the hills and woods surrounding it.
Jim Frayne was my first fictional crush. Looking back, I have to wonder if my affection for that character was responsible for me falling for the red-headed, freckle-faced boy in my fifth grade class.
Though I used my allowance to buy books as I found them, often begging for an advance to buy more, the series went out of print before I could complete the series. Now, with the Internet as a resource, it would have been fairly easy for me to complete the series. In the late 1980s, though, I had to scour used bookstores and yard sales, looking for the last 11 books I needed.
It wasn’t until 1992, when I was in a used bookstore in downtown Duluth, Minn., that my search came to an end. I found the children’s section, and there was a shelf full of cream and gold books. There may have been squealing involved as plucked from the shelf the titles I needed. I was walking on a cloud for the rest of the day.
At one point, I’d read the books so many times, that if you covered up the numbers on the covers, I could still put them in order by title.
Though my collection is complete, (except for the two mystery quiz books), I still can’t resist buying Trixie Belden books when I see them in stores. I stockpile them to send to friends who share my love for the series.
In the last 10 years, I’ve met more than a half dozen people who love Trixie Belden as much as I do. The Internet has introduced me to even more.
I’ve re-read a few books in the series a few times as an adult. Now I can pick up a few phrases that date the series, but I still enjoy them. Reading the series again is like going to a reunion of old friends. I have read many titles in the Nancy Drew series, and though I liked them, Trixie has my loyalty. She was closer to my age when I started reading the series, and her imperfections made her more real. Nancy Drew was like the Barbie Doll of girl detectives.
My love of mysteries with a female detective continues to this day. I also collect the Kinsey Millhone and V.I. Warshawski series. Veronica Mars has become one of my favorite television shows, and her spunk, uncanny ability to solve a mystery, and close relationship with her father remind me of Trixie.
When the Trixie Belden series was re-released in hard cover, I coveted them. Rather than buying them for myself, though, I purchased the first three and donated them to my son’s school library. Perhaps some young girls will discover Trixie there and a new generation of Trixie Belden fans will begin.
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Admin Note: Week of June 12th [12 Jun 2006|08:16am]

Welcome to June 12th!

This week lootsfoz will be talking about Trixie Belden, and I shall be bringing you Character Cliches.

If you have a proposal for an article, discussion or review, you can leave a comment here or over here

And worried that you might have missed an article/discussion? Then check out our master list
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Sport in Girls Fiction [05 Jun 2006|12:20pm]

Lacrosse Sticks and Baseball Bats
An essay about sport in girls fiction

Sports and games appear constantly in girls’ fiction, whether it’s as an important plot point or a fleeting reference. Love it or hate it, it’s always there. I was originally going to cover sport references from a huge variety of different girls series, including Sweet Valley Twins/Jr High, the Baby-Sitters Club, St Clare’s, Malory Towers, Trebizon and the more recent Princess Diaries series. But if I did, this essay would never end. Ever. So, I’m going to focus on the representation of sport in St Clare’s, Malory Towers and the Baby-Sitters Club. But feel free to include any series you wish in the discussion.

Lacrosse Sticks and Baseball BatsCollapse )
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Articles: Master List [05 Jun 2006|07:33am]

Here you can find all the articles and discussions posted on New Atalanta. This post will be regularly updated as new articles are added to the community and linked to the user page. Please enjoy!

Particular Books/Series

-A selected review of three books of Gene Kemp: some thoughts and a retrospective by duponthumanite
-Dogs and Debt: Elinor M Brent-Dyer's Kennelmaid Nan and The Lost Staircase. by sangerin
-West End Shuffle – The Future of Dance School Stories? by melwil
-What's Eustacia's Damage? by aldenmacrae

Issues and Topics

-Lacrosse Sticks and Baseball Bats: An essay about sport in girls fiction by isabelquinn
-“Sent Home in Disgrace”: A discussion of expulsion in the school stories of Enid Blyton and Elinor Brent-Dyer by katherine_b
-Twins: Part One by melwil
-Twins: Part Two by sangerin
-Who Are You?: Culture and Identity in Australian Young Adults Girls Fiction by melwil

Overall Views

-A Survey Of Modern Girls' Fiction by melwil
-Forever Young: The Stagnation of Time in Modern Serial Girls' Fiction by celeria
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Admin: The Week To Come [04 Jun 2006|09:37pm]

There's two new shiny articles coming up this week!

isabelquinn is talking about sports and girls books; while duponthumanite is bringing us foreign students.


I'll be putting together a master post of all the articles so far this week. I should also be putting up the new and shiny user information.


