Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

Sonderbooks Stand-out 2005
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****Head Over Heels in the Dales

by Gervase Phinn

Reviewed June 20, 2005.
Penguin Books, New York, 2003.  First published in Great Britain in 2002.  323 pages.
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2005 (#4, Biography)

Head Over Heels in the Dales is the third book about the experiences of Gervase Phinn, school inspector in the Yorkshire Dales.  We don’t have this one at Sembach Library, but I was so hooked by the first two, I ordered a copy for myself.

In this book, he gets married and finds an old house to fix up.  He faces the prospect of a new Senior Inspector to deal with and unwanted condolences from well-meaning people when he isn’t offered the job.

But the majority of the book, as in the other books, includes the entertaining and enlightening stories of the children and teachers he meets in his daily job of inspecting schools.

My favorite story was about the Nativity play he visited where the children wrote their own script.  The boy playing an angel told Mary she was going to have a baby boy:

“‘What if it’s a girl?’
‘It won’t be.’
‘You don’t know, it might be.’
‘It won’t, ‘cos God knows about these things.’
‘And you must call it Jesus.’
‘I don’t like the name Jesus.  Can I call him something else?’
‘What about Gavin?’
‘No,’ the angel had snapped.  ‘You have to call it Jesus.  Otherwise you don’t get it.’
‘All right then,’ Mary had agreed.”

Reviews of other books by Gervase Phinn:
The Other Side of the Dale
Over Hill and Dale
Up and Down in the Dales

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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