Revisiting Blyton

A Summer holidays’ afternoon and there I was sitting silently on the bed with a Famous Five in hand. My mom slept in peace for a few hours since her naughty girl sat quietly in a corner, for a change. If not for the book, she would try to cook and make a mess in the kitchen or try to cut her hair or make her doll take bath some 5 times in a day and apply powder to the doll. She would put loud songs and wake the whole neighborhood or just bug her mom to play with her. I suddenly went into a flashback mode, when I got hold of some of those old books, courtesy: Mith (thanks so much girlie :)) Back then, I used to borrow those books from a public library and later on, exchange for some new ones. But at a later point, I felt that I should have collected these books since they can be read again and again. I started collecting the hard copies of these books, but before I could succeed, I had to leave home 😦

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I am not sure how many people have read this “Famous Five” series but it was/is and will be my most favourite book series. No other book (not even Harry Potter) can replace this. Famous five is about 4 kids, Julian, Dick, Anne and George and of course, Timothy the dog. George is the cousin of Julian, Dick and Anne. Julian is a responsible elder brother and Anne is a kiddo. But my most favourite character was always George. She changes her name from Georgina to George since she always wanted to be a boy. She is a perfect tomboy and I always wanted to be like George. She was so bold and was never afraid to tell the truth, even if it meant scoldings from her short-tempered scientist dad. Each story was filled with adventure to the core. Timmy is such a helpful doggy. One place I wanted to own was an island like the one George’s father gifts her. When I was a kid, my dream was to become a detective and solve mysteries like this gang. I wanted to go picnicking in a forest like them, next to a stream sleeping in tents. But I did not want to take care of cooking food like Anne did. Instead, I always wanted to become an accomplice to George and Timmy πŸ™‚

I liked this series much more than Hardy Boys or Nancy Drew (even though I have read them).

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Malory Towers was another most favourite series of mine. I really loved this series because this was only about girls. This was the story of a school girl Darrell, who is sent to a boarding school. It is completely a girls’ school story and about her friends in school. I have not been able to find copies of these books so far. 😦 I also liked the Secret Seven series. It was again a detective series. Enid Blyton will always remain as the best children’s author. Nobody can replace her.

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But I feel sad for today’s kids. They have no idea what they are missing as a kid. They are glued to the TV all the time, watching Pokemon or Scooby-Doo or Spongebob. They have no idea about the role such books can play in a kid’s life. It stimulates our imagination. No game or cartoon can replace books. I can re-read Blyton’s books again and again, even today. That is the impact those books made on me. Even though I remember the story, I do not mind reading them again. One of my most favourite Famous Five book was the one in which George’s dad loses some important document, right under his nose and the team investigates it. I still remember the story even after sooo many years. But I don’t remember Angels and Demons’ story properly. Do you see the difference? Wish I could go back to those days 😦 Now I hardly find time to read books and I miss books the most in my life, currently. Those of you who are unaware of these books and have never read them, you are seriously missing something in life!!

I always find the writings of British authors better than those of any American author. I like the British English more than the American. Probably, this was the reason why I did not even feel like re-reading Twilight series again. It was not a literary masterpiece, the way Blyton’s or Rowling’s was.You would not believe this, I found not a single book written by Blyton in any American bookstore. There are all kinds of silly, stupid books everywhere, but not even a single book written by her anywhere. Kids really are missing something good. These days there are so many books on Vampires, werewolves, witches and other magical creatures, that I feel like tearing them down.

Other than these, my most treasured book was Pinocchio. I had re-read it atleast 100 times and it used be one of my favourites. Even before Blyton’s books entered into my life, I would read stories from magazines like Champak, Gokulam,Β Chandamama and Tinkle. I had once sent a story to Champak and they had even published it. My happiness knew no bounds then.

Do you have any memories of a childhood favourite book, which you cherish even today?

Updated 18/11/2009: My mom bought all those Famous five and Malory tower parts that I did not have. So now I have the entire collection. Still need to get the rest of the Enid Blyton collection.

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71 thoughts on “Revisiting Blyton

  1. You won’t believe this!!!

    I have a half ready post on Enid Blyton, good old days & Famous Five πŸ™‚ but more on that in my post!!!

    I haven’t read the Malory Tower Series but now will keep an eye for it…no harm in going back to good old days!!!

    Writing back then was more pure & these books would always transport us to a fantasy land!!!

