When I was a little girl one of my favorite authors was Enid Blyton. Blyton was a children’s book writer and she wrote wonderful stories that filled me with a longing of adventure, fantasy, whimsy and just plain fun. She wrote several series books and also some individual ones. When I moved to the U.S I was sad to see that her books weren’t available here at all. I guess she had never made the transatlantic journey and most American kids , unlike European and Asian kids , have no idea who she is. Therefore I could never buy her books on Amazon or Barnes and Noble, but today I found a small web retailer that sells most of her books. I have a few of her books from childhood that I brought with me to the U.S but I am now excited to add more.
Blyton wrote for different genres, for the older kids there are her mystery books which have different groups of friends investigating mysteries. Since she wrote in the 1920s and 30s and 40s her books have old fashioned and vintage details. My favorites are the following series:
Famous Five: This is a series of 4 cousins and one of their dog who solve a variety of exciting childhood mysteries, like finding lost treasure and stopping crimminals. The also have internal squabbles because they often don’t get along. This is one of her most popular series and there was a T.V show on this as well.
Secret Seven: This is a series that has seven neighborhood kids who have a club house which meets every week. Other than solving neighborhood mysteries they have secret codes for the club house and bullies and pesky younger siblings who want to join. These mysteries were less complicated but I loved reading about their private clubhouse and how they would have secret meetings with yummy food and play pranks on each other.
The Five Find Outters: This series is about 2 pairs of siblings and their friend who solve mysteries in the countryside. They also have a local constable who is goofball hates the findoutters for solving crimes before him. These have a more comic tone than the other two.
The Barney Mysteries: These were usually more adventurous and the kids were older(teens) and they would go on vacation and find mysteries to solve.
Mallory Towers: These follow the story of Darrell and Sally and their years in boarding school, from first form till they graduate. The stories are about friendships, adventures, playing pranks on teachers etc. These girls are fun and spunky and intelligent and the heroines aren’t typical girly girls but they all have lessons to learn.I actually own the set. I love this series and the St. Clair series even more now after having experienced boarding school.
St. Claires: This series is similar to Mallory towers and follows two twins and their years at boarding school. The twins and some these characters are more naughty and this is a more fun series. In these, they often plan elaborate midnight feasts which are against the rules and worry about swimming and tennis competitions.
The Faraway Tree: This is Blytons series that are more fanciful and magical. This is one of my favorite books from my childhood. It is the story of 3 poor(ish) kids who move to a cottage by the edge of a forest and find out it is a magical forest with a magic tree in the middle. They have all sorts of adventures with the magic folk like pixies and brownies and goblins when they climb to the top of the tree and find that there is a different magical world, like the land of giants, or the land of upside down and it changes every week.
She also wrote a lot of books in the same vein as the Faraway tree with magical creatures and friendly toys like her O’Clock Series, Family Series, Mr. Twiddle, Mr. Meddle, The Naughtiest Girl, Circus Stories, Noddy and many more.