30 day book challenge – day 20 – Favourite childhood book.

My childhood reading was all about series of books.  I read my way through Nancy Drew, The Babysitter’s Club, The Saddle Club, Sweet Valley High and Sweet Valley University.  But my favourite amongst them all:-

The Famous Five

This is where it all started for me.  These are the first books I remember reading myself, and they are also the first books that I remember having read to me.  The first books I ever bought for myself were the first three Famous Five books from my Granny’s coffee morning at Chapel.

The Famous Five is the adventures of Dick, Julian, Ann, George (aka Georgina) and Timmy the dog.  They would spend every summer together in the home of George’s parents, Fanny and Quentin, and they would get into all sorts of scrapes and adventures.  They would go sailing, and camping.  They helped catch smugglers and solved the mystery of the ghost train.  They looked for treasure and ate picnics and went on long walks and just generally had a marvellous and exciting time!

My Dad read these books when he was a boy, and he passed his love of the books onto me when I was a young girl.  He would read a chapter of the Famous Five to me each night before I went to sleep and he absolutely brought the books to life with his exaggerated telling of the stories and impersonations of the posh characters.  Sometimes I would beg him to read on because I would be so absorbed in the story and in his telling of it.  He would always oblige.  If I was lucky, he would carry on reading to me until I fell asleep, so I could dream of their adventures.

I absolutely treasure The Famous Five.  I was very young and so I remember snatches of them rather than whole stories, so I can’t pick out one book from the series for this post that I love above all others.  I imagine that if I read them again now, I would find reference to a lot of sexism and probably some racism that I had not picked up on as a child.  But I think I would literally forgive them anything, because all of the wonderful stories that I have been privileged enough to read in my life started from there.

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Posted on September 17, 2013, in Reading and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I truly LOVED the Famous Five, and everything else by Blyton: Malory Towers, Naughtiest girl in the school and the Faraway Tree. I also loved (and still love…) animals, so Colin Dann’s Animals of Farthing Wood series was also precious to me.

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