    Sigh! Good old days & u r so right when u say these days kids don’t know what they are missing!!!

    Lovely nostalgic post!

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    • Oh cool.. would love to see your post on Blyton πŸ™‚ Thanks smita..children truly are missing all the fun that we had πŸ™‚ Yep Malory Towers is also really good.. I am sure you will like it, but I discovered that it is out of print 😦

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  2. WOW πŸ™‚ u R well read πŸ˜€ ditto with all your favs except that malroy one..never heard of that…there used to be one alfred hitchcock series..with jupiter jones and two more guys..i loved those mystery stories..and in Enid blyton my personal fav was those involving the animals..Brer rabbit, Brer bear etc πŸ™‚ so cute they used to be πŸ™‚

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    • Oh I think I had read jupiter jones or atleast tried to read (name seems familiar) but not able to remember. Even I loved mystery stories a lot πŸ™‚ Oh yeah I like everything written by her πŸ™‚

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  3. I read Famous five first time with my daughter and became a fan!I still read Champak and Chandamama! I totally agree with you on English writers are better!!

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  4. Ooooohhhh!! Am a big fan of Enid Blyton, I love Noddy πŸ˜›
    I still read Famous five… I don’t know which time is this! May be 75th time or so…but still…
    Even I love Carolyn Keene’s Nancy Drew series and Hardy Boys series!!

    hOW SWEET OF YOU TO WRITE SUCH ARTICLES!

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    • Hey awesome girlie.. you too fan eh? πŸ™‚ I loveeee Noddy too..I used to Make way for Noddy too πŸ˜€ I am going to start reading Famous Five again now πŸ™‚ Tv spoiled everyone (even me. addicted to it all the time 😦 )

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  5. EEEEEE!!!!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ I ❀ EB too!! But you already know that πŸ™‚

    And yup, Famous Five, Malory Towers, St.Clare's, Faraway Tree…*sigh* you are right…no other book can weave the same magic 😦

    Have you read the Fine Find-outers and Dog series? I love those too! πŸ™‚

    And guess what??? I had sent in a harry potter story for a contest in Gokulam once, and it won first prize!! πŸ˜€

    Feels good to find out someone on the other side of the world shares the same interests as you πŸ™‚ *hug*

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    • Yes girlie.. I know you are an EB fan πŸ™‚ They were such awesome books right? Fine Find-outers, must have read (since I remember covering all her books and then going back to re-read) but I dont remember properly.. I remember FF and Malory T since I have the hard copies at home and kept re-reading them. Should start reading them too now.. Wow! Gokulam contest winner? Awesome girl πŸ™‚ Same here.. nice to see someone who adores EB just like I do *hugs* πŸ™‚

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  6. A girl after my own heart !! πŸ™‚ I used to devour Enid Blyton too.
    Noddy, Bedtime Tales, Secret Seven. Famous Five, Adventure Series, Elizabeth, St. Clare’s, Malory Towers, Five Find Outers (my favourite!!) .. Ah I could go on!
    I still read them & have a huge collection of her books. Whenever I have to gift a lil kid, my choice is always Noddy or any other EB classic !! She’s priceless.. unputdownable..irreplaceable !!!! πŸ™‚

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    • Yep girlie.. Every book written by her is good. I just cannot say this one is not that good for even a single book. She is simply brilliant in weaving interesting tales πŸ™‚ I am trying to collect all her books now :D.. back then dint understand the need 😦

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  7. Loved Blyton girl!!! Simply loved them!! πŸ™‚
    Malory Towers, St. Clare’s , Noddy, and all those (I’ve forgotten them :O)…. But Fatty and the gang (Five Find Outers, I think)was my favourite! I think I’ll take out the few I have and re-read them again! Thanks for such a post!!:)

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    • Yay! you too EB fan? wow. Yeah even I have forgotten most of them 😦 Just remember few of them which I have re-read 100 times πŸ˜€ I dont remember reading Fatty and the gang 😦 Let me start reading that book, I might realize that I have already read it. Back to Blyton for now πŸ˜€

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  8. I started reading when I was in 11th standard…so it was all about reading sidney sheldon kinda books…nothing has amused me more than Harry potter or Ayn rand and few indian fictions these days…:)

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    • Oh try to see if you can read Famous Five girl. It is my most favourite book πŸ™‚ I havent read Sidney sheldon’s books 😦 I know there exist very few humans who havent read his books 😦 but I dont know why I never read them. Should try a hand at them. HP is my favourite too (second fav, next to Famous Five). Ayn Rand, I have tried a lot to read but after some pages, I take a break and never feel like returning to that book. It dint interest me much 😦 I shud try to get past the first few pages

