Rockin’ It Old School: The Girls of Canby Hall

Yes, yes, I’ve been milking this ‘memory lane’ book theme for a bit too long, but forgive me just one more post!  I’d be remiss if I neglected a lesser-known YA series that I loved: The Girls of Canby Hall.  This series was published from 1984-1989, and I remember buying several of these titles through the cult for kiddie book-worms known as Scholastic Fliers.

canby hall

If memory serves, and I may be hazy on some details, the series told of three diverse girls who attended boarding school in the northeast.  (Not cliche or anything, right?)  Faith hailed from Washington, DC and her father died in the line of duty as a police officer.  Shelly was the farm girl from Iowa, a bit awkward and out-of-place around her East Coast roomies.  Dana was the uber-chic New York City girl from  a broken home. 

I identified most closely with Dana–not because I was a fashion plate (unless pairing plaids and stripes was in fashion)–but because she lived in Manhattan, a short ride from my house in New Jersey.  I had been to New York and could relate to it.  I had no schema of Iowa farm life or surviving the ‘mean streets’ of Washington, DC. 

The only partial storyline that I remember is one in which Dana and Faith travel to Iowa to meet Shelly’s family.  Each girl brings a gift–I only remember that Dana brought a designer scarf that Shelly’s mom has no idea what to do with.  Though I can’t tell you much more about the series, I can tell you that the book covers make me wax nostalgic for my youth! 

Why do I feel like the only person that ever read this series?  Am I alone on the Canby Hall island?


  • At 2009.11.13 09:06, vivienne said:

    I don’t ever remember seeing this series in England. I am sure my girls would love these.
    .-= vivienne´s last blog ..The Icarus Girl by Helen Oyeyemi =-.

    • At 2009.11.13 10:47, Meg said:

      I’m sorry to say I’ve got nothing on this one, but they definitely sound cute! The covers make me feel nostalgic, too. Mostly because all of my favorite YA reads from when I was a kid featured the similar hand-drawn art, haha! It was such a publishing craze, apparently!
      .-= Meg´s last blog ..Book wishlists: A real fine place to start? =-.

      • At 2009.11.13 18:43, trish said:

        I never read this one, but Sweet Valley High, Nancy Drew, and the Hardy Boys were pretty much the only books I read. Oh, and The Babysitter’s Club. 😀
        .-= trish´s last blog ..Sometimes You Just Gotta Cry (Or, Let’s Talk Sad Movies) =-.

        • At 2009.11.13 23:44, Sheila (Bookjourney) said:

          I havent heard of these books and I am surprised I havent…. I read about everything as a kid!
          .-= Sheila (Bookjourney)´s last blog ..The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls =-.

          • At 2009.11.19 01:38, Kerri said:

            I’m late commenting – but I LOVED the Girls of Canby Hall. I read them all and I still have some of them at my parents place I’m sure. I’m going to check next time I’m home for a laugh.

            • At 2010.02.07 15:50, Tanya said:

              Thanks so much for this post. I was just googling for this series, but couldn’t think of the name. I loved these books. I was not a Sweet Valley High fan, but these books were faves. But I thought one of the girls name’s was Toby, short for October. Was that a different series? Does anyone know?

              (Required, will not be published)

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