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Five on a Treasure Island

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The very first Famous Five adventure, featuring Julian, Dick, Anne, not forgetting tomboy George and her beloved dog, Timmy! There's a shipwreck off Kirrin Island! But where is the treasure? The Famous Five are on the trail - looking for clues - but they're not alone! Someone else has got the same idea. Time is running out for the Famous Five, who will follow the clues and The very first Famous Five adventure, featuring Julian, Dick, Anne, not forgetting tomboy George and her beloved dog, Timmy! There's a shipwreck off Kirrin Island! But where is the treasure? The Famous Five are on the trail - looking for clues - but they're not alone! Someone else has got the same idea. Time is running out for the Famous Five, who will follow the clues and get to the treasure first?


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The very first Famous Five adventure, featuring Julian, Dick, Anne, not forgetting tomboy George and her beloved dog, Timmy! There's a shipwreck off Kirrin Island! But where is the treasure? The Famous Five are on the trail - looking for clues - but they're not alone! Someone else has got the same idea. Time is running out for the Famous Five, who will follow the clues and The very first Famous Five adventure, featuring Julian, Dick, Anne, not forgetting tomboy George and her beloved dog, Timmy! There's a shipwreck off Kirrin Island! But where is the treasure? The Famous Five are on the trail - looking for clues - but they're not alone! Someone else has got the same idea. Time is running out for the Famous Five, who will follow the clues and get to the treasure first?

30 review for Five on a Treasure Island

  1. 4 out of 5

    Grace Tjan

    Jess, my 7-year old girl, gives it 5 stars. Comments while reading: "Georgina is a girl but she wants to be called 'George'. Is she a tomboy?" "Who says that boys never cry? The boys in my class cry. A lot!" "Uncle Quentin is scary!" "George is like a volcano --- she's always angry or is about to get angry." "How can a kid own an island?" "Awww, Tim is so cute!" "Why can't Anne keep a secret? She's such a baby!" "I like it when George took an axe and wrecked the bad guys' motorboat. She's so fierce!" "I w Jess, my 7-year old girl, gives it 5 stars. Comments while reading: "Georgina is a girl but she wants to be called 'George'. Is she a tomboy?" "Who says that boys never cry? The boys in my class cry. A lot!" "Uncle Quentin is scary!" "George is like a volcano --- she's always angry or is about to get angry." "How can a kid own an island?" "Awww, Tim is so cute!" "Why can't Anne keep a secret? She's such a baby!" "I like it when George took an axe and wrecked the bad guys' motorboat. She's so fierce!" "I want to read more Famous Five books." "Why are they famous? Is it because they have adventures?" "Are they real? No, of course Pokemons are not real!"

  2. 4 out of 5

    Archit Ojha

    I remember putting this book back down in 2006 because it was "too big" to read. The number of pages of Secret Seven were tiny in comparison to this one. I was reading a book this summer and not liking the immoral personalities present in there. Guess, you sometimes need a break from these grown-up melodramas. And who better to go to than Enid? The treasure hunting and ship wreck brought me back the memories of why I loved the Secret Seven. George and Tim are a delight to watch together. Coming tog I remember putting this book back down in 2006 because it was "too big" to read. The number of pages of Secret Seven were tiny in comparison to this one. I was reading a book this summer and not liking the immoral personalities present in there. Guess, you sometimes need a break from these grown-up melodramas. And who better to go to than Enid? The treasure hunting and ship wreck brought me back the memories of why I loved the Secret Seven. George and Tim are a delight to watch together. Coming together of all five of them over a beautiful island, fighting off the rogues and the thrill of an adventure -Enid Blyton is an all time classic. Surely, I am going to read this entire series too.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Alan Cotterell

    I owe this series a lot. This series is the first series I read well over 40 years ago, installing a love of reading that has stayed with me. After finishing a brilliant but dark novel, I felt that I needed a palette cleanser. This book and the rest of the 21 book series written between 1942-1963, are perfect for this. It is a very quick and enjoyable read. Set in a different era, with no sign of health and safety, or hint of any danger to young children going off for several days on their own. I owe this series a lot. This series is the first series I read well over 40 years ago, installing a love of reading that has stayed with me. After finishing a brilliant but dark novel, I felt that I needed a palette cleanser. This book and the rest of the 21 book series written between 1942-1963, are perfect for this. It is a very quick and enjoyable read. Set in a different era, with no sign of health and safety, or hint of any danger to young children going off for several days on their own. All wonderful fun, adventure, and some mystery for the summer. The basic story is that of 4 children aged 10-13? And a dog having lots adventures during their summer holidays, in this case searching for lost gold ingots on a small island. I had forgotten how much I loved this book, the characters, Enid Blyton's way with words, her vivid descriptions. I felt as if I was there. I escaped from boring, adult life for 183 pages, and it. was. great. I will be re-reading the rest of the series, its great being a child again! With lashings of Ginger Beer.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Juli