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      • oh if u r planning to read sidney sheldon, then don’t touch ayn rand…u will hate sidney sheldon after reading rand books…there r extreme reviews about her, either ppl love her or dislike her completely. so don’t blame u if u couldnt go beyond few pages πŸ™‚

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  9. I’ve loved Enid Blyton since god knows when an still re read them. I love the famous five more than secret seven, st. clares more than malory towers and the five find outers. But I’ve devoured (is the word, like somebody already mentioned) all of them. I’m collecting and I have all of Malory and st clares series now, a few of the famous fives and a couple of nancy drews…

    The papers go missing and is stolen by the Sir who comes to give the five their vacation tutions? that mystry? is it and the secret passage!!

    My kind!!
    Ashes

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    • Yep me too.. I love Famous five more than secret seven, though I have read both of them. I, for some reason, found interest in Malory, rather than St.Clares. I really dont remember reading Five find outers (I am pretty sure I would have read). Should start reading it. Hey do you have soft copy of Malory towers? If so, can you send them to me 😦

      Yep the same mystery involving secret passage πŸ™‚ You remember it too? πŸ™‚ wow.. nice to meet someone as crazy about EB as I am *hugs*

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  10. hey even i remember Champak and Chadamama, I read Chandamama in marathi, it was called Chandoba…

    hey u remmeber Cheeku the rabit in Champak??? I also had collection of indrajal comics, Mandrake and Phantom…

    wow glory days!!

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    • Nice sid.. I used to read Chandamama in English (because of my poor knowledge of regional languages). I have a whole collection of those old editions. Havent thrown any of them πŸ˜€ Yep Cheeku used to be one of my favourites in Champak and remember Meeku the mouse? πŸ™‚ Yeah Indrajal comics was another favourite of mine and Tinkle was my most favourite comic back then πŸ™‚ Tinkle digest was something I would die to collect πŸ˜€ I have a whole of them too!!

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  11. Cn I copy-paste this post pls πŸ˜› left me wondering if I wrote this post unknowingly πŸ˜‰
    Ditto abt Famous Five πŸ™‚ I loved Secret Seven too πŸ™‚ Agatha Christie ws another fav of mine!

    Champak, Chandamama, Gokulam – same, same same πŸ™‚

    I used to like the Fabulous Four story which would be published in Women’s Era children section – wud wait for the next edition to read it πŸ™‚ That ws abt friends too πŸ™‚

    Nice post Ash πŸ™‚
    N u r rt, I too feel kids today cn easily move away from books as they have lot of other sources of entertainment. I see most of them playing games all the time. We should really help them inculcate the habit of reading πŸ™‚

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    • πŸ™‚ Hey nice girl πŸ™‚ another EB fan? yay. Yeah even I like Agatha Cristie’s books πŸ™‚ I dont remember reading the Fabulous Four story though. Yeah kids these days have TV, loaded with cartoons and other stuff. It’s difficult for them to take up reading as a habit. We had no choice back then πŸ™‚

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  12. I was first introduced to Enid Blyton in the second standard. But before I could read much of ‘The Famous Five’ and ‘The Secret Seven’, I transitioned to the ‘Nancy Drew’ series. A bit of ‘Hardy Boys’ too.

    I’ve been collecting ‘Champaks’ since I was merely 3-4 years old. And I still don’t let anyone take a single one from the collection. But as you said, times have changed. Recently they have started to give out CD ROMs with each ‘Champak’…. Huh….

    Also talking about ‘Chandamama’, the ‘Vikram & Baital’ story in each issue was always special. And all the other stories had some valuable message.

    ‘Tinkle’ was hilarious. I particularly liked ‘Shikari Shambu’, ‘Suppandi’ and Readers’ choice stories. Simply wonderful…. πŸ™‚

    One particular character which has influenced me a lot was ‘Tintin’. Wonder if you have read those too.

    I too feel pity for today’s kids who spend their time in front of the TV or the PC. They’ll never get to learn what these books can give them.

