Setting: Boarding School Books

One of the main criteria for a book to be part of my favourites list is for it to be set in a boarding school. It’s my favourite setting to read about, probably because it’s so unusual, and on the surface, seems fun. Books set in boarding schools are usually fantasy or contemporary and I really like how the setting is so adaptable to any genre.
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The origin of my love comes from the Secrets at St. Jude’s series, My Sister Jodie and Ottoline Goes To School. Why all these books are purple, I don’t know. New Girl was about four friends navigating their teenage lives, Ottoline seeks to find her hidden talent and Jodie…well, she gets up to some mischief.

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Magical ones are normally the best. The School For Good and Evil is The Best, because it combines boarding schools and fairy tales, which is downright perfect for me. I always loved any section on the curriculum – it’s so different from anything I’ll ever get to do. I used to hate it in Harry Potter when he had to go and battle evil, because it took him away from studying.(That sounds super geeky, but if I got to study potion making and transfiguration, I wouldn’t leave the library!) A whole set of books from Hermione’s perspective would be absolute heaven! But Fearsome Dreamer’s main plot point isn’t about magic school. It’s about a technological revolution, BUT for fifty sweet, sweet pages, Rue and White are studying their powers together in a sort of boarding school, complete with Yule Ball-esque dance sequence. Seriously, if the setting only came up for a few pages in a book, I’d be pleased.

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So, I fangirl about boarding schools a lot. I think the epitome of this obsession, though, can be rooted to one book series in particular. The Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter. Six books of spy-socialite heaven. It’s become a dream of mine to write something in this setting, because I love it so much, and any research I had to do would be done willingly. What about you? Do you have a particular favourite when it comes to settings?154857-ml-1182951


9 thoughts on “Setting: Boarding School Books

  1. I think that boarding school setting are amazing myself. I haven’t read a ton of books in that wheelhouse, but I’ve seen my fair share of televisions programs and movies about boarding school scenarios. I just love the idea of boarding school because it’s sort of like this special community on the edge of a larger one. Obviously, the fantasy style is much more interesting than reality because even the curriculum becomes apart of the appeal. I can totally understand why you geek out over that sort of stuff. It’s so cool learning about magic or dragon taming. Hermione’s perspective really would be an excellent one to read from because she cares so deeply about learning as much as she can.

    I can’t say what my favorite setting of all time is, but I’m particularly fond of settings where the main character(s) has to learn about and explore an entirely new society or territory. Seeing the different environments and the way the alternative society/village/country is governed and how it functions. Sort of like in The 100 or A Court of Thornes of Roses. The Hunger Games also does this with the districts vs the Capitol, but the districts are a distanced subsection of their entire society, so it’s a bit different, but Katniss’s perspective makes it feel like it’s truly a new and unknown place.
    Harry Potter also establishes this as Harry is suddenly exposed to an entire secret society in the shadow of the one he’s been living in his entire life PLUS MAGIC AND DRAGONS!

    1. Oh definitely! Boarding schools across any media are brilliant! You’re absolutely right about being interested in the curriculum, it’s so fascinating to discover a completely new world. Learning about dystopian societies and the like is the reason I read ‘The Hunger Games’. Thanks for your comment xx

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