1930s Medal Winners

The Winners

1936 Arthur Ransome: Pigeon Post  |  1937 Eve Garnett: The Family from One End Street  |  1938 Noel Streatfeild: The Circus Is Coming  |  1939 Eleanor Doorly: The Radium Woman

The winning books of the 1930s

Anne says...

Most of you will associate Arthur Ransome with the set of books we know as 'Swallows and Amazons'. Pigeon Post was the sixth in the series. These stories, set in the beautiful Lake District of Britain, are still so popular that a new film of Swallows and Amazons came out only last year.

I had to teach the next winner, The Family from One End Street, to a class of twelve year olds. Some found it so dull they almost fell asleep. Others adored it. It's famous for being one the first books to show the day to day lives of 'the working classes'. I can't say it's thrilling. I'd love to, but I can't.

The next winner was Noel Streatfeild (Yes! That's her real spelling, not a misprint!) with The Circus is Coming. You're far more likely to find it under the title Circus Shoes because it was renamed to fit in better with her enormously successful Ballet Shoes, which most of you will have read.

The Radium Woman by Eleanor Doorly was the last winner of that decade. Of course we all know now about Madame Curie and her great discovery. And women in science now get a good deal of respect. But this book was one of the very first to remind the world that women's brains work just as well as men's in the field of science. It was an inspiration to many girls and women to follow their interest in the natural world with confidence - and to many men to recognise their equal right and ability to do so.

Don't forget to visit us again next month, to see which books won the Carnegie Medal in the 1940s.