    You have given me an idea for a really long post… πŸ˜› Thanks dear…

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    • Oh Champak is handing out CDs now? :O You started in second standard? wow.. I guess I was stuck to Cindrella and Snow white at that age πŸ™‚ Yeah even I loved the Vikram and Betal story a lot in Chandamama.
      Yep Suppandi used to be my most favourite character πŸ™‚ Tinkle was fun. I tried collecting all the Tinkle Digests.
      Yep Tintin is something I still read. I have the entire collection πŸ˜€ and I just love it.
      Kids today are missing all this 😦 because of TV and computer. Long post? go ahead. post it !!!

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  13. This is incredible…I have been toying with writing a post on Enid Blyton and some of my fav books! πŸ˜› Funny coincidence.

    I liked Famous Five but I preferred the Five Find Outers…I have the entire series. I also loved (absolutely loved!!!) Malory Towers and St. Clare’s. Once again, have all the books but unfortunately, they are in Bombay. Apart from these, the Faraway Tree series is great and the Wishing Chair adventures. She took us to these fantastic worlds through her works and I’m so grateful that we grew up in an era that was still reading Blyton. I thought of buying her books here but haven’t actually found any in the book stores! Most kids today don’t even know who she is! Which is really sad given the amazing work she has done. I could write a whole essay! πŸ˜›

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    • Yeah same here. I have the entire famous five collection but it is in India 😦 I dont quite remember reading Wishing chair adventures. Yeah kids these days dont even know her 😦 which is pretty sad. Make a post out of it girl πŸ™‚

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  14. Well those days you would start with EB’s Noddy then move on to Famous Five then to Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew and the Sydney Sheldon etc … a natural progression as you grow up…. no shortcuts…
    on the other side we had Chandamma series, Champak, Amar Chitra Katha…. It really a pity today’s kids don’t even know about these…

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  15. Among you kids, I am proud to say that I began book reading with Chandamama in Kannada first and then joined English Medium school from VI and the first book I took from the library was ‘Famous Five’. My English was not very good and I must have read 10 times to understand the story, in those days!

    Then I remember Treasure Isand and Enid Blyton books.

    Thank you, Ashwini, for reminding me of MY childhood days! This has become a nostalgic post for all.

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  16. I love Blyton.And I have to agree that I prefer British writers more than American ones-Agatha Christie was one of my favourites in addition to ff and malory towers and St.Clares.Children these days watch cartoons-that are not as good ad they used to be in my childhood.Good cartoons are just dead.And morever watching them translated, gives me the eeps.

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  17. I am introduced to the world of novels very late i.e. just now… would you believe last July only I have finished my first novel.. Harry potter..

    all my childhood I have been playing only… but read some Tamil magazines always…

    these days I am seeing the famous five series in book satnds… but each book is 195 rs… so didn’t picked up…

    will read it when I join a library…

    you are really a great reader…. thank god.. you are introduced to world of books so early πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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    • Yeah do that Kanagu. Read Famous Five and I am sure you will love it. It’s my most favourite book πŸ™‚ My mom was the reason behind this πŸ™‚ She would make me read all these things, when I was a kid. Initially, I would get bored but later on, started liking

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  18. I hadnt got the change to read all these books when I was in school.. this bug only caught hold of me when I came to Mumbai. I was in the library committee and had got my hands on Jian, Eric Van Lustbader. It was the first novel I had read entirely. Then started the Harry Potter craze.. after that, I have read so many books, comics, novels.. Hardy Boys and Famous Five were my favorties when I was actually grown up ;P

    We used to get Childrens Digest to purchase directly from our School. I used to borrow it from my friends coz we weren’t really financially well those days. I used to read it in one day and then had to wait for another month for the next.

    Today, I read a lot of magazines and somewhere my affection to these lovely stories is lost. And babe, as always, you remind me of some of the happiest moment that I could have cherished, but always missed.

    Love ya blog ever more πŸ™‚

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    • Hey thanks so much Hemal πŸ™‚ Nice to see that even you were an EB fan πŸ™‚ Even I would borrow from a library in the next road and read, when I was a kid. I used to buy the magazines though. I used to get them from school also sometimes. But they were in such huge demand that it was difficult to get hold of one. I am just waiting to get back to these books. πŸ™‚ Wish I could get some free time!!

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  19. heyy… creeeeeeeeeeccchh..
    if i meet u one day .. i will surely pinch u hard!! i promise..
    because even i like “famous five” series.. and it was my first book..
    And Nancy drew mystery stories are my second collection .. i loved all of them .. i love them more than harry potter
    im really happy to know that a girl like me exists!!!

