Mabel Esther Allan--some are worth reading!

Our library has been slowly revamping its juvenile fiction, and some books by an English author named Mabel Esther Allan have bitten the dust. We are not alone in deaccessioning her, as indicated by the high volume and low price of her books (mostly exlibrary) on line. It seems that in the 1960s and 1970s those of her books that made it into American editions were standard fare--I bet there are still many libraries out there, like mine, which are a bit behind the deaccessioning times, and still have, perhaps, The View Beyond My Father and A Lovely Tomorrow, and a variety of titles that include Danger and Mystery (words I personally find incredibly off putting in a title).

Mabel Esther Allan was an incredibly prolific writer. Some of her books (most of the danger and mystery ones, are sort of silly--Mary Stewart light). But some of her books are well worth giving library shelf too. A Strange Enchantment is a lovely book about a girl in the English Land Army during WW II--fascinating historical information, character development, and a dash of romance. A Time to Go Back is a classic time slip story about the bombing of Liverpool in WWII; it is very well known and liked over in England by fans of time travel stories (has the term "time slip" made it into American English?). She also wrote some good ballet stories--The Ballet Family and The Ballet Family Again, for instance.

Some of ME Allan's more hard to find books are being republished by Fidra Books, a small press in Scotland; they have a full bibliography up on their website (well worth exploring in detail).

So if your library still has some Mabel Esther Allan's, do try them, before they are gone, especially A Strange Enchantment (which, being about farming and gardening, is (almost) seasonally appropriate).

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