I just finished Ballet Shoes, by Noel Streatfeild. It was absolutely charming. To the modern reader, it may seem typical of other children's books written in the 1930s, but the theme of strong female charcters who take active roles to resolve their predicament was largely unknown in children's publishing of the time. The style is old-fashioned, but authentic. The characterizations, believable. Look here for strong family relationships and satisfying happy endings, perhaps with a slight twist. I highly recommend a reading of this, the first of Ms. Streatfeild's many works for children.