If you have an article you're itching to write, or you'd like to fulfill one of our wishes, please leave us a comment here!
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Article: Australian YA Girls' Fiction [04 Jun 2006|08:27pm]

Who Are You?: Culture and Identity in Australian Young Adults Girls Fiction

“It felt good being with other confused beings. We were all caught up in the middle of two societies.” (Marchetta, Looking for Alibrandi, p7)

Forging an identity is a difficult process. There are a million different influences – our families and friends, our experiences and histories, our hopes, dreams and aspirations. All of these things come together at some point – the building blocks of an identity, making us who we are.

But how does this process differ when you are different from the people around you? When something – your appearance, or your family, or the things you believe – set you apart from everyone else? When you don't fit the mold, no matter how hard you try.

Here I'm going to look at three Australian young adult girls books that deal with this issue. Two of them – Pastures of the Blue Crane by H. F. Brinsmead, and Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta, are old favourites of mine. The other book, Does My Head Look Big in This by Randa Abdel-Fattah is a new find. These books all deal with race and culture, as well as a number of other aspects of forging an identity in 'multicultural' Australia.

Discussion of the Three Books HereCollapse )
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Latest news from GGB [03 Jun 2006|11:40am]

[ mood | bouncy ]

Sorry I've been a bit slack at this of late, but this is the latest from GGB, starting with the most important: a price rise.

Price increase notificationCollapse )

Fun in the FourthCollapse )

And finally, forthcoming titles that will appear between July and October (not available for order yet, although they soon will be):
The Chiltons by Gwendoline Courtney
Seven White Gates by Malcolm Saville
A Fourth Form Friendship by Angela Brazil
The Nightbird by Monica Edwards
Elizabeth the Gallant by Elinor Brent-Dyer
New Girl at Melling by Margaret Biggs
Black Banner Abroad by Geoffrey Trease
Summer's Ending by Helen McClelland

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Article: West End Shuffle: The Future of Dance School Books? [01 Jun 2006|05:27pm]

West End Shuffle – The Future of Dance School Stories?

“ . . . we are delighted to be able to offer you a place in Year 11 at the State Dance Centre . . .” (Prior, West End Shuffle, p3)

I've had a long interest in ballet school stories. I've been reading them since I was about seven years old. Over the years I have read about a number of different dancers and schools, often becoming very involved in the stories. I would have given anything to attend the San Fransisco Ballet Academy with Leah Stephenson or to learn alongside the students of the Redwood School. Of all Girls' Fiction genres, this one is probably my favourite.

You don't learn ballet seriously in Queensland without knowing about the Queensland Dance School of Excellence (QDSE) – a ballet school for grade 11 and 12 students, closely aligned with the Queensland Ballet. Therefore, it was with great interest I picked up West End Shuffle by Natalie Jane Prior. Here was a new ballet school book, loosely based on QDSE – what could be better?

This book was unlike any ballet school book I have ever read before. And the more I read it, the more questions it raised. First and foremost – is this the future for ballet school stories? Will they continue to differ from the more traditional stories? And is this a good or bad thing?

West End Shuffle vs Traditional Dance School BooksCollapse )
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Friday's Question: Recommendations [26 May 2006|09:05am]

Welcome to the last 'question' of the week. Thanks for participating throughout the week, it's been great getting to know people on the community a little bit better. Next week we're back to normal with a couple of new articles. 


Friday's Question

Are there Girls' Fiction books or series that everyone should read?

Here's your chance to make up to three recommendations. Don't forget to tell us a little about the book/series and why everyone should be reading them.

Help us expand our libraries!

Comment and discuss
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[24 May 2006|09:53am]

Wednesday's Question

Which girls fiction characters are/were most important to you?

Which characters made you laugh/cry/angry? Did you ever pretend to be a character? Did you ever pretend that one of the characters were your best friends?

Comment and discuss.


In other news, Monday's question is over here - tell us about the influential books!

And if you have a submission idea or can write one of our 'wishes' you can comment over here
28 comments|post comment

A Call For Submissions [23 May 2006|02:28pm]

[ mood | hopeful ]

So far the revitalised New Atalanta has had some great essays and articles, covering a wide range of topics. But we can't rest here! There are still many books, characters, themes and topic to explore - and you are the people to help us do it!

sangerin and I have compiled a list of topics that we'd love to see essays/articles/reviews about. Some of these topics are outside of our experience, or we think someone else could do a better job writing about them. So if you see a topic here that appeals to you, please do not hesistate to comment below.

Topics We'd Love To Read About
-The American Girl books
-'Naughty' girls in Girls' fiction
-Character studies of well known characters eg. Anne Shirley, Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield, Trixie Belden.
-Character studies of lesser known characters
-Reviews of your favourite book/s
-Reviews of books popular/well known/well regarded in your own country, but not as well known outside of your country
-Summer holidays/vacations in Girls' fiction

Of course if you have another topic in mind, we'd also love to hear from you. Just comment here, and sangerin and I will get back to you about it.

Remember, the more people that get involved, the more interesting and vibrant our community will be!

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