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    • Oh wow.. we have so much in common then πŸ™‚ Yeah these books were so much fun to read right? Same here girlie.. I am really happy to see that there is another girl who adores such books, the way I do πŸ˜€ *hugs*

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  20. oh yes…I loved reading Enid Blyton when I was growing up.
    My favorite were “The five find outers” with fatty and the other kids. I also loved the adventure series with Kiki the talking parrot – “Pop goes the weasel.

    I later migrated to Nancy Drew and Hardy boys and Agatha Christie, but my favorite summers were those when i would sit with an Enid Blyton in our garden and read it while munching junk food.

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    • Oh nice. even you were an EB fan. that’s great πŸ™‚ I think that was the usual trend of reading books, progressing from EB to Nancy Drew & HB and then Agatha Cristie. Even I love all of them πŸ™‚

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  21. My dad teased me when I was young, calling me Enid Blyton. I started off with her The Little Red Book and The Little Yellow Book and jumped quickly to other books. The famous five were practically like my extended family. The first was the best.

    Then the Fatty series, Secret Seven, Mallory Towers and St Clares series. I even started a discussion on Shelfari about the school series. The question was – which one was better, Mallory Towers of St Clares. I was fonder of Mallory Towers because I loved Darrell.

    Even the illustrations in these books were so good.

    I would read and re-read these books all the time. But alas, with dawning adolescence, I failed to take care of my books, loaned them generously and failed to collect. Sigh. I dont even have a single one with me.

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    • Thanks Ava πŸ™‚ Sorry, I had somehow missed reading this comment of yours. Me too.. Famous five was really like an extended family of mine πŸ™‚ Same here. Even I was fonder of Malory towers πŸ™‚ I have now started collecting all these books. I really want to take some time off and read them again !!!

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  22. Yayyy!! Found some Famous Five readers at last. With the explosion of the Harry Potter series in the last few years, I was really wondering – where have all those Famous Five readers gone? I guess I have found my answer!! πŸ˜‰

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  23. Enid Blyton reminds me of a simpler time….sighhh.
    She made us all detectives…made us long for boarding school life…and made us hope that the plastic dolls in the cupboard would come to life at midnight.
    Kids these days are missing out on so much…no video game or cartoon show offers the same thrill as an Enid Blyton inspired personal fantasy.

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    • Oh yeah she turned all of us into detectives with her stories.. when I was young, I always wanted to become a detective πŸ™‚ I also wanted to go to a boarding school.. Kids these days have no idea what they are missing.

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  24. Of course I gravitated to the the book posts on your blog! Enid Blyton – I’ve already said a lot about her books in my post, but I’m not done gushing. I’m also looking to collect the Famous Five and the Five Find-Outers series. Reminds me of summer holidays and makes me so nostalgic.

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    • Thanks for visiting Pujitha πŸ™‚ I finally collected all the famous five books and now am glued to them these days.. want to finish all the books once again πŸ™‚ I bought a couple of five find outers too.. they make me soo nostalgic.. reminds me of school days badly πŸ™‚

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  25. I am glad to see many Enid Blyton fans on this forum. as one forumite put it, not even Harry Potter can top The Famous Five. In fact, in my Foreword to my book written and published on enid Blyton, titled, the Famous Five: A Personal Anecdotage (www.thefamousfiveapersonalanecdotage.blogspot.com), I categorically stated that J.K. Rowling and the Harry Potter series had failed to obliterate Enid blyton and the Famous Five!!!
    Stephen Isabirye

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    • Thanks Stephen and welcome to my blog! πŸ™‚ Yeah I am sure no other book can beat Famous Five. It is my most favourite book πŸ™‚ Oh wow! you have written a book on it. I will definitely check it out.. Thanks for the blog link too!

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  26. Pingback: Happy 5th birthday « Stung by the splendor of a crazy thought
  27. Famous Five books were really awesome. I don’t remember any stories but I do remember that I enjoyed them very much. I have not read other books by Enid Blyton. During that age, I didn’t have the access to the lending library and when I did, I was already overgrown for this author!

    Destination Infinity

    PS: I agree that the kids are missing a lot these days. Cartoon shows and Playstations are going to take them nowhere and by the time they realize this, they’ll be too old!

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  28. Pingback: Top Ten Authors I’m Thankful For | Stung by the splendor of a crazy thought
  29. Pingback: Top Ten Authors I’m Thankful For » Ash's Cerebrations

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