    After finishing a rather emotionally taxing suspense novel, I needed a palate cleanser. Usually I turn to children's literature after reading harsh adult fiction. My brain needed something happy and sweet. Recently, I heard about the Famous Five series, a popular series of British books about the adventures of 4 kids and their dog. It sounded like just the thing....so I found a copy of the first book on Open Library. So glad I did! What a delightful and fun book! The basics....Julian, Dick and An After finishing a rather emotionally taxing suspense novel, I needed a palate cleanser. Usually I turn to children's literature after reading harsh adult fiction. My brain needed something happy and sweet. Recently, I heard about the Famous Five series, a popular series of British books about the adventures of 4 kids and their dog. It sounded like just the thing....so I found a copy of the first book on Open Library. So glad I did! What a delightful and fun book! The basics....Julian, Dick and Anne are disappointed when they can't go to their favorite place for a holiday. But the trio become excited when they learn they are going to stay with their aunt and uncle, plus their cousin Georgina (who demands to be called George). The kids happily travel to Kirrin Bay to meet their cousin for the first time and spend the summer having adventures....including searching for lost gold! I loved this story! George is my favorite character. She doesn't want to be a girl and play with dolls. She wants to have short hair, wear comfortable boys clothes and romp outside having adventures with her dog. Both sets of parents seemed almost totally unlikable for me though. George's father is a domineering ass and her mother seems weak willed. I guess you'd have to be to live with an ass. Julian, Dick and Anne's parents seem to not be very concerned with their kids. The 3 kids attend boarding school most of the year. Then when they do come home for summer break, their parents decide to go to Scotland without them and dump the kids at their uncle's house to spend the summer with a cousin they've never even met. The kids don't seem to mind....they want holiday adventures on their own. Their parents seem totally flighty though. Uninvolved. Better than being a helicopter parent, I guess. Luckily, despite a bit of danger, the kids had a great time and ended the summer all in one piece. There are 21 books in the Famous Five series. The series was written from 1942-1963. I really enjoyed this first book. I'm going to read more of the series. It was a nice palate cleanser....a quick, enjoyable read about kids having fun, adventure, and some mystery for the summer!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mark Lawrence

    The first volume of the 23 Famous Five books sets up a number of patterns and themes that are returned to many times in the series. It also establishes some basic groundwork that Enid Blyton later forgot and changed, leading to curious inconsistencies. For example: Julian, Dick, and Anne discover they have a ten year old cousin they have never met. Georgina, daughter of their father's brother Quentin who lives in Kirrin Bay, a region that their own father has only visited once and can remember ver The first volume of the 23 Famous Five books sets up a number of patterns and themes that are returned to many times in the series. It also establishes some basic groundwork that Enid Blyton later forgot and changed, leading to curious inconsistencies. For example: Julian, Dick, and Anne discover they have a ten year old cousin they have never met. Georgina, daughter of their father's brother Quentin who lives in Kirrin Bay, a region that their own father has only visited once and can remember very little of. Later we discover that Kirrin Cottage (where Uncle Quentin lives with Aunt Fanny), Kirrin Farm, and Kirrin Island are, or were, all owned by Aunt Fanny's family, along with significant other amounts of land. But later in the series Julian, Dick and Anne are described as Kirrins (& on one occasion Bancrofts). Which would make Quentin a Kirrin too ... which makes no sense if their father has no association with Kirrin Bay and it was their aunt's family who owned it all... In this book we see George acquire Timmy the dog, the 5th of the Famous Five. At the start Timmy is staying with the fisher boy Alf, who in later books mysteriously changes his name to James. We establish George as the hot-tempered girl who wants to be a boy (which I guess these days might have her on a path to gender reassignment -- incidentally we meet at least two other girls who want to be boys in the series and everyone is cool with it but it is specifically stated that a boy can't grow his hair long to be like a girl, that would be madness). We establish Uncle Quentin as a brilliant, forgetful, hot tempered scientist of unknown discipline - this confusion lasts the entire series despite his work being the centre of at least a third of the adventures. I suspect this is in part because Blyton had almost no understanding of science, didn't bother to find out anything as she assumed her readers would not care, and wanted to keep it fluid anyhow so it could spawn plots as required. We are also introduced to Kirrin Island and its remarkably well preserved castle wherein the children discover the first of their many hoards of gold. In this instance it alleviates the curious poverty of George's father and mother. The Famous Five are defined by one main characteristic each. Julian is level headed. Dick is good humoured. Anne is compassionate and "girly". George is hotheaded. Timmy is a Swiss Army knife of a dog possessed of vast intelligence and the power to overcome any three men. Anyway, the action centres on the island. A dodgy sort from London wants to buy it but the children discover his motivation is the rumours of hidden gold, and wouldn't you know it, ten minutes with a spade and the bags of gold are theirs, all theirs! On this occasion, as on many others in the series, the bad men have guns. There is, to a modern British eye, a ridiculously high prevalence of revolvers in these books. Possibly the proximity of WW2 and the 1940/50s laws actually made this easier to swallow. Anyway, it's a jolly romp with lots of aspirational goodness for young children, and when I was 9 I was a big fan. My star rating is fairly arbitrary here. Join my 3-emails-a-year newsletter #prizes ..

