14 September, 2012

The Book... by Jenny Hickson

The next guest post in my series on the books that have changed our lives. This one is from Jenny Hickson.


The Books... I'll pass on to my children.

The scariest 'Five' book. Image courtesy of amazon.
For many years of my childhood I read little that hadn't been written by Enid Blyton. In particular I read, read again and re-read Enid Blyton's 'Famous Five' series. As much as I loved the adventures that Julian, Dick, George, Anne and Timmy The Dog had, and their uncanny ability to escape from every inept smuggler and kidnapper haunting the south of England, I think it was the freedom of their simple holidays that captured me most. 

They would spend every school holiday eating picnics on the beach, rowing around the bay, cycling to camp in a different place each night, and sleeping in horse-drawn gypsy caravans. I loved that whatever cave they became stuck in, Anne would always arrange their tins of food neatly in a corner, and gather heather for them to sleep on. Their existence would possibly be deemed a little too idyllic if it wasn't for the bad guys they would stumble upon (always of course, at the crucial point of a plan) creating a peak of excitement as one of them would always manage to escape to bring help. 

Having got so much enjoyment out of these books myself as a child, I look forward to the day that I can pass them on, and hope that my children will get as much from them as I did.

Thanks, Jenny. Famous Five were definitely my most-read childhood books too. What was it about Enid Blyton - who wasn't the best writer, was she? - that so captivated children? Do you have any favourite Blytons?

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Jenny Hickson lives in Chepstow with her husband, two chickens and two bantams. She's an electronic engineer by day and by night crochets, knits, paints, reads, sings... She also has the dubious pleasure of having all my draft stories and novels foisted on her as my most loyal reader!

10 comments:

  1. I don't think I've read any of hers, at least I don't remember the name. Sounds like they'd be a good kids read.

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    1. She is like the most popular British kids author ever in the UK. Her writing is pretty bad but she just churned out tonnes of wholesome 1950s adventures with smugglers and picnics galore. The Famouse Five were only one of her things though, she did loads of series containing magic creatures or boarding schools or strange lands. She must have written hundreds of stories. Somehow, despite being not much of a writer, we all love her here!

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  2. You should do the Hitchhikers guide! Now THAT is a book that shaped who I am. Especially when you read 'the book' in Stephen Fry's voice...

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    1. I think you have a volunteer for another post there Chloe ;)

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    2. Well done Piers, I'll be e-mailing you details of when you're post needs to be with me for inclusion on this blog!

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  3. I never got on with the Famous Five. Wasn't my cup of tea at all. Don't know why...

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  4. 1. Thanks, Jenny - I seem to recall preferring The Secret Seven.
    2. Chloe, I love the fact that you have a loyal and trusted 'first' reader.
    3. Does anyone know where summer went? I put it down yesterday and can't seem to find it now.

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    1. I love it too. I don't make Jenny read absolutely everything - just most! I like to think I'm helping her develop as a literary critic (whether she wants to or not) at the same time as her helping me discover what works and what doesn't. Jenny and her husband Joe are the founding (and only) members of my fan club even though we're all aware I don't deserve it!

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    2. So you're the one who misplaced Summer? Let us know when you find it...

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