This last week I went to Canberra to see my Family.
For those of you who haven’t been to Canberra, I will tell you. I am one of the few who loves it. It’s cold, bitingly so during winter and frequently sees 40+ degree days in Summer. (That’s 104F for non-Australians). There is more round about’s than I have ever seen anywhere else in the country, and there isn’t always a lot going on. For me? I get to catch up with my family. We do a few drinks, my Grandma comes to visit, my aunts and uncles come over, and it’s an enjoyable time had by all.
This time I had a hot date golfing with my father. Now I have never golfed before, and I was instructed that I wouldn’t be golfing this time, as it was a tournament. But I could drive the cart around. SOLD I tell you! As we were walking out the door, and I was all bundled up in my five layers of clothes, I was asked, are you sure about this? You may be bored. AHA! I responded. I have a book! As it happened, I didn’t need the book, but as we all know, you should always carry one with you at all times. I was carrying a book that Corporal Awesome had bought me in a set last week, The Secret Seven Adventure, by Enid Blyton. (Also the photo of me in the golf cart? That was after the sun came up!)
I love Enid Blyton books. It takes me back to a simpler time, a time before I was born. Growing up, both Mummy and my Pa would read them to me, though I suspect that it was my Pa’s English background that set this love off. Pa even built me my very own Faraway tree, and I was very upset when the lands didn’t come by my tree as they did in the books. Growing up I wanted to be a member of the Famous Five (I named one of Pa’s car’s Georgina) and I wanted to go to either St Clare’s or Mallory Towers and have Midnight Feasts! My year two teacher wrote in my school report that I needed to read something other than Enid Blyton books.
The secret seven adventure was a book published in 1950 and is a simple story, and yes, you can tell it was written in the Fifties before political correctness happened. The Seven are playing a game of American Indians and are essentially playing a game of hide and seek, in full dress up mode. The group splits up, and Colin climbs into a branch of a tree. From there he can see a man climbing a fence to the nearby Milton Manor. Later on, they hear on the news that Lady Lucy Thomas’s pearl necklace has been stolen! Following some sleuthing carried out by the Seven, they believe that the perpetrator was an acrobat from a circus that is visiting their town. This leads to even more investigating so that the seven can crack the case.
Rereading these books as an adult, it strikes me how small they are. I read the Secret Seven Adventure in about 45 minutes, and I enjoyed it. It is book 2 of the set, and I figure I’m just going to keep working my way through until the end of the series. They are all very similar (from memory) with the seven finding various clues and working to solve the case. I don’t remember these books as well as I do the Famous Five, and I think they are for a slightly younger audience (and younger than myself). I wish Enid Blyton had fleshed out her characters a little more, as I don’t feel like I know the characters very well, compared to her other books, but still, I love them. The style, the morals of the story. I think if you give them to a child of seven or eight they will probably be about the right target audience.
Are there any other children’s books that anyone else on here loves? I would be interested in hearing about them.