Upper Fourth at Malory Towers by Enid Blyton

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RATING: 3.5/5

BLURB: “Darrell and her friends are studying hard for their exams, but there is a lot to distract them. Not only has Darrell’s younger sister, new to the school, fallen under the spell of an awful first year, but Gwen seems to think she has developed a heart problem. Can the upper fourth sort things out, or is the scary Head Mistress going to have to step in?”

REVIEW: Yet another heartwarming tale from the Malory Towers series, this book sees Darrell and her form struggling to pass her exams as events seem to conspire to stop them. The arrival of the new twins, Connie and Ruth, sees the fourth formers becoming increasingly frustrated as Connie dominates her younger twin and refuses to allow her to speak for herself – and things become much worse for the twins and their classmates when it seems that someone is set to sabotage Connie. Darrell is disappointed in how little her younger sister Felicity seems to need her since her arrival at Malory Towers, and as Head Girl is rather concerned about Felicity’s friendship with Alicia’s rude younger cousin, June, who seems to have little care for anyone but herself. Finally, after latching on to the unwell new girl Clarissa, Gwen decides to imagine herself with a heart problem like Clarissa’s in order to avoid taking her exams, an idea that will drastically change her days at Malory Towers. What with all of this chaos, it seems unlikely that poor Darrell and her friends will ever succeed in their exams; but as is always the case, all works out well in the end.

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