From organising the school summer fete...'Because of our inability to recognise our climatic shortcomings from the outset, arrangements for outdoor jollities get completely out of hand'...to the sometimes rather odd passions of childhood: 'I collect stones with holes in them'. Miss Read captures the essence of rural life, and in particular of village schools, as only she can. This collection also includes extracts from her letters: 'Michael Joseph wrote after the Observer thing and is throwing out feelers for a book. I shall know if he still feels like it - me too! - after we've met'. It will also include an Introduction on how 'Miss Read' was first created: 'Miss Read was born fully clothed in sensible garments and aged about forty. She was born, in fact, when I was struggling to write my first book and needed a village schoolmistress as the narrator.'