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School Friends: Book 11
Success at Silver Spires
by Ann Bryant
Sasha loves her life at Silver Spires, but hasn’t quite found her special passion yet. While all the other girls are pursuing their dream hobbies, Sasha begins to wonder if she isn’t getting left behind. But all that changes when she begins sculling at the local water sports club. Balance; agility; speed; concentration; Sasha has it all and she is thrilled to have finally discovered her true talent – and with it, a newfound confidence. But Holly, a student with previous sculling experience, soon makes it clear that she’s keen to thwart any competition on the water. In fact, Holly is determined to come out on top…even if that means pushing both herself and Sasha to their ultimate limits. Can Sasha rise to the challenge and gain success at Silver Spires?
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Mrs. Truman smiled. “It’s important to think carefully before signing up for anything. You girls lead very busy lives here at Silver Spires, with all your extra-curricular activities on top of your lessons, so don’t overload yourselves.” She smiled again. “On the other hand, there’s a lot of enjoyment to be had out of sport, and you’re amazingly lucky to have so much on offer…”
“Is the sculling a beginner’s course?” asked Holly.
Mrs. Truman nodded. “Yes, it is.” And I saw Holly’s face drop.
I think Mrs. Truman must have noticed that too. “But there are seven sessions in all, so there’s lots of chance to progress. The first one takes place here at the school swimming pool, then the others are at a lake not far away. Have you done sculling before, Holly?”
“I went out loads on the river with my brother over the Easter holidays. He’s in a sculling eight but we went out together, just him and me, in a Virus double. It was great.”
I looked round my group of friends to see if any of them seemed at all confused, but none of them did. So maybe I was the only one who didn’t know the difference between sculling and rowing, and had no idea what a “Virus double” was, though it sounded like some kind of illness.
“He let me cox one time, too,” Holly went on enthusiastically.
“What’s that?” asked Bryony, and I felt relieved that at least one other person was in the dark. Bryony is Emily’s best friend and she never wastes words.
“The cox—” Mrs. Truman started to answer, but Holly interrupted.
“It’s the person who sits at the stern of the boat – that’s the back – facing the way the boat’s moving, so they can direct all the oarsmen to help them keep together and go as fast as possible.”
“Well explained, Holly!” said Mrs. Truman. I agreed it was well explained but I still didn’t understand what she’d said before about “viruses”. I’m not like Bryony though. I’d never dare ask.
Mrs. Truman was carrying on anyway, so I didn’t have a chance to ask, even if I’d wanted to. “All the info about the various activities is on the sport noticeboard, so go along and sign up for whatever you want when you’ve had a good think about it.
“And one more important thing,” she added. “General fitness. Up till now you’ve only used the main gym for PE lessons and dance, but if you want to use the equipment in the smaller gym to build up stamina – the treadmills, the bikes, the rowing machine, et cetera, that’s fine. But you can only use that gym once you’ve had an induction, which is an introductory session to show you how to use the various pieces of equipment safely. Even then,” she went on, “there has to be a member of staff with you at all times. And I’m afraid you’re absolutely not allowed to use the weights, under any circumstances. But if it’s raining outside, for example, and you want to work on your general fitness, that’s where the gym comes in.” Mrs. Truman smiled around at us, as if to see what we thought so far, but everyone was quiet and thoughtful. “The best time to use the gym is after school,” she carried on, “though one or two older students sometimes try to squash in a session before breakfast, as long as it’s after seven thirty. I’m afraid teachers get priority before that. But now –” she gave us another bright smile – “let’s get down to the athletics field!”
Izzy and I found ourselves practically at the back as everyone else broke into excited chatter and plunged after Mrs. Truman. It’s not that we don’t like PE, just that it’s not our favourite thing. Izzy’s favourite thing is ballet, definitely. She’s totally brilliant at it. And my favourite thing is…I don’t know. I haven’t got one. There’s nothing I’m specially good at, really. I wish there was. It must be fantastic to be talented at something you also enjoy doing, like Izzy is.
Ann Bryant is both an author and a musician. She started her writing when she was young, writing a play when she was still at primary school. At school, one of her favourite activities was just hanging out with friends and Ann is happy to relive these times again with the girls of Silver Spires in the fantastic School Friends series. Ann now teaches music and drama as well as writing children's fiction, including the very successful Ballerina Dreams series.
Visit www.annbryant.co.uk to find out more.
I beamed widely at the book when I started reading it. This is exactly what I have been looking for. It's a modern school series aimed primarily at girls. It deals with the ups and downs of growing up. Boarding school stories are a timeless concept. Anyway, the reason I love Silver Spires so much is because it is a clean read. There's barely any mention of boys or relationships with them, which is present in older school series' books. It's very suitable for the intended age group. I'm already passing this one onto a friend's daughter, to try and get her loving books.
Nayu's Reading Corner blog
Every young girl dreams of going to boarding school...But is it all it’s cracked up to be? Well Silver Spires certainly is. Bryant’s fun-filled School Friends books are a new and refreshing take on Enid Blyton’s boarding school stories ...
Each book takes a trip with the girls from Emerald dorm through their ambitions, fears, disappointments and triumphs. Ideal reading for the eight plus age group ... collectable, exciting stories with a real-life edge but buzzing with gossip and glamour.
Lancashire Evening Post
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