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Simmonds

    Sadly I gave all my Famous Five books away during my teenage years. However the other day I realised I missed Julian, George, Dick, Anne and Timmy so wanted a catch up. The only edition I could get on Kindle was this one - and it was a slight disappointment. There are no 'lashings' of anything, no 'mummy and daddy', no 'golly's. It has been rewritten to suit a modern children's audience, and I must say I deeply disagree with this choice. When I was an eight year old and reading these books for t Sadly I gave all my Famous Five books away during my teenage years. However the other day I realised I missed Julian, George, Dick, Anne and Timmy so wanted a catch up. The only edition I could get on Kindle was this one - and it was a slight disappointment. There are no 'lashings' of anything, no 'mummy and daddy', no 'golly's. It has been rewritten to suit a modern children's audience, and I must say I deeply disagree with this choice. When I was an eight year old and reading these books for the first time they were the same format as they had been for over fifty years. Who thought it necessary to dumb it down for today's children? Surely they can cope with the language like millions of other children have. For me, revisiting these books was a chance to have a little giggle at the archaisms, and for them to be completely missing was a disappointment. I'm surprised they didn't change Dick and Aunt Fanny's names! However the story was the same, although much shorter than I remembered - I imagine my reading speed has increased quite a bit! This is still a great adventure for children, and brings back fond memories for adults. If you can look past the completely unnecessary changes (which admittedly I got used to after a while and didn't affect the characters or the story very much) then this is a great trip down memory lane. It's just a shame publishers felt it necessary to change a text that has been loved worldwide for half a century - if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Janete

    DNF in the middle of Chapter 9. This book isn't for me because when I was a child, I really didn't like "treasure hunt". I tried to read and listen to the audiobook for improving my English, but this plot seemed to me so outdated. Sorry you all who like this book!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Praj

    This is one that lured me into the reading world. I still remember it like yesterday; it was during my 4th grade summer vacations. I was down with high fever and was crying for days for missing out on my yearly trip.So to pacify my tantrums , i was gifted this book. Ah! the mysterious world of Julian, Anne, Dick and my favorite George made me forget my pain and i ended up reading the whole series volume in that summer. Thanks Enid! for bringing me to a world of limitless imagination.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Paul E. Morph

