Usborne Children’s Books
The official web site of Usborne Publishing
School Friends: Book 10
Magic at Silver Spires
by Ann Bryant
Antonia’s world is turned upside down when a cycling accident leaves her with a broken leg. At first, she is delighted when her parents fly over from Italy to stay with her in hospital. But to Antonia’s dismay, she discovers that her father is so shaken by her accident that he intends to take her back to Italy to continue school closer to home! Antonia is devastated to be leaving and requests a few days to say her tearful goodbyes, finishing with the Silver Spires Italian evening. Will the girls of Emerald dorm manage to persuade Antonia’s parents that Silver Spires is the perfect home away from home?
Read mobile-friendly version.
“Don’t let me see it!” squealed Emily, covering her eyes dramatically.
“Oh sorry!” I said, quickly whipping the mask I’d almost finished painting away from my face, and hiding it behind my back.
Maybe this was another English thing I didn’t know about. Perhaps there’s a – what do you call it? – yes, a superstition that it’s bad luck to wear a mask inside a building or something.
My best friend, Nicole, quickly reassured me. “Don’t worry, Antonia,” she said. “It’s just that Emily likes surprises.”
Across the room I could see Mr. Cary, the art teacher, shaking his head at Emily as though she was mad. But his eyes were twinkling.
“It’ll be tons more fun when it comes to the Italian evening if we haven’t seen each other’s masks before,” Emily added.
I agreed with Emily really, and that was why we six friends had been quite secretive when we’d been making and decorating our masks so far. But I just hadn’t been able to resist showing mine off, which was stupid of me when I already know how exciting it is to see a mass of masks and have no idea whose faces are behind them. I can so clearly remember the thrill I felt when I set eyes on all the thousands of people dressed up in their masks at the Carnevale I went to with my family last February. The word “carnevale” is Italian for “carnival”. And for Italian people like me, the one that takes place in Venice is the best one, not only in Italy, but in the whole world. Mamma and Papà and my two brothers and I had what I think you would call “the time of our lives” when we were there last year.
It feels so strange thinking about it now, here in the art room at Silver Spires Boarding School for Girls. Of course, I had absolutely no idea back then that I’d be coming to a school in England in September.
“Why don’t we each just show our mask to our best friend so that they can check it’s all right?” suggested sensible Sasha.
The rest of us thought that was a brilliant idea, except for Emily, who had nowhere near finished hers. But all the same, we went off in pairs with our masks into different corners of the art room.
“Hey, that’s brilliant!” Nicole said when she saw mine properly.
Her eyes were all shiny and I could tell she really liked it, which was a big relief, as I was the one who came up with the idea of making masks in the first place. It all started when we came back to school after the spring half-term holiday, and Mrs. Pridham, our housemistress, announced that Forest Ash boarding house (which is where we live and is definitely the best boarding house, by the way) was to have an Italian evening during this half of term. I know she chose Italy because that’s my home country, and I feel very – how do you say it? – yes, very touched.
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.
Do you agree or disagree with the reviews below? Why not write your own?
I thought that it would be very boring, but when I started reading it, I didn't leaved the book! These books are awesome.
ANAVI, 28th September 2015
© Copyright 2016 Usborne Publishing. Web design & Development by Semantic