    Ah, the Famous Five! Talk about your blasts from the past. I haven't read these books since my age was still in single digits. Re-reading them as an adult, their appeal is their innocence and the joy of recalling how I used to think my friends and I could have adventures just like the Famous Five! This book brought a big smile to my face. There's another level of enjoyment to be had reading this book as an adult with a twisted sense of humour, as hardly a page goes by without some kind of unintend Ah, the Famous Five! Talk about your blasts from the past. I haven't read these books since my age was still in single digits. Re-reading them as an adult, their appeal is their innocence and the joy of recalling how I used to think my friends and I could have adventures just like the Famous Five! This book brought a big smile to my face. There's another level of enjoyment to be had reading this book as an adult with a twisted sense of humour, as hardly a page goes by without some kind of unintended sexual innuendo... at least, I'm pretty sure it's unintended. Buddy read with Sunshine Seaspray.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I haven't read these books since I was a child when I read them repeatedly and it was such a treat to read this first in the series at a time when I needed a comforting and nostalgic read. The characters are adorable and I just wish I lived in a world of picnics, adventures, swimming, seaside and sunshine - fantastic! I bought the first three on kindle for 99p so be prepared for more Famous Five shenanigans! I haven't read these books since I was a child when I read them repeatedly and it was such a treat to read this first in the series at a time when I needed a comforting and nostalgic read. The characters are adorable and I just wish I lived in a world of picnics, adventures, swimming, seaside and sunshine - fantastic! I bought the first three on kindle for 99p so be prepared for more Famous Five shenanigans!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Graham

    Back when I was a kid, Enid Blyton was MY author. Reading her books - and I read dozens of them - taught me, not to read, but to actually ENJOY reading. I remember feeling how it was a magical experience and twenty years later I still feel that when sitting down with a book today. I've been wanting to catch up with Blyton as an adult, to see how her work stands up, and I finally got my chance with this handsome hardback. I remember that the Famous Five and the Secret Seven weren't my favourite of Back when I was a kid, Enid Blyton was MY author. Reading her books - and I read dozens of them - taught me, not to read, but to actually ENJOY reading. I remember feeling how it was a magical experience and twenty years later I still feel that when sitting down with a book today. I've been wanting to catch up with Blyton as an adult, to see how her work stands up, and I finally got my chance with this handsome hardback. I remember that the Famous Five and the Secret Seven weren't my favourite of her books - that was the Five Find-Outers - but FIVE ON A TREASURE ISLAND was nonetheless a book I read because it was the first in a long-running (21 books!) series. I also had the computer game of this back on my old ZX Spectrum so after reading the book I could go and 'experience' the adventures for myself! As for the book, I think it holds up admirably. Of course, Blyton's stories are dated, but therein lies their appeal. This is a world before the internet, before consoles, where children could go out by themselves and camp on a deserted island for a week without the threat of child molesters or the nanny state reporting their guardians for neglect. It's a fantasy world nowadays, but how great it is to go back there! Blyton's strength lies in her vivid description, and the island, the ruined castle and the shipwreck make perfect backdrops for the simplistic action. The kids are great characters, and George is still the author's most interesting character. The descriptions of picnic and ginger beer we all remember are delightful, as is Timmy the dog. As an adult, I was surprised to find this book wasn't 'twee' at all - there are descriptions of blood gushing from body parts, and even the dog has a gun pressed against his head at one point, so 'real life' is addressed. Yes, there are mistakes, like the weight of gold ingots, but these are easy to look over. The parts in the well and the storm sequence I found particularly impressive and well written. This is a children's book that cannot fail to inspire children of the right age to love reading. I enjoyed every second of it and flew through it as an adult reader. I was reminded, favourably, of childhood, and ended up with a warm and cosy feeling inside. I'm looking forward to catching up with more of the author's work in future.

  12. 4 out of 5

    ✨ kathryn ✨

    4.5/5 I read so much Enid Blyton as a child, that when my cousin wanted to do a book swap (he's reading The Ice Monster at the moment) I immediately said yes. And I'm *so* glad I did! I forgot how much I loved this book, the characters, Blyton's way with words, her vivid descriptions. I felt as though I could escape from annoying, often boring, adult life for 183 pages, and it. was. great. Will I be re-reading the rest? Damn right I will!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Pooja

    Sometimes you read a book and wonder how didn't you get to read this one in your childhood while everyone about your age did. Five on a Treasure Island, you are certainly the first one I read after a considerably long time, but your next parts sure are not going to be. Here I come.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kelly-Marie

    Visiting these books again love this author so much they really are the best books. Even if your child is reading or learning to these would be the best books ever full of fun so they are. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

  15. 5 out of 5

    Pramod Nair

    I had the opportunity to read the whole Famous Five series during my school vacations when i was an eleven year old and 'Five on a Treasure Island' was the first book that introduced me to the magical writings of Enid Blyton. It was during those school vacations that i chanced upon such highly addictive children's series like Secret Seven (from the same author), Nancy Drew, Dana Girls Mysteries, Hardy Boys etc. Hunting down and gobbling up each of those titles was a pure delight. All the titles i I had the opportunity to read the whole Famous Five series during my school vacations when i was an eleven year old and 'Five on a Treasure Island' was the first book that introduced me to the magical writings of Enid Blyton. It was during those school vacations that i chanced upon such highly addictive children's series like Secret Seven (from the same author), Nancy Drew, Dana Girls Mysteries, Hardy Boys etc. Hunting down and gobbling up each of those titles was a pure delight. All the titles in the Famous Five series is written based on the same simple formula - a band of four kids (Julian, Dick, George and Anne) and their dog Tim going through one wonderful adventure after another chasing mysteries and unraveling criminal plots - but the highly entertaining way in which Enid Blyton narrates these tales of adventure is something very unique. Each scene is narrated by the author in such a way to spark the imagination of the young reader and make them enjoy every moment of reading. In this first book of the series siblings Julian, Dick and Anne visits their uncle's for the summer holidays and are introduced to their cousin 'George' who is actually a hot tempered little girl with the name 'Georgina' and who dresses like a boy and is tomboyish. After a bit of initial quarrel the four of them become thick friends and George introduces them to her her faithful dog Timothy. George invite them to investigate a nearby island that belongs to George's mother and the band of four along with Timothy plunges directly into a whirlwind of adventure with lots of danger, excitement, an ancient ship wreck with a fortune of gold,creepy secret tunnels and cunning villains. In my opinion factors like: · the vivid clarity that the author uses to describe the scenes of the adventure; · the mouth watering details of the food items that the Famous Five take during their mealtime - loads and loads of jam tarts, hard boiled eggs, slabs of cakes, fresh tomatoes, cool lemonade and ginger ale; · the colorful and often envy inducing descriptions of the picnics they take; · a bunch of highly likeable characters (after reading the famous five books who won't be longing for a cool dog like Timmy); · a collection of exotic crooks like smugglers, treasure hunters and foreign agents; these were enough to make young readers go drooling over Enid Blyton books.

  16. 5 out of 5

    J

    I read the whole series (all 21 books) when I was about 13; those were the first books I read in English. I loved them, both the stories, the mystery and the writing. I liked the relationships (that was the time when I dearly wished I had siblings), the companionship and the good old picnicks in the woods/fields :) Looking back, I don't quite agree with the view of girls/women presented. Still, at that time, while feeling most kinship with Anne and being drawn to Georgina, it didn't matter to me. I read the whole series (all 21 books) when I was about 13; those were the first books I read in English. I loved them, both the stories, the mystery and the writing. I liked the relationships (that was the time when I dearly wished I had siblings), the companionship and the good old picnicks in the woods/fields :) Looking back, I don't quite agree with the view of girls/women presented. Still, at that time, while feeling most kinship with Anne and being drawn to Georgina, it didn't matter to me. The books are a lovely memory of my first brush with English "literature" :) and therefore very dear to me.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Melinda

    This was lovely!🥰 Classic oldschool story about summer adventures of brave children and their wonderful dog. ♥️ I’m sure I will read more Famous Five stories! 🛶🏰💰☀️🐶

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rosanna Threakall

    I loved this and I knew I would as it's a childhood re-read. I had forgotten a lot of the details and this book still had me at the edge of my seat at the age of 21. I just love it. I recommend you read it, even if you think you've outgrown it! A classic, fun, tense, warming, summery read. I feel at home reading it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Aso

    (note: please forgive any grammar mistakes in this review, english is not my first language, i wrote this as a part of my writing practice to learn english) I awfully jealous toward people who got an opportunity to read this series when they were still a little kid. I found and download this little treasure weeks ago for free from a website that i forgot its name, but my long to-read list prevent me to read this book. Reading this book make me want to run to the nearest super market and buy a time (note: please forgive any grammar mistakes in this review, english is not my first language, i wrote this as a part of my writing practice to learn english) I awfully jealous toward people who got an opportunity to read this series when they were still a little kid. I found and download this little treasure weeks ago for free from a website that i forgot its name, but my long to-read list prevent me to read this book. Reading this book make me want to run to the nearest super market and buy a time machine. I thought I have to go back to the past, when i only ten years old chubby kids with a simple mind to fully enjoy this book. But, a 25 years old chubby guy with a jumbled mind will do too. Through this book i resurrect my adventure spirit that slowly dying as i grow up. I want to be a part of Julian and the gang too. I found several interesting words that we'd never found in the children's book these days: awfully, jolly, golly, gay, and queer. Oh golly, imagine how queer the moms face if they found those two latter words. And oh it must be jolly to have my own Timothy and be gay with George, Julian, Dick, and Anne.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Shirley Revill

    Loved the famous five books when I was a child my children and Grandchildren loved them too. Still have my Enid blyton club badge somewhere. How's that for nostalgia. Recommended.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    "That doesn't look like a new book," my husband said to me last night when he saw me reading Five on a Treasure Island. "It was first published in 1942," I told him. "Maybe it was a book we read when we were kids?" he asked. "No, I don't think so. Enid Blyton was never big here in America." Why, I wonder. I can't think of a single reason. Julian, Dick, Anne, and George (as well as the dog, Timmy) are worthy characters. George (really, Georgina) is a girl who doesn't want to be a girl (what girl rea "That doesn't look like a new book," my husband said to me last night when he saw me reading Five on a Treasure Island. "It was first published in 1942," I told him. "Maybe it was a book we read when we were kids?" he asked. "No, I don't think so. Enid Blyton was never big here in America." Why, I wonder. I can't think of a single reason. Julian, Dick, Anne, and George (as well as the dog, Timmy) are worthy characters. George (really, Georgina) is a girl who doesn't want to be a girl (what girl really wanted to be a girl back then, anyway); George is wildly ahead of her time. The story is full of adventure and mystery, with the kids rowing out to an island sans grownups and exploring an old wreck. What parent now would allow children to do such a thing? But how much fun it would be for kids today to read about it. I would have read every book, had these stories been available in my school library, and my husband would have, too. Let's hope kids everywhere now have access to this great series.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Manpreet Kaur

    It felt so good to read this book again... there’s so much I remembered and so much I had forgotten from my childhood. Yes, it’s a kiddish book... written for children but just to read about the little adventure of the famous five... brought back so many memories and made me enjoy so much! The food and Tim... all so cool! So glad I read this again!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sabrina

    I loved these books as a child and now I get to read them to my Godchild – what a feeling! It was somewhat amusing at how simple the story was, but these books made me start to read, to love adventure and to cherish friendship. For that alone, they deserve 5 stars 😊

  24. 5 out of 5

    Fadwa (Word Wonders)

    This was cute but boiiiiiiiiii it did not age well.

  25. 5 out of 5

    J.Aleksandr Wootton

    series review Liking Enid Blyton has been unfashionable since long before I was born, due to a combination of deserved criticisms (touches of racism, xenophobia, and sexism in her stories) and perhaps less-deserved criticism (general moral simplicity; touches of snobbery). They're phenomenally successful commercially - often in lightly revised forms nowadays - but have also very often been banned or censored. In fact they were not available in the U.S. when I was a child; but my mother remembered series review Liking Enid Blyton has been unfashionable since long before I was born, due to a combination of deserved criticisms (touches of racism, xenophobia, and sexism in her stories) and perhaps less-deserved criticism (general moral simplicity; touches of snobbery). They're phenomenally successful commercially - often in lightly revised forms nowadays - but have also very often been banned or censored. In fact they were not available in the U.S. when I was a child; but my mother remembered The Famous Five fondly from her own childhood, and so we collected them, a few at a time, through friends visiting the U.K. The stories generally feature four children and their dog going on trips and having thrilling adventures during their school holidays. The world the Five inhabit is a kinder, calmer, less populous, and less dangerous version of the real world, where even the criminals are hesitant to harm children: the sort of place in which a group of preternaturally responsible children (and their dog!) can be allowed to take long trips on their own, with little or no adult supervision. It is a wish-world: a perfect setting for children's adventure stories. As a child, the Five's formative influence led me to conclude that choosing to behave responsibly would be rewarded with increasing freedom and privileges (as in fact it is, both while growing up and as a grown-up). This is moral simplicity of a sort, but a positive kind digestible by youngsters. As to the genuinely deplorable inclusions - which I little remember but which might well trouble me more if I reread these books now - I feel that Blyton's critics and book-banners may have overlooked the primary moral dilemma of reading. It takes place, not between the protagonists and the other characters or situations within the story, but rather between the reader and the book itself. The moral act of reading consists primarily in discerning, assessing, and either accepting as good or rejecting as bad the attitudes and ideas contained within the book, whether voiced by the hero, the antagonist, a side character, or the narrator. Very young readers need help doing this: they need the exercise modeled for them, so they can go on to beneficially read books on their own. And the moral act of populating childrens' libraries and reading lists consists of selecting titles that lend themselves to developing readerly discernment: first by telling exciting and engaging stories; second by presenting diverse material, some worthy, some unworthy, of empathy; third, by not explicitly signalling the reader which is which, for that would be true moral simplicity, more apt to stunt a child's moral development than stimulate it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    It was a good story :) I enjoyed it very much :D

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    There was a time when Enid Blyton books were the only books I’d read. I’m glad I grew out of this, although the woman’s written over 600 books, so I’d have been right for a few more years, even if I hadn’t grown out of my obsession! I know I was reading the Famous Five books when I was in grade 1, and I know that my mum had quite a collection, however the only 2 I can remember now are Five on a Hike Together and Five Go Down to the Sea - perhaps these were favourites that I re-read over and over There was a time when Enid Blyton books were the only books I’d read. I’m glad I grew out of this, although the woman’s written over 600 books, so I’d have been right for a few more years, even if I hadn’t grown out of my obsession! I know I was reading the Famous Five books when I was in grade 1, and I know that my mum had quite a collection, however the only 2 I can remember now are Five on a Hike Together and Five Go Down to the Sea - perhaps these were favourites that I re-read over and over again?? Anyway, I don’t really remember reading this, the first of the Famous Five series, when Julian, Dick and Anne meet George and Timmy, although I suspect I have read it before. I read it now because it was being featured on the ABCs The Book Club (not that I normally worry about reading their selections before I watch it) and I realised one of my local libraries had a copy. So I picked it up. It took all of about 4 hours to read and was a fun trip back to my childhood! Highly unlikely, but I can certainly see why they appeal to kids. I don’t think I will now go on a Famous Five re-reading binge, but I might pick some of the ones that sound the most interesting and (re)read them at some point, and see if they jog any memories for me!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sophie Crane

    I really like this book. It makes me want to go on holiday and explore old ruins. It's a really good adventure story and I like the characters. My favourite is George because she is bold and brave and I like her dog Timmy, he's funny. I think girls would like this story most but boys might like it too.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Colleen Stone

    I dont know how to apply a star rating to a series of books that encouraged a generation of readers to read ALL the books in a series and then branch out into increasingly complex Series and stand alone books. My reading career began with the Noddy series. Scratch almost any author writing in English, and Enid Blyton (and very probably The Famous Five will be there). On that alone it earns a five. But read the stories and you find template based plots, stereotypical characters, racism, sexism and I dont know how to apply a star rating to a series of books that encouraged a generation of readers to read ALL the books in a series and then branch out into increasingly complex Series and stand alone books. My reading career began with the Noddy series. Scratch almost any author writing in English, and Enid Blyton (and very probably The Famous Five will be there). On that alone it earns a five. But read the stories and you find template based plots, stereotypical characters, racism, sexism and a range of other isms. It's true, they're all there. I read only one or two as a child; my sister was the Famous Five freak in the family ... But recently I found some volumes at a car boot sale and read them. What a magical world these children lived in! I slowly acquired and read the rest of the books. You know that simpler time us oldies are always banging on about? Well here's its headquarters. Every day was a holiday. Glorious home cooked delicacies featured at the endless picnics we attended. The world was safe and children didn't need heavy supervision. We made our own fun without annoying our parents or costing them too much. We were even clever enough to outfox adults be they villains or be they people trying to rein in our freedom. Honestly, thats exactly how it was. Such freedom. Aren't you sorry you missed it? Well maybe that's how it was in our daydreams. ... and maybe that's why Harry Potter is such a big seller these days because its what every child dreams of. So I forgive Blyton all her "isms" and remember that she was a product of her times writing for other products of her time ... and the formula worked. I read Blyton as I do any other author, with my critical mind on high alert for stereotypes and always asking myself who is not represented and why that is so.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Irma *Irma The Book Whisperer*

    ... reading with my 9 year old daughter... I've read all these books way back when I was a child and I've read them numerous times. This book is the second book by this author that my daughter and I have read together. She loved